A second typical technique is the impregnation and flattening of carbon fiber tows with a thermoplastic resin to make a low-void, fully consolidated composite tape. These tapes are then woven or placed and tacked to form a fabric, which is then rapidly consolidated into the final composite part. A major issue with this process is the handling of the UD tapes because they are stiff and brittle, and therefore can fracture when bent to tight radii at room temperature. This stiffness property makes fabric formation from tapes a slow and expensive process.
The conclusion of Phase I of the DuPont, Fibrtec project validates the advancements that can be made in the carbon fiber composites production field, and reveals new opportunities for the application of carbon fiber composites into the automotive and aerospace industries as carbon fiber composites become easier and safer to produce making them more affordable, and viable for mass production.