High-speed fabrication of thermoplastic carbon fiber fabric composites with a polymerizable, low-viscosity cyclic butylene terephthalate matrix for automotive applications
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A weight savings of approximately 30% of the total weight of an automobile can be achieved if high-speed mass production of the continuous carbon fabric reinforced composites (CCFRCs) is possible. In this study, we analyzed the high-speed production of thermoplastic CCFRCs with a 2 min processing time using a polymerizable, low-viscosity thermoplastic cyclic butylene terephthalate (CBT) resin. Along with the reduced processing time, superior mechanical properties were obtained in the CCFRC specimen, such as a tensile strength of 440 MPa and an impact strength of 44 KJ m−2. This could be achieved because a high carbon fiber content of 70% volume could be reached with few pores or defects in the CCFRC. The proposed high-speed production of the thermoplastic CCFRC can compete with metal pressing due to its short processing time of only a few minutes, which is the time limit currently accepted by the automotive industry.
Keywordscarbon fabric composites cyclic butylene terephthalate high-speed fabrication thermoplastics
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