Development of new very high modulus, ultralight, DIALEAD® fiber based products.

Traditionally, pitch fibers were used under the form of prepregged unidirectional tapes or very sophisticated light fabrics based on small tow fibers (i.e. 240-270 tex). With the goal of bringing pitch fibers within everyone’s reach, Sumitomo Corporation Europe,  an official distributor of DIALEAD™ fibers in Europe for many years now, has launched  a new line of fabrics and UD’s thanks to the joint cooperation of G. Angeloni, a leading Italian company in the production of carbon fabric and GP Marketing Consulting, a consultancy company active worldwide in the development of new generations of advanced composite products.

The advantage of fabrics based on larger tows, compared with unidirectional tapes or small-tow fabrics, is the opportunity to apply thicker lamination layers in the stratification and use more easily handled prepregs for a faster and more cost-effective production of components like industrial plates, rollers, tools, etc.

This new range of products, based on the new DIALEAD™ K13916 and K13312 pitch fibers, allow a wide choice in terms of weight, constructions and weave patterns: from a balanced 630gsm fabric, to 300gsm and 600gsm unidirectional fabrics with carbon, glass or thermoplastic stabilizing yarns and – last but not least – the bespoke fabrics manufactured by spreading the fibers in order to obtain high-quality 75gsm dry UD tapes and 150gsm balanced fabrics.

This new line of fabrics enables the users to take full advantage of some of the peculiar properties of DIALEAD™ pitch fibers, such as higher stiffness due to the very high modulus values (up to 760 Gpa for K13916 fiber), higher thermal conductivity (up to 200 W/m•K for K13916 fiber), high damping properties, excellent dimensional stability thanks to the coefficient of thermal expansion, which is negative in pitch fibers, lower electrical resistivity.

These properties provide solutions to many issues encountered while designing industrial components like  tubes and cylinders  as a measure to reduce  deflection issues, composites moulds to obtain fast heating and cooling rates, lower thickness and  high dimensional stability (beneficial also for pressure components), robotic component or CNC machines to increase vibration damping and operate at high speeds.

An alternative to the above-mentioned products is represented by UD tapes and balanced fabrics based on the spread DIALEAD™ K13312 fiber, with a tensile modulus of 420 GPa and a tensile strength of 3200 MPa, which are ideal for applications requiring a high workability. So much so that the 200gsm balanced fabric is already under industrial test for automotive applications to reduce the weight of some large parts while maintaining or even increasing the stiffness of the composite structure, and in consumer goods, where there is a constant pursuit of lightweight components supporting high performances.