This project proposes to improve the damage tolerance, fire and blast performance of composite laminates and composite/foam core sandwich panels by applying novel stitching techniques. Reinforcement through the thickness (Z-axis) i.e. stitching together individual layers of the composite to form a 'dry' material pre-form (prior to resin infusion) is a relatively new process that has shown inconsistent results. We have developed a new carbon tow for stitching that should improve on the existing polyester and polyaramid stitching yarns. Our collaborating SME, Structiso, have developed novel through-thickness reinforced composite/foam sandwich panels. Conventional foam core sandwich panels are easily damaged on impact. Structiso have devised a novel method of stitching the two composite skins together through the foam core. As well as developing Z-axis stitched composite laminates we will apply our new stitching technology to Structiso's sandwich panels in order to bring the two techniques together to produce improved composite materials to resist impact, fire and blast. These will have many applications including aircraft, marine, offshore and transport.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards