The paper aims at providing practical guidelines for the manufacture of composite parts reinforced by tufting. The need for through-thickness reinforcement of high performance carbon fibre composite structures is reviewed and various options are presented. The tufting process is described in detail and relevant aspects of the technology are analysed such as: equipment configuration and setup, latest advances in tooling, thread selection, preform supporting systems and choice of ancillary materials. Effects of the process parameters on the preform fibre architecture and on the meso-structure of the reinforced component are discussed. Special emphasis is given to the different options available in terms of tuft insertion and loops management. Potential fields of application of the technology are investigated as well as the limitations of its applicability in relation to preform nature and geometry. Critical issues which may arise during the manufacturing process concerning thread insertion, loops formation, alteration to the fabric fibres layout or local volume fraction are identified.
- Through-thickness reinforcement
- 3D reinforcement