Conventional composite materials reinforced with continuous fibres display high specific strength but have a number of drawbacks including: the elastic-brittle behaviour, difficulties in producing defect-free components of complex shape with high-volume automated manufacturing processes, and inherent lack of recyclability. Highly aligned, discontinuous fibre-reinforced composites (ADFRCs) are truly beneficial for mass production applications, with the potential to offer better formability and comparable mechanical properties with continuous fibre-reinforced composites. In previous publications, the High Performance Discontinuous Fibre (HiPerDiF) technology has been shown to offer the possibility to intimately hybridise different types of fibres, to achieve pseudo-ductile tensile behaviour, and remanufacture reclaimed fibres into high-performance recycled composites. However, to date, the work has been conducted with unidirectional (UD) laminates, which is of limited interest in engineering applications with mechanical stresses acting across many directions; this paper reports, for the first time, the mechanical behaviour of quasi-isotropic (QI) ADFRCs. When compared with randomly-oriented discontinuous fibre composites (RODFRCs), QI ADFRCs offer enhanced stiffness (+26%) and strength (+77%) with higher consistency, i.e., a reduction of the coefficient of variance from the 25% of RODFRCs to the 6% of ADFRCs. Furthermore, hybrid QI ADFRCs retain the pseudo-ductility tensile behaviour previously observed in unidirectional (UD) lay-up.
- Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS
- Aligned discontinuous fibre composites
- Quasi-isotropic laminate