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Fibre Architecture: Availability, pros and cons, and selection for my application - A309

From CKN Knowledge in Practice Centre
Perspectives - A8AIM Events - Webinars - A115Fibre Architecture: Availability, pros and cons, and selection for my application - A309
Fibre Architecture: Availability, pros and cons, and selection for my application
Perspectives article
A309 Video Thumbnail Image-MNbAscoC9KeQYj.png
Document Type Article
Document Identifier 309
Webinar Date
  • October 27, 2021

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Selecting the form of fibre, often referred to as the fibre architecture is a critical decision during the development process. Fibre architecture has a significant effect on cost, processability, defect generation, design/geometry limitations, damage tolerance, and other outcomes of a composite part.

Individual fibres are grouped into bundles of thousands of fibres called tows. These tows then go through a secondary process to create a material form that is then used to produce a composite part. This fibre architecture may be in the form of a unidirectional fabric, woven fabric, non-crimp fabric, braided tube/sleeve or mat, among others.

In this webinar, we will discuss common types of fibre architecture, their pros and cons, suitability to specific processes, and provide insight on how to select a fibre architecture for your application.

Webinar[edit | edit source]

Webinar slides[edit | edit source]

Webinar slides available by clicking on the icon below

PDF Icon-LK6QpdpqPx9B5d.svg

Additional information for select chapters[edit | edit source]

Chapter Chapter Title Links to related information in the Knowledge in Practice Centre
1 Welcome & introductions N/A
2 Knowledge in Practice Centre
3 Introduction to fibre architecture Future content
4 Fibre architecture in the context of MSTEP
5 Individual fibres
6 Fibre tow
7 Unidirectional - Overview
8 Unidirectional - Stitched Future content
9 Unidirectional - Hot melt stabilized Future content
10 Unidirectional - Prepreg Future content
11 Chopped strand mat Future content
12 Woven fabric - Overview Future content
13 Woven fabric - Weave types Future content
14 Woven fabric - Typical technical data sheet (TDS)
15 Woven fabric - Plain weave glass fibre Future content
16 Woven fabric - Plain weave carbon fibre Future content
17 Non-Crimp Fabric (NCF) - Overview Future content
18 Non-Crimp Fabric (NCF) - Typical TDS
19 NCF - Biaxial (+/-45) stitched glass fibre Future content
20 Braid - Overview Future content
21 Braided fabric - Typical TDS
22 Braided fabric - Biaxial braid carbon fibre fabric Future content
23 Braided fabric - Biaxial braid glass fibre sleeve Future content
24 Processing factors to consider
25 Summary & wrap-up N/A
26 Q&A N/A

Related pages

Page type Links
Introduction to Composites Articles
Foundational Knowledge Articles
Foundational Knowledge Method Documents
Foundational Knowledge Worked Examples
Systems Knowledge Articles
Systems Knowledge Method Documents
Systems Knowledge Worked Examples
Systems Catalogue Articles
Systems Catalogue Objects – Material
Systems Catalogue Objects – Shape
Systems Catalogue Objects – Tooling and consumables
Systems Catalogue Objects – Equipment
Practice Documents
Case Studies
Perspectives Articles

About Help
CKN KPC logo


Welcome to the CKN Knowledge in Practice Centre (KPC). The KPC is a resource for learning and applying scientific knowledge to the practice of composites manufacturing. As you navigate around the KPC, refer back to the information on this right-hand pane as a resource for understanding the intricacies of composites processing and why the KPC is laid out in the way that it is. The following video explains the KPC approach:

Understanding Composites Processing

The Knowledge in Practice Centre (KPC) is centered around a structured method of thinking about composite material manufacturing. From the top down, the heirarchy consists of:

The way that the material, shape, tooling & consumables and equipment (abbreviated as MSTE) interact with each other during a process step is critical to the outcome of the manufacturing step, and ultimately critical to the quality of the finished part. The interactions between MSTE during a process step can be numerous and complex, but the Knowledge in Practice Centre aims to make you aware of these interactions, understand how one parameter affects another, and understand how to analyze the problem using a systems based approach. Using this approach, the factory can then be developed with a complete understanding and control of all interactions.

The relationship between material, shape, tooling & consumables and equipment during a process step

Interrelationship of Function, Shape, Material & Process

Design for manufacturing is critical to ensuring the producibility of a part. Trouble arises when it is considered too late or not at all in the design process. Conversely, process design (controlling the interactions between shape, material, tooling & consumables and equipment to achieve a desired outcome) must always consider the shape and material of the part. Ashby has developed and popularized the approach linking design (function) to the choice of material and shape, which influence the process selected and vice versa, as shown below:

The relationship between function, material, shape and process

Within the Knowledge in Practice Centre the same methodology is applied but the process is more fully defined by also explicitly calling out the equipment and tooling & consumables. Note that in common usage, a process which consists of many steps can be arbitrarily defined by just one step, e.g. "spray-up". Though convenient, this can be misleading.

The relationship between function, material, shape and process consisting of Equipment and Tooling and consumables


The KPC's Practice and Case Study volumes consist of three types of workflows:

  • Development - Analyzing the interactions between MSTE in the process steps to make decisions on processing parameters and understanding how the process steps and factory cells fit within the factory.
  • Troubleshooting - Guiding you to possible causes of processing issues affecting either cost, rate or quality and directing you to the most appropriate development workflow to improve the process
  • Optimization - An expansion on the development workflows where a larger number of options are considered to achieve the best mixture of cost, rate & quality for your application.