Paper - Advantages of Ultra Light Woven Spread Tow Fabrics

Woven carbon fibre Spread Tow Fabrics (STF) – TeXtreme® - are being used increasingly in the composite materials industry. They provide relatively increased mechanical performance, weight savings, draping ability and flat surface. As a greater number of filaments are exposed in STF they also present correspondingly improved wetting ability.

The limitations of traditional woven fabrics, which are produced using tows, are uniquely overcome by STF because it is made using spread tow tapes. Use of spread tows accords high flexibility in fabric construction. For example, using the same fibre and tow count, an STF of different areal weights and thinness can be obtained to suit a given application. The flatness of STF, which comes from near absence of crimp, significantly reduces accumulation of matrix at the interlacing points and thereby the dead weight of the final composite material. This not only reduces the weight of the final composite material product but also eliminates the print-through defects associated with post curing of the undesired matrix accumulation.

This paper presents the advantages of STF in reference to certain products.


This paper, written by Fredrik Ohlsson, Product Manager Materials, and Dr. Nandan Khokar, R&D Manager, was presented at the SICOMP conference in June 2010 by Fredrik Ohlsson.