Dragonplate Releases Birch Core Prepreg High Modulus Carbon Fiber Sheets

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Dragonplate has released birch core prepreg carbon fiber sheets. By combining a high quality damage tolerant core with high modulus prepreg carbon fiber, a high stiffness to weight ratio, as well as extremely tough panel, is achieved.

Birch Core Prepreg Carbon Fiber Sheet

Birch Core Prepreg Carbon Fiber Sheet

The potential of high modulus carbon fiber core sheets is truly staggering in terms of increased rigidity and weight savings.

Dragonplate birch core prepreg carbon fiber sheets can withstand temperatures up to 250 F and have excellent machinability. In addition to the standard carbon fiber, options for high modulus and even ultra high modulus pitch carbon fiber are offered, which increase the panel stiffness by up to 3 times when compared to standard carbon fiber. Other core options include honeycomb and foam, which offer further weight savings.

Allred & Associates, a composites engineering and manufacturing firm in Elbridge, NY, has developed high modulus carbon fiber core solutions for a variety of applications, most notably industrial automation, UAVs and drones, medical imaging, and aircraft interiors. Although metal and fiberglass are usually lower cost options, high modulus carbon fiber core sheets offer substantial weight savings. As a comparison, an ultra high modulus carbon fiber panel with wood core can easily be designed to have a stiffness to weight ratio of 8-10 times that of aluminum or steel. And a similar honeycomb or foam core carbon fiber panel can have stiffness to weight ratios up to 100 times or more. The potential of high modulus carbon fiber core sheets is truly staggering in terms of increased rigidity and weight savings.

By applying this technology to industrial automation end of arm tooling, for example in injection molding or packaging equipment, cycle times can be reduced, vibration eliminated, and often smaller robots can be utilized, all translating into huge cost savings. In one project, an older aluminum end of arm tool was replaced with a carbon fiber one, reducing the weight from 40 pounds to 10 pounds. In injection molding applications, the ability to decrease weight means the machine can run faster, thus reducing cycle time. In high volume molding lines, a reduction in cycle time of only a few tenths of one second can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in cost savings. Thus the return on investment for a carbon fiber robotic end of arm can be as little as weeks or even days.

Similarly for drones and other unmanned air and ground vehicles, eliminating unnecessary weight is paramount to improved performance, and in particular endurance. Lightweight prepreg birch, foam, and honeycomb cores can provide massive weight reduction, allowing greater payload capacity and flight times.

For more information on carbon fiber components, visit http://DragonPlate.com
For more information on carbon fiber engineering, visit http://Element6Composites.com

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Joe Kummer PhD
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