Helical Fabrics

Previously, when a parts manufacturer needed to produce helical or circular textile patterns for reinforcing a disk shape they were limited to a couple of methods. One was to cut helical or circular shapes from 0/90 broad fabric. The second was to cut wedge shaped patterns from broad fabric and lay these segments into a helical mold (this second method was usually done with prepreg). In both methods, the fabric waste can exceed 50% due to cutting losses. In the second method, there was the addition cost of excessive labor associated with the lay-up process. Textum’s technology allows for the weaving of continuous helical fabrics thus overcoming both of these drawbacks.

In addition to significantly reducing waste, Textum’s helical fabric technology offers several other benefits. These benefits include:

  • These fabrics can be produced in a continuous helix form with tailorable ID and OD dimensions.  This allows for near net shape, circular fabrics resulting in a significant waste reduction.
  • Fiber orientations can include hoop yarns, radial yarns and yarns oriented in a plus/minus direction in the hoop – radial plane, e.g. +/- 45 degrees.
  • Fiber fractions in each of the directions selected can be tailored over a wide range and in such a manner as to maintain a constant relationship from ID to OD.  This also creates a relatively constant ply thickness from ID to OD which is important if multiple turns of the helical fabric are required to form the desired disk thickness.
  • Current tooling can produce helix wall thicknesses up to 7 inches wide.  With tooling and minor machine modifications this dimension is highly adjustable.
  • The resulting fiber architecture is non-crimp which is to say that the different fiber directions do not interlace as in traditional fabrics.  This allows for better translation of fiber properties in the resulting composite structure.
  • The technology has been designed to be relatively high speed to allow for high volume production and low cost benefits.

Why choose Textum’s patented helical fabric for your circular part applications? For the last 6 years, we have been focused on the development of this unique product. Through this process we have been able to develop a helical fabric that

  • Requires low labor input
  • Is able to use large tow sizes (12K, 24K, 48K+ carbon)
  • Is able to feed from large spools (i.e. infrequent bobbin changes)
  • Is fully automated
  • Has a variety of weave designs possible
  • Is easy to change architectures
  • Is able to incorporate a variety of fiber types

Contact Textum today and let our engineers help you design a helical fabric specifically for your circular part application.

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