Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Stabilization of TuFF Material by Electrospinning of Low Areal Weight TPU Veil Material



The Tailored Universal Feedstock for Forming (TuFF) material is an aligned, discontinuous carbon fiber material with high fiber volume fraction up to 63% and mechanical performance equivalent to continuous fiber, unidirectional composites. The short fiber material allows at least 40% in-plane extension during processing enabling metal-like forming approaches simplifying composites manufacturing significantly. Traditionally, TuFF preforms are produced at areal weight (AW) of ~8 grams per square meter (gsm), stacked and impregnated with thermoset or thermoplastic polymer to create prepreg followed by curing/consolidation in an autoclave or stamp forming process resulting in high-performance structural parts. Here, the impregnated TuFF prepreg can be handled the same way as traditional continuous fiber prepreg. In contrast, to enable liquid composite molding (LCM) processes with TuFF material, the unimpregnated (dry) short fiber TuFF preforms must be stabilized for handling and preforming purposes.

This paper details an electrospun veil approach as shown in Figure 1 to
stabilize the individual TuFF sheets while maintaining the in-plane extensibility
for complex geometry parts. Electrospun TPU fibers are applied onto the TuFF
surface and then consolidated via a combination of heating and pressure, formingtrials were carried out using the stabilized preforms and composites werefabricated using LCM. Tensile tests show ~90-95% property retention versus theunstabilized baseline. The approach allows fabrication of stabilized TuFF fabricsfor the first time enabling the use of LCM processes for complex geometry parts.


Full Text:



Closed loop recycling of CFRP into highly aligned high performance short fiber composites

using the TuFF Process, Heider D., Tierney J., Deitzel J., Kubota M., Thiravong J., Gargitter V.,

Burris W., Morris J., Shevchenko N., Yarlagadda S., and Gillespie, J. SAMPE. Charlotte, NC.,

Formability of TuFF composite blanks, Yarlagadda S., Advani S., Deitzel J., Heider D.,

Molligan D., Roseman D, Simacek P., Tierney J, and Gillespie, J.W., SAMPE. Charlotte, NC.,

A novel manufacturing method for aligned discontinuous fiber composites, H. Yu, K.D.

Potter, M.R. Wisnom, Composites: Part A 65(2014) 175-185.

The effect of processing variables on the morphology of electro-spun nanofibers and

textiles, January 2001, Polymer, 42 (1):261-272, Deitzel J.M., Kleinmeyer J. D., Harris D.E.A.,


Controlled deposition of electrospun poly (ethylene oxide) fibers, Polymer, Volume 42,

Issue 19, September 2001, Pages 8163-8170, Deitzel J.M. , Kleinmeyer J.D. , Hirvonen J.K. ,

Beck Tan N.C.

Electrospinning of polycarbonate nanofibers with solvent mixtures THF and DMF,

Shawon, J., Sung, C., Journal of Materials Science 39, 4605–4613 (2004).

Experimental study on relationship between jet instability and formation of beaded fibers

during electrospinning, Weiwei Zuo, Meifang Zhu, Wen Yang, Hao Yu, Yanmo Chen, Yu Zhang,

March 2005,

Enhanced delamination resistance of thick-section glass-epoxy composite laminates using

compliant thermoplastic polyurethane interlayers, Boyd S.E., Bogetti T., Staniszewski J.,

Lawrence B., Walterca M., U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.


  • There are currently no refbacks.