Carbon Nano Tube (CNT) treated prepreg refers to the treatment of commercial prepreg materials using tailored CNT-formulations with the aim of producing specific performance by specific deposition techniques. CNT treated prepregs are developed to have minimum impact on processing and handling characteristics of commercial prepreg products and no (or minimal) impact on the composite manufacturing process parameters.
CNT treatment of prepregs compared to other nano-enabling processes for prepregs (eg. Matrix doping, fiber modification) has the advantage that it does not require long product development times due to redesign of production lines for nano-implementation. Moreover composite manufacturers are reluctant to implement changes to their established manufacturing processes due to their high investments on their production lines and the requirement to meet demanding specifications and quality standards. To this end they require flexible nano-enabling strategies that are application specific and that can be implemented in a short timeframe.
The CNT prepreg treatment process introduces the nano-enabling production step that uses as input conventional prepregs. The output is a prepreg material with incorporated nano phase. The overall physical properties and the handling & processing requirements are kept similar to conventional prepreg.
The previous EU projects ELECTRICAL and SARISTU developed a modular laboratory-scaled Prepreg Nano Treatment Production Line designed to treat commercial prepregs by deposition. The machine works in a semi-automatic mode and has the ability to treat prepregs rolls with maximum width of 600 mm and average speed of 2 linear meters. Except from the main deposition unit, the line is consisted from the (a) unwinding/winding modules, (b) pre and post conditioning modules and (c) Q/A modules.