What is pre-preg?
Pre-preg is shorthand for “pre-impregnated reinforcement”. It is a composite material form that requires additional conversion or fabrication into a final, fully cured, part.
In the manufacturing of polymer matrix composites, the objective is to use a resin matrix to bind and protect the chosen reinforcement. This can be done in an infusion, or resin transfer process, a molding process, or various conversion techniques that utilize pre-preg.
Generally speaking, pre-pregs are different from molding compounds, which also contain a resin matrix, because they are built on continuous reinforcements. The Norplex-Micarta white paper, “Designing with Composites” explores the advantages of continuous fiber reinforcement in detail.
In comparison to infusion and resin transfer methods, pre-pregs offer the advantage of precise control of resin content.
Of all composite material types, pre-pregs are among the most predictable, repeatable, and highest performing material option available. Traditionally, pre-pregs were associated with low volume, high cost, conversion techniques. Norplex-Micarta has developed the EnableX family of materials that are specifically designed to bring the advantages of pre-preg to high volume, cost effective, compression molding.
Why Norplex-Micarta pre-preg?
There is more than one approach to manufacture pre-preg. Norplex-Micarta’s approach has been refined for high volume, cost effective, production over 100 years. The same fundamental approach that is used to manufacture materials for sensitive electronics and consumer volume decorative laminate is employed by Norplex-Micarta.
Not only is this approach geared to mass production, it allows a wider range of materials to be impregnated. Natural fiber reinforcements, thermoplastics and other synthetic fibers, carbon, glass, and even hybrids of these reinforcements are all possible. Furthermore, very heavy, or thick, reinforcements can be effectively processed which improve throughput of the entire supply chain.
Norplex-Micarta has dedicated application and material development engineers to support material selection, application development, prototyping, and customization to support designers and engineers.
Pre-preg is converted by Norplex-Micarta into sheets, tubes, and other stock shapes.
Would one of these material options be more suitable for your project? Perhaps one of these forms would allow for a prototype to be produced economically and with a quicker turnaround compared to other options?