Prepreg and filament wound tubes.

What are prepreg wound tube materials?

Sometimes called “convolute winding”, pre-preg material is wrapped onto a mandrel and then cured. Unlike filament winding processes, convolute wound tubes have the metering of the resin content controlled during the pre-preg manufacturing process. Furthermore, they can use various fiber architectures such as woven or stitched fabrics to engineer repeatable fiber orientation in the tube. Tubes can be produced with different materials in the ID, core, or OD to enhance specific performance characteristics.

Tube materials are fully cured and ready for fabrication by standard stock removal processes such as turning, milling, drilling, and other specialized processes depending on the part geometry, complexity, and tolerance requirements.

Some tubes are produced to comply with various electrical industry standards.

Tubes are limited to a maximum of 48 inches (1.2 meters) in length. Internal diameters range from 0.093 inches (2.3 mm) to over 48 inches (1.2 meters) on specially built mandrels. The possible ID wall, OD wall, or ID/OD combinations varies by material type.

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electrical industry standard tubes
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What are filament wound tube materials?

Individual filaments of reinforcement are run through a resin bath and wound onto a mandrel. Wind angles can be adjusted through process setup parameters to vary the strength characteristics of the tube to meet specific application requirements.

Like prepreg wound tubes, filament wound tubes are fully cured and ready for fabrication.

Unlike prepreg wound tubes, filament wound tubes are not limited to a nominal 48 inches (1.2 meters) in length. Norplex-Micarta’s filament winding capabilities target heavy wall, structural, applications. Minimum internal diameter is 0.625 inches (1.6 mm) and maximum outside diameter is limited to 5 inches (127 mm). Wall thicknesses can vary and will depend on the ID and OD. Minimum wall thickness is 0.085 inches (2.2 mm) and maximum wall thickness is 1.55 inches (39 mm).

Why Norplex-Micarta tube materials?

Norplex-Micarta has been producing thermoset tubes for various demanding applications for more than 50 years. Resin systems based on epoxy, melamine, and silicone are commonly ran in our Postville, Iowa facility. These and other resin chemistries are often modified with additives to provide even more functionality for designers and engineers looking for a material solution for demanding applications. Reinforcements are even more varied. Glass, carbon, natural and synthetic reinforcements are all possible.

Production of tubes is co-located with production of pre-preg. All of these processes are conducted under a quality management system that is ISO 9001 certified, on equipment that is routinely updated with the latest in control technology.

With more than 50 standard grades of tubes, and nearly infinite amount of customization options, composite tube materials can seem overwhelming. Norplex-Micarta has dedicated application and material development engineers to support material selection, application development, prototyping, and customization to support designers and engineers. 

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Product Details

Manufacturing Tolerances

Tube Tolerance Guide

Property Comparison Guide

Tube Properties Guide

Manufacturing Capabilities

Tube Manufacturing Capabilities
pre-preg products
sheet products
stock shape products

Norplex-Micarta also offers pre-preg, sheets, 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?