NTPT™ has developed a unique composite tube manufacturing process, combing precise control of the fibre lay-up angles with the enhanced properties of Thin Ply Prepregs. The process is ideal for any tubular structure where weight, performance and cost are critical factors. Automotive drive shafts, aircraft struts, windsurf masts and golf shafts are just a few examples of possible applications.
With any tubular product, or indeed any composite structure, the use of thinner plies offers nearly unlimited options for fibre angles and fibre type combinations; and the micro-structure of a thin ply laminate results in higher mechanical properties. NTPT™’s novel tube manufacturing process ensures that each of these thin carbon plies is wound continuously, resulting in a symmetrically stiff tube with no spine, unlike the traditional table rolling methods that have dominated the market until now. This new process affords precise control over the alignment of perfectly axial fibre, which is difficult to achieve with filament winding. The ratio of longitudinal fibres to off-axis fibres along the length and through the thickness of the tube can be controlled, enabling optimization and higher quality in demanding applications.
This uniformity of wall thickness, control of fibre alignment and use of thin plies results in a tube that matches the design exactly, without compromise. The potential of this innovative manufacturing technology is considerable. NTPT™ has focused on the automation of its processes to keep costs low whilst maintaining the quality, which means that re-shoring the production of advanced composite parts in Europe and the US is now a very real option for customers.