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HiMax™ Multiaxial Reinforcements

HiMax™ reinforcements allow manufacturers to process multiple layers of unidirectional fibers in a single fabric.

HiMax™ Multiaxial reinforcements, also known as non-crimp fabrics (NCF), are multiple layers of unidirectional fibers, with each ply placed in a different orientation or axis. These layers are then typically stitchbonded to form a fabric. The range includes fabrics manufactured by Hexcel in Leicester, UK at the site that was formerly Formax and was acquired by Hexcel in 2016. Multiaxial reinforcements provide strength and stiffness in multiple directions depending on the controlled orientation of the fibers. The weight distribution in the fabric is optimized and it is possible to mix fiber types.

HiMax™ reinforcements offer several advantages over traditional fabric forms:

  • The reinforcing fibers can be placed in different axis to optimize the performance of the finished laminate
  • The avoidance of resin-rich areas means it is easy to achieve a higher weight fraction (wf)
  • Non-crimped fibers give higher tensile and flexural properties in the finished laminate
  • There is reduced print-through - especially important on boat hulls and automotive applications
  • Fabrics are easier to cut and handle as the stitching holds the material together
  • Heavier combinations are possible, meaning higher deposition rates
  • The straight uncrimped fibers allow good resin penetration and flow which is ideal for infusion and light-RTM, while the stitching aids resin migration through the layers (Z-direction) which is perfect for maximizing infusion rates

The non-crimp concept allows in-plane mechanical properties to be enhanced, such as tension and flexion. In a complex lay-up there is less material waste and the lay-up time is reduced by using thicker materials. High tow count fibers can be used.