Composite Materials Engineering Specialists in Carbon Fibre - IN LIQUIDATION - JULY 2009 -
For Financial / Legal enquiries the Liquidators details can be found on the home page
The 'Contact' page is for technical enquires only

Performance Composites
Carbon Fibre Tubes
| Fibre Types
| Fibre Angles
Carbon Fibre Profiles
| Example Profiles
| Mechanical Properties
Materials & Equipment Supplies

Carbon Fibre Profiles, Composite Structural Profile System

Carbon Fibre Profiles, Composite Structural Profile System


Performance Composites Limited are pleased to introduce a versatile and economic system for creating composite structures, usefull to a wide range of industries.

This system is ideal for lightweight, strong and dimensionally stable components of many types including;

Assembly jigs and fixtures
Inspection equipment
Machine frames

The backbone of the system is a range of ‘Standard’ components which are used individualy or simply cut to the required size and bonded together to make larger and more sophisticated items.

Although we can make square and rectangular box sections they are not part of our ‘Standard’ range, fabricated box sections as described below are more cost effective, and often, structurally more efficient. The flanges can also be used as attachment points for cable or pipe runs, etc.

Our system of fabricating ‘box’ section and larger assemblies from ‘I’ beams, angles and pieces of sheet also allows the creation of tapered, cranked and curved beams without huge tooling costs.

We can supply;

The basic moulded sections in standard lengths for you to cut and bond together as required.
Kits of parts, ready cut for you to assemble on site.
Complete fabrications to your specifications.

The following pages give some examples of what can be achieved from some simple sections and some high strength adhesive (normally epoxy or toughened acrylic).

Basic Sections

The following are ‘STANDARD’ sections,

i.e. produced on simple tooling; the moulded surfaces are shown thicker, Nominal lengths are 2500 or 3660 mm (12 ft). Other sections and lengths up to 9000 mm are available as ‘SPECIALS’

The actual size of the section, the fibre type and fibre orientation are fundamental to satisfactory performance and may vary for each application, see fibre angle and mechanical property data sheets. Moulded surfaces are either ‘semi-gloss’ or ‘Peel Ply’

Left:     Flat Sheet

Right: Various Angles            
Short pieces used for joining cranked sections

Left:     ‘U’ or ‘C’ Section

Right:   ‘T’ Section

Left:     ‘I’ Beam - Solid            
Stiff in bending,  flexible in torsion
Flanges can be different sizes

Right ‘I’ Beam - foam filled            
Adds torsional rigidity            
Hard inserts can be placed in foam as attachment points.

SPECIALS include tapered and/or curved.
Fabricated ‘Box’ Section made from two ‘I’ Beams and two pieces of sheet.

Special ‘Box’ types can be created using tapered sheet and/or tapered or curved ‘I’ Beams

Fabricated Sections

We have created all of the following and many more

Far Left: Foam filled ‘I’ beam curved and tapered in both directions.                        
Used for micrometer body and robot mounted punch & anvil (end fittings not shown)
Centre Left: Sheet Tapered ‘Box’ (STB), All components from STD range – just cut the sheet tapered.
Centre Right: Web Tapered ‘Box’ (WTB). ‘I’ beams are SPECIALS but tooling still low cost.
  Note: STB and WTB can be combined in long shallow taper beams only, too much taper distorts the glue line, weakening the joint and making assembly difficult.
Far Right: Cranked ‘Box’ made from overlapping ‘I’ beams (one flange of each beam cut away locally)
Sheets butted at corner and secured with angled butt straps.
Cranks and tapers can be combined

Standard Sizes

‘I’ Beam

Sizes for A
1 1/2”
1 3/4”
2 1/4”
2 1/2“
3 1/2“
Plus many larger sizes up to 450 mm

A Distance between flanges As list above – smaller sizes are available from 1/4“ (6.35mm) upwards
B Flange Thickness Moulded as required – minimum 0.5 x D plus 1 layer fabric plus UD.
C Flange Cut width Machined to suit – Note: C x 2 + D = E
D Web Thickness Moulded to suit application - Minimum 2 plies fabric @ +/-45 deg.
E Width Overall E = 2 x C + D
F Height Overall F = 2 x B + A


Thicknesses: from 0.25mm upwards.
Standard sizes: 1Metre x 1.5m or 1.2m x 1m (nominal) depending on material manufacturer and 3660 (12ft) x 450
Fibre Orientation: As required.

Thicknesses   from 0.25mm upwards.
Standard Sizes: 100mm (50mm each leg) x 1.2m
Common angles: 90, 120, 135, 150 deg. included     
Fibre Types

Composite Components are constructed from a numerous layers of material, the fibre type and angle for each layer is arranged to give the overall mechanical properties required by the application. 

The properties listed below are for composites made from UD fibres @ 60% Vf – See Mechanical properties data sheet.

Glass Fibre
A low cost fibre with good strength, but relatively low stiffness and high density.

Typically          UTS  1.0 Gpa               Modulus  (Ex)  40 Gpa Density  1.9 g/cc

Aramid Fibre
Tradenamed 'Kevlar' or 'Twaron', aramid fibres have excellent tensile strengths, nearly twice as stiff as glass fibre, also lighter, but often needs to be combined with other fibres to achieve acceptable compressive strengths. Machining can be a problem.

Typically          UTS  1.3 Gpa               Modulus  (Ex)  75 Gpa Density  1.4 g/cc

Carbon Fibre (Standard Grade)
Standard grade carbon fibres have a good combination of strength with stiffness. With a specific modulus of 92, over 3 times that of metal (Steel and aluminium are both the same) carbon fibre / epoxy laminates are finding increasing application.

Typically          UTS  1.5 Gpa               Modulus  (Ex)  130 GPa Density  1.6 g/cc

Carbon Fibre (Special Grades)
Standard grade carbon fibre (T300, HTA, etc) have mechanical properties with out resin of approx. 3 – 3.5 GPa tensile strength and 230 – 240 GPa Tensile modulus.

Carbon fibre manufacturers are constantly trying to improve the modulus, and strength, of their fibres. Tensile strengths go up to 7 GPa and Tensile modulus up to 700 GPa, however it is not possible to get a fibre with both the above properties, ‘strong’ fibres are not as ‘stiff’ and visa-versa.

There are many grades now available, however increased properties means higher prices, up to £600.00 per Kg (not for the faint hearted).

Fibre Forms

Our products are made from Aerospace type pre-preg materials and/or by filament winding.

Pre-pregs are fibres that have been Pre-impregnated with the resin/hardener to form a pliable tacky sheet. They need to be stored cold to prevent premature reaction of the resin /hardener part.

The main types are UD (Uni-Directional), Woven Fabrics 0/90° and Multiaxials (frequently of stitched construction)

Components are built up using many layers of fibre, each of which is suitably arranged to carry the expected loads.

The completed layup is subjected to heat and pressure to give the final shape.

Components are seldom made with only one fibre direction, as they would easily split.

0 Degree  (Axial)
Resists longitudinal bending and axial tension/compression
In an ‘I’ beam the 0° is placed mainly in the flanges where it can do most work.

+/- 45 Degree
Resists shear and torsion, as seen by the web of an ‘I’ Beam.
Also adds strength around bolt holes.

90 Degree (Transverse)
Resists internal/external pressure, helps a profile to stay in shape and adds strength around bolt holes.

An equal mix of 0°, 90° +45°  and -45° fibres which results in fairly uniform strength / stiffness in all directions.

With filament winding it is not practical to wind fibres at exactly 0° or 90°, however components seldom have only one load applied to them, and will therefore require at least 2 of the above angles need to be incorporated to carry the combined loads.

Most combined loads can be carried with fibres at an intermediate angle.

For Internal pressure the hoop stress is twice the longitudinal stress use approx +/-55°.
For External pressure as above but to resist buckling use approx +/-65°.
For Quasi-Isotropic laminate use +/-22.5° & +/-67.5° alternate layers.
For bending with torsion angles between +/- 5° to +/- 25° are appropriate.


Back to TOP


Typical Example | Mechanical Properties  Carbon Economy Emissions Reduction - Brisbane and Sunshine Coast