Thermoset Composites

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Composites 101: Making a Composite

As the name implies, making a composite brings two or more constituent materials together that remain separate and distinct on a macroscopic level while forming a single component.

At Gordon Composites, the process begins when glass fiber roving doffs – the packages of glass fibers – are arranged in a creel, which is simply a holding device with racks of shelves. The ribbons or "ends" of the glass fibers are pulled from the creel into the area where the composite is formed.

The creel for making our high performance composites one of the largest in the world with up to 5,000 ends pulled for a single sheet of composite material. When you consider that each end may be made up of 4000 or more individual glass filaments, our process manages over 9 million glass fibers.

The trick in forming the composite material is to get the fibers perfectly aligned and thoroughly saturated with resin. Alignment is achieved by having all of the fibers under a precise amount of tension as they go into the forming area; saturation is achieved with a proprietary process. The result is a composite in which each fiber is surrounded and bonded with the resin at a specific ratio so it will work efficiently as it stores and releases energy.


GCI and PolyOne