Types of Carbon Fiber Weave Patterns

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What is a carbon fiber weave?

Weaves are generally referred to as: 1×1, 4X4, 3X1, etc. The first number refers to the strand going “over” the other strand that many times. The second number refers to the number of strands being crossed “under” before going back over the perpendicular strands. An example would be for a 2×2 weave, you will see it created: over, over, under, under, over, over, etc.

  • Plain Weave
    • 1×1
    • This type of weave is common for smaller, less complex shapes.
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  • Twill Weave
    • 2×2, 4×4, etc.
    • This the most common type of weave, and is stronger than the plain weave. Twill weaves are looser than plain weaves,  which allows them to drape around 3D shapes and complex curves easier. As you increase in the strands such as 4×4 or 6×6, they become easier to bend and shape.
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  • Harness Satin Weave
    • 2×1, 3×1, etc.
    • A Harness-Satin, bends over complex curves better than either a plain or twill weave. The Harness-Satin has more strands per square inch than the plain and twill weave. This should be used for the most complex shapes.
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  • Unidirectional Weave
    • Measured in oz.
    • Unidirectional weaves add strength in only one direction. These are typically used in conjunction with plain or twill weaves to add strength where the largest forces on the piece will occur. This fabric is non-woven which allows it to conform easily to shapes.
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What does 3k, 6k, 12k mean for carbon fiber?

The K is a measurement of how many thousands of strands per bundle. A bundle can commonly be referred to as the tow of carbon fiber. For example, a fabric that uses 6k bundles is made up of 6,000 strands in each bundle. Another thing to consider is that the larger the tow (bundle), the more difficult it is for the fabric to drape around complex shapes.

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