Pre-Preg Carbon Fibre
Pre-preg carbon fibre or glass fabric is conventional carbon fibre or glass fabric that has been specially pre-impregnated with catalysed resin during manufacture. Because the resin has already been mixed with its hardener, pre-preg carbon fibre needs to be stored at very low temperatures to prevent the resin from curing before the fabric is used. It is normal for pre-preg fabric to be stored at temperatures of around -20°C.
Because the resin has been applied to the carbon fibre fabric by precisely calibrated machinery, the ratio of resin to reinforcement is known to be exactly right meaning that parts made from pre-preg carbon fibre can consistently have this perfect resin (matrix) to reinforcement ratio. In addition, the manufacture of pre-preg parts invariably involves the application of pressure (either vacuum only, or vacuum and elevated pressure such as an autoclave) resulting in excellent fibre consolidation, further enhancing the structural performance of the composite.
To use pre-preg carbon fibre requires a minimum of a composites vacuum pump, vacuum bagging supplies, high temperature tolerant moulds and an oven to cure the parts (whilst still under at least vacuum pressure).
Just like conventional carbon fibre fabric, pre-preg fabric is available in a range of weave patterns and fabric weights.