Fibrecore

Fibrecore is a lightweight, stainless steel composite sandwich panel that utilises Fibretech's rapidly solidified fibres and thin faceplates using high temperature bonding processes to produce a material under half the weight of steel with equivalent stiffness.

The original investigative research work was carried out by Cambridge University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and supported by the UK government and VOLVO through the CMI programme. The work included experimental property characterisation and modelling and ran for three years.

The key advantages of  Fibrecore are:-

  • High stiffness for low areal density – 40% better than titanium and 200% better than aluminium
  • Lightweight – 50% light than steel of the same thickness
  • Relatively small thickness (typically 1.5-2 mm)
  • Larger thicknesses up to 10 mm are possible
  • Multi-layered versions can be made to improve energy absorption even further
  • Tailored properties (material, fibre aspect ratio, faceplate thickness)
  • Thin face sheets (0.3-0.5 mm)
  • Improved Energy Absorption for its weight
  • Relatively easy fabrication, particularly bending, drilling, cutting and (spot or TIG) welding
  • Repairable
  • No glues used to bond the material
  • Fully Recyclable
  • High temperature properties up to 1000°C (stainless steel) 
Fibrecore Fibrecore Cross section view of Fibrecore Fibrecore bent and welded box section (Pictures courtesy of Cambridge University & DSTL)

Currently we can supply sheets in sizes up to 900 x 440 mm in small quantities with fibre densities between 10 and 25%. The material can be manufactured on a semi-industrial batch scale in a range of stainless steels including 430, 434, 304 and 310 to suit specific applications including:

  • Auto Crumple Zones
  • Auto Body Panels
  • Railway Stock Bodywork
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Fuselage (monologue)
  • Blade Containment
  • Cargo Containers
  • Platforms/Decking
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Armour (Ballistic and Blast Protection)
  • Building cladding
Graph showing bending stiffness of Fibrecore (HSSA) compared with other material as a function of areal density (mass/area).
Stress/strain curve of Fibrecore 304 with 2mm overall thickness
Core architecture
Plastic Strain - Experiment vs. Model
MetalX ME304 ME309 ME310 ME330 Fibrex HT Fibrex HT+ ME430 ME446 Fibrex SF Fibrex CD Fibresheet Polypore MF Microtex Fibrecore
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