Developing Uni-directional Tape (UD-Tape): A carbon-fiber-reinforced polyamide resin


Introduction to Technologies and Products

UD-Tape carbon-fiber-reinforced polyamide resin: A product in development

Asahi Kasei is working to develop a broad lineup of composite thermoplastic resin materials to enable proposals for replacing metal components.

Asahi Kasei’s Uni-directional Tape (UD-Tape) is a tape-like material consisting of a polyamide resin reinforced by carbon fibers woven in a single direction. As the figure below shows, the excellent strength and rigidity per unit weight and other superior mechanical properties of UD-Tape make it ideal for replacing metal components with resin equivalents in a wide range of products—including automotive components, electrical and electronic components, aircraft components, sports and leisure products, and construction materials—to reduce product weights and help cut greenhouse-gas emissions both in shipping and when products are used.

UD-Tape can also be welded to other thermoplastic resin materials, and—when combined with the outstanding shape flexibility offered by injection molding—can produce multi-material component structures with sufficient strength and rigidity to serve as lightweight replacements for complex metal components, particularly in cases where conventional injection molding cannot yield components with adequate strength and rigidity.

Asahi Kasei’s UD-Tape: Typical material properties in comparison to metals

Application case study 1: Winding UD-Tape into pipes

Winding fabrication techniques, in which heated UD-Tape is wound continuously around a mandrel, can produce high-strength pipes and ring-shaped reinforcers.

High-strength pipe made with UD-TapeHigh-strength pipe made with UD-Tape

Application case study 2: Strength-reinforced injection-molded components via insert molding

Insert molding is a process in which a strength-reinforcing insert—a formed body made from UD-Tape via press molding or automated tape layup—is placed inside a mold prior to injection molding, yielding an injection-molded component with a built-in monolithic strength reinforcer.

We tested the performance of insert molding on UD rings formed by the winding method described above. Tensile-strength measurements at 90°C in 50% relative humidity showed that a UD-Tape reinforcer with a thickness of just 0.4 mm nearly doubled the tensile strength.

Tensile-strength tests at 90°C in 50% relative humidity

Application case study 3: Forming complex-shaped components from UD-Tape chops

Thick-walled components and ribbed components can be fabricated by hot press-molding of UD-Tape chops—rectangular fragments produced by slicing or cutting UD-Tape. 

(Typical conditions for hot press-molding: melt temperature 260-280°C, extraction temperature 80-100°C, pressure 3-5 MPa, pressure-melt time 5-10 minutes)

Component formed from UD-Tape chopsComponent formed from UD-Tape chops

Please contact us to ask any questions, discuss any concerns, and request samples.