Z-pinning is a technique to insert reinforcing fibres (also called Z-pins or Z-fibres) along the Z-direction of continuous fibre-reinforced plastics. Z-pins can be made of metal or precured unidirectional composite fibres. It is designed for use within pre-preg technology; there is extensive experimental evidence that Z-pinning dramatically improves the resistance of the composite structure to delamination.
Several ways of inserting Z-pins have been developed to date. One method involves the use of an ultrasonic hammer that forces the Z-pins through the uncured preform while inducing high frequency vibrations to them. The vibrating chamfered tip of the Z-pins locally heats up and softens the resin allowing the Z-fibre to penetrate the preform with minimal disruption of the long fibres.
- Partridge, Ivana K.; et al. (2003). "Manufacture and performance of Z-pinned composites". Advanced polymeric materials: structure-property relationships, CRC Press ISBN 1-58716-047-1 [chapter 3].
- Partridge, Ivana K.; Denis D.R. Cartié (January 2005). "Delamination resistant laminates by Z-Fiber pinning". Composites Part A. 36: 55–64. doi:10.1016/j.compositesa.2004.06.029.
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