E-GLASS FIBRE Colan styles AF

Calcium-Aluminium-Borosilicate is better known as electrical grade, low alkali, E-glass. E-glass has a softening point of 845°C and is drawn into filaments through a platinum bushing, coated with a special direct size, then wound onto packages as low twist roving. These rovings can be further twisted and plied into yarns. Both roving and yarn are suitable for weaving into fabrics. E-glass is by far the most widely used composite reinforcement due to its relative low cost.

Colan's direct size is AB7, meaning the fabrics need no further heat cleaning or treatment with a coupling agent. These additional treatments usually result in a 50% reduction in tensile strength which, in turn, transfers to a reduction in composite mechanical properties.


CARBON FIBRE Colan styles AC

Carbon fibres begin as polyactrylontrile (PAN) fibres which are highly tensioned and slowly heated to over 1650°C. This process causes complete carbonization and results in a carbon fibre with high modulus and high strength. Varying the process conditions allows many types of carbon fibre to be produced with high strength (HS) and high modulus (HM) types being the most common.

An epoxy size (Colan finish EP) is applied to the fibre after carbonization, its role being to protect the filaments during processing and provide compatibility with epoxy resins.

Carbon fibre reinforced laminates exhibit high strength and very high modulus properties but are very susceptible to brittle failure and poor impact resistance.



p-Aromatic polyamide fibre (also known as p-Aramid) is a low density organic material having a high tensile strength and modulus and a characteristic yellow-gold colour.

p-Aramid reinforced composites show excellent fatigue resistance and impact strength although the compressive strength is considered poor. This combination of properties makes the composite damage tolerant and gives it a built-in safety factor so that mechanical failure will not be catastrophic.

p-Aramid fabrics are scoured (Colan finish SC) after weaving to remove lubricants used to protect the filaments during processing. The scoured fabric may be used with most resin systems although epoxy and vinylester are the commonly used. p-Aramid is very sensitive to UV light with a marked reduction in mechanical properties on exposure. This is not a problem in an opaque composite.


INNEGRA Colan styles ANG

Innegra S is a high performance polypropylene fibre. It is very light in weight and extremely tough. It is cost competitive compared to other high performance fibers, and has been effectively applied as a hybrid with Carbon, Aramid and Polyethylene fibers. The fibre was developed in 2004 by U.S Company Innegrity. While still being tested in many applications Innegra S has found some success in the motorsport and surf craft industries.


BASALT Colan Styles AB

Basalt Fibre begins as Basalt rock, an igneous rock, originally beginning in a molten state. Basalt fibre is produced in a continuous process, similar to E-glass. In many ways the Basalt fibre out performs E-glass. It has superior strength, more akin to S-glass and has a much higher operating temperature up to 650°C, melting at 1450°C. Basalt fibre is priced accordingly falling into the range between E-glass and S-glass. With properties within the same range it is a viable alternative for many applications.


FLAX Colan Styles AXF

Flax can be used to produce reinforcements that are lighter with equivalent performance and cost. Natural fibre composites have lower density and much higher damping which can reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues associated with other fibres. As well as providing high-performance reinforcement, Flax reinforcements give a natural look to composite components, providing an image that is in tune with modern environmentally-conscious consumers, and appropriate to outdoor sports such as snowboarding and surfing. Flax reinforcements are also safe to the touch and can therefore be handled far more easily in the workplace than glass or carbon fibres.



These are fabrics which have been manufactured using different combinations of fibre types to improve specific performance characteristics at a cost effective level. The number of combinations is nearly limitless, considered that a multitude of fibres, in various weights, combinations and weaving techniques, can be used both in the warp (along the fabric) and the weft (across the fabric) directions. Common hybrids include Carbon/E-glass, E-glass/Aramid and Carbon/Aramid.