1: Discontinuous Fibre Types
A variety of methods are commonly used for producing composite parts. The method that is chosen is dependent upon what the composite is to be used for as well as the materials used in its fabrication.
Short-fibre composite production methods are generally quite different from continuous fibre methods. Short fibres are normally mixed with a liquid plastic matrix before forming. Forming methods can then follow conventional techniques including injection moulding for polymer matrix composites, or casting for metal matrix composites.
A more unique way of forming short-fibre composites is through the spray lay-up technique. In this process small fibres are mixed with a resin and sprayed onto a mould. The mould is first given a gel coat so that the fibres have something to adhere to. A special gun is used to spray the fibre and reinforcement simultaneously. The fibres are chopped up into short lengths as they are fed into the gun. After the spray lay-up process has been completed the component is then left to cure and harden.