3: Fibre Orientation
Optimum strength and stiffness can be achieved in a composite by aligning the fibres parallel to the direction of loading. However, in this case, the composite can perform very poorly when the load is applied perpendicular to the fibres.
A method of producing a more isotropic composite is to randomly orient the fibres within the matrix. However, this decreases the overall strengthening effect.
Another way of producing a more isotropic composite is to use multiple plies of continuous fibres with the direction of the fibres differing in each ply. Fibres can vary by 90°, 45°, or 30° angles to accommodate for the direction of the applied loads.