Difference between plain and twill weave

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between twill and plain carbon weave? Carbon products are available in a variety of fabrics.

How is carbon fiber made?

Carbon fibers are made from precursors such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and rayon. These fibers are chemically treated, heated and stretched and then carbonized. This creates high-strength fibers. These fibers, which we call filaments, are grouped into strands that differ in the number of carbon filaments they are made of. This means that the size of the strand depends on the number of filaments. Common tow ratings are 3k, 6k, 12k and 15k. The letter “k” stands for thousand, which means that 3k tow is made of 3000 filaments. For example, a 6k yarn size will have twice the thickness of the woven carbon as a 3k yarn size. This large number of high strength fibers bonded together is what makes carbon fiber such a strong material. Most carbon parts in the automotive aftermarket will be in 3K sizes. In addition to the number of filaments, the weight of the carbon fabric can also be determined in grams per square meter. For example; carbon marked with 210g means that a square meter of this carbon weighs 210g. You can think of surface weight and material thickness as interrelated. For example, 210g provides 0.21mm of carbon thickness, while 450g provides 0.45mm of thickness.

How to use carbon fiber?

To make carbon fiber easier to use further, it is usually in the form of a woven fabric, which also contributes to additional structural strength and makes it easier to work with. We know different types of fabrics that can be used for different cases. Twill and plain weave are most often used. To achieve the best quality of carbon products, these fabrics are pre-impregnated with resin, such carbon is called prepreg carbon. Pre-impregnated carbon fiber has quite a few advantages over wet carbon fiber. A higher fiber-to-resin ratio improves mechanical properties and reduces weight. Due to better control over the amount of resin, the products are of consistently uniform quality and performance.

Plain weave has a smaller and tighter looking pattern and is generally more subtle in appearance. The 1×1 structure is the simplest, each tow runs under one tow and so on in both directions, creating a symmetrical appearance.

Twill weave has a more diagonal-like pattern and is more noticeable from further away. This 2×2 structure is looser than the 1×1 structure. The same fibers are used, but in this case one tow goes over two tows and then under two tows.

Our products are made of prepreg carbon, the first layer of carbon is always 245g twill 3k or 200g 3K plain (depending on the customer’s choice), and the second layer is always 380g twill (the inner side of the product, which is not visible).
Plain and twill weave are most often used in the automotive industry. It is basically the same fabric, only the pattern is different. In addition to the obvious visible differences, there are also some structural differences, such as handle ability and drape ability, but in the production of our products this is negligible, only the appearance is important.

Which weave to choose?

Since the structural differences of different weaves do not play an important role in our products, you can make a decision based on the appearance of the carbon. It depends on your personal preference. Usually, customers decide based on which weave their bike manufacturer uses. The BWM brand tends to use a twill weave, while Ducati uses a plain weave. Since the wishes of customers differ, we have decided to allow customers to make their own choice between different fabrics.

The carbon pattern is the same as the bike manufacturers, so you can easily combine our products with the manufacturer’s. This means that, for example, our plain weave products have the same appearance as Ducati Performance.



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