Carbon fibre

The problems of splicing carbon are very similar to those in splicing glass. Indeed, the problems are generally worse, because the material tends to be more brittle and is more prone to damage.

PAN-based carbon fibre is less sensitive to damage than pitch-based fibre, but both types are vulnerable to the air blast. Carbon certainly behaves very badly when spliced conventionally in a fixed position, because the material - weak in bending - is exposed at a single point to a blast of compressed air. Conventional splicers cannot make joints in carbon. They damage the fibres so badly that the environment is filled with flying, electrically-conducting fragments.

The same principles can be applied to carbon as was successful with heavy glass. The splicer makes a series of small splices over a length of around 150mm, using a low air pressure. By this means, the carbon is not damaged, simply because each portion of the yarn is exposed for only a few milliseconds, and the forces applied by the low-pressure air are moderate.

This is the principle lying behind the design of the all the Airbond composites splicers - Models 110, 113, and 114, and the powerful Models 121 and 122.