shikibo | Composite material Group
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The Name of “Three-Dimensional (3D)preform”

We Shikibo are developing 3D Preform according to the motto “The fiber can be aligned in any direction to satisfy requested designs from our customers”.

The name "3D Preform" has become well known recently, but it has had many misunderstandings during the primary stage of the composite development.

As a 3D woven fabric which also has fibers running in the thickness direction, it was developed for reinforcement of carbon fiber reinforced carbon (C/C Composite).
This material has been developed for use for rocket nozzle parts for improvement of mechanical property for Isostatic graphite material.

I remember that the name of this reinforcement was called "Multi-directional Carbon-Carbon Composite", whereas it was not described as "Three Dimensional". At this time, the name of reinforcement in which fibers are aligned in the XYZ directions was called "3D", which meant 3-directional rather than 3-dimensional.
Similarly, 4D stood for 4-directional and 6D for 6-directional.
We called all these reinforcements collectively “Multi-directional Reinforcement”. ※1

However, since C/C Composite materials tend to be weak in non-fiber directions compared with conventional carbon materials, it was desired that C/C Composite materials should have an isotropic property.
From this reason, multi-directional reinforcements had developed.
3D Orthogonal,Unit Cell of 4D,Unit Cell of 6D

※1:M. A. Maistre, In Extended Abstracts, 14th Biennial Conference on Carbone, p. 230(1979)

Against this background, the reinforcement at multi-directional fiber arrangement started to attract attention.
A new woven structure with fibers aligned in the XYZ directions was developed as a result of improvement in the traditional multiple woven fabric technology, and it has come to be called a 3D preform with a meaning of "3-dimensional".

Given the story of its development, the name of this preform must be called 3D with meaning of "3-directional", but it is called "Three dimensional” now.

At that time, a tri-axial woven fabric which fiber is arranged in three directions in a plane was developed with a new concept loom in USA.
The meaning of "directional" in Japanese is not so different from "axial", and I think this is why it is named "dimension" for their structure to distinguish between these.

However, the word "3D" in their name may have evoked a dimensional image too much, and I think this is why a misleading impression was created that these fabrics were configured in an isotropic structure.
Today, the strengths of 3D Preform are better understood, so these misunderstandings are being resolved.

In this column, I have a plan to inform many misunderstandings and “urban legends” about 3D Preform.

Thanks and Best regards,



  • 2022
  • 3/8 - 3/10
  • JEC World at "Nord Villepinte" Paris, France
  • 2021
  • 6/1 - 6/2
  • JEC COMPOSITES CONNECT Virtual exhibition
  • more

Conference Activities & Talks

  • 2017
  • 21st International Cinference on Composite Materials (ICCM-21) (in Xi'an, China)
  • Interlaminar reinforcement of CFRP laminates using Zanchor process

    Ryoya Sugihara, Kohei Konda, Naoki Mori,
    Takayuki Kusaka (Ritsumeikan University)
    Taishi Isono, Masaki Hojo (Kyoto University)
    Toshifumi Fujii, Kazuo Nakajima, Yasuhiko Iwasaki (Shikibo Ltd.)
  • 2013
  • Japanese-European Symposium on Composite Materials
    11/4 - 11/6
  • Development of low cost preform for aircraft application,

    T. Tanamura,N.Sakaki