NetComposites
Airtech

AGY Expands Production Following Year of Growth

08 April 2005

AGY has expanded its production for S2 Glass following a period of growth which has also seen the company issue new awards for the HJ1 armour system.

In response to continued growth in the use of high performance glass fibres for composite reinforcement, AGY has increased previously announced capacity expansion plans for manufacturing S-2 Glass products. Upon completion in July 2005, total capacity for production of S-2 Glass reinforcements will have been increased by 35 percent during an 18-month period.

In October 2004, AGY announced a total increase in capacity of 25%. Since that time, adjustments of an additional 10% have been made to the expansion plans, and the overall project timing has been brought forward about 6 months, as AGY continues to respond to the changing market demands.

“AGY has maintained a steady supply of the product to the market, taking steps along the way to increase capacity as required by the market and to fuel the product development pipeline,” said Doug Mattscheck, AGY President and Chief Executive Officer. “Leveraging our existing manufacturing assets and the flexible scalability of our production platform will allow AGY to continue to meet the increasing needs in the market.

“In addition to the current expansion plans, AGY has launched a more strategic project to examine the mid- to long-term need for high performance reinforcements – and specifically S-2 Glass products – in the composites market,” added Mattscheck. “The expected outcome of this effort is a consolidated expansion plan geared toward exceeding the needs of the market and of the aggressive growth agenda AGY has outlined for the coming years.”

Originally developed for military applications in the 1960s, S-2 Glass was first introduced to the commercial market in 1968. Initially compatible with epoxy resins, the product’s compatibility has been expanded to include thermoplastics, polyesters and vinyl ester resins.

AGY’s literature claim that S-2 Glass has a tensile strength that exceeds that of standard-modulus carbon fibre as well as most grades of aramid fibre and has impact strength similar to aramid fibre.

AGY have also benefited from the continuing tensions around the world which have prompted significant and growing demand for vehicle and personal ballistic protection from a variety of ballistic and blast threats, which use S2 Glass.

AGY had licensed the HJ1 Armour System to seventeen sources around the globe. In a continuation of that expansion effort, six new licenses have been awarded bringing the total number of involved partners to twenty-three. Regionally, fifteen of the licensees are located in North America, five in Europe, and three in Asia.

A proprietary hard armour system that utilizes S-2 Glass rovings in composite panels, the HJ1 system has been used with great success in a number of military and commercial armour applications. Among the best known applications are the Humvee used by the United States Army and the CAV-100 composite armoured vehicle used in peacekeeping missions throughout Europe.

Optimized for ballistic protection, S-2 Glass systems also have a significant load-bearing capability. “HJ1 armour system laminates provide balance among tensile, compressive, stiffness and fatigue properties in structural components,” says Chafin. “With other material systems there is often a trade-off between ballistic and structural properties in a composite laminate. S-2 Glass armour systems solutions provide the opportunity to meet both challenges. Additionally, the HJ1 armour system provides outstanding fire, smoke, and toxicity performance for applications where those threats pose concerns.”