11 March 2005
11 March 2005
The National Composite Center (NCC) unveiled a new company called Composite Advantage to promote use of polymer composites using closed moulding technology.
As a comprehensive source for composite manufacturing using closed moulding technology, Composite Advantage will harness the unique features of polymer composite materials and advanced manufacturing techniques to deliver high value products to markets that do not traditionally use composites.
“We’re targeting customers which do not traditionally use composite material,” said Scott Reeve, President of Composite Advantage. “Our expertise allows us to help customers take their innovative products to a new level by providing custom enabling components that harness the unique advantages of polymer composites. Our lean manufacturing cells also make it possible to quickly change out tooling to handle the variations customers may require for part families.
Housed in the north end of the National Composites Center, Composite Advantage is a result of the Center’s commercial successes in the closed moulding arena. NCC claim that closed moulding technology offers the industry a number of key benefits including higher part quality with less material waste.
“NCC’s advances in industrial applications culminated in the need for a long-term production company that could provide these products to customers,” said Lou Luedtke, President of NCC. “In addition to pursuing the ongoing development and exploration of advanced manufacturing technologies to provide industry and consumers alike with high performance materials that last longer and cost less, the Center is dedicated to helping to retain key technologies and grow new businesses for the region. Composite Advantage represents another important step in that objective.”
Though the majority of contracts are proprietary in nature, Composite Advantage will take over production of a unique pump concept for EXOKO Composites Company, LLC based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Able to accomplish the pumping of non-conventional difficult-to-pump fluids, the pump was traditionally assembled using a rubber lined steel tube housing and a coated steel rotor. While these conventional pumps offer good life and reliable service, abrasive fluids and heat build-up in the rubber significantly shortens the life of the pump. By tapping into the Center’s development and prototype services, EXOKO was able to quickly and successfully develop a precise, progressive cavity pump with composite materials.
The composite pump is claimed to offer significant performance improvement and longer life. The pumps are now in the field for validation testing and ready for commercial production. EXOKO is initially penetrating the down-hole oil field industry with its composite pumps and forecasts a good demand for the current pump size with larger ones to come. Composite Advantage will manufacture the production parts.