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Robert Spaans Awarded Best Overall Technical Paper at Composites & Polycon 2006

23 October 2006

New research in energy efficient pultruded composites products won Robert Spaans Best Overall Technical Paper, awarded by the Technical Papers Committee of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) last week at Composites & Polycon 2006 in St. Louis, Mo.

Spaans is the pultrusion technical manager for Comfort Line, located in Toledo, Ohio. In his paper, ""Development of a Pultruded FRP Sunroom System,"" Spaans explored possibilities of energy efficiency and alternative power generation with a pultruded FRP sunroom system. He concluded that the fibreglass room addressed in his study is ""thermally more efficient than competitive products, and the extruded acrylic finish is highly resistant to face and yellowing due to UV exposure, as well as being tough and resistant to scratches and chips.""

According to ACMA's Technical Manager and committee member, Larry Cox, ""All papers were outstanding in terms of content and style. The entire committee was hard-pressed to choose. However, we agreed that Mr. Spaans' paper stood out above the rest.""

Eighty-five papers were reviewed by the committee this year, which were narrowed to the best of eight categories. The best overall paper also won in the Pultrusion category.

In the Materials category, Wenfeng Kuang, R&D Specialist, and Ashley Richardson, Technician, both of Albemarle Corporation, won for their paper entitled ""A New Amine Promoter for Low-temperature Cure of MEKP Initiated Unsaturated Polyester Resin Systems."" The curing properties of the new amine promoter were studied in comparison with DMPT and DMA. According to the paper, ""Results showed that this amine has better curing properties than DMPT and DMA at sub-ambient temperature.""

In the Construction & Infrastructure category, Lawrence Bank, Michael Oliva, Han-Ug Bae, Jeffrey Barker (all of University of Wisconsin) and Seung-Woon Yoo (Kwandong University, Korea), won for their paper, ""Tests of Pultruded FRP Plank as Formwork and Reinforcement for Concrete Structures."" According to the paper, ""the study was motivated by the desire to use the FRP plank as a stay-in-place form and reinforcement for a new bridge that is currently being designed in Wisconsin and will be constructed in early 2007."" Researchers concluded that the aggregate coated FRP plank can serve as an alternative to conventional steel reinforcement.

In the Processing Technology category, Eric Billups, M.S. candidate at the University of North Dakota, and Dana T. Grow, R&D manager at Sioux Manufacturing Corporation, won for their paper, ""VARTM Processing Applied to M939 Fender Fabrication."" Using a M939 fender, VARTM was tested and evaluated in terms of improved production costs and processing time.

In the Fire Resistant Technology category, J. Huczek, M. Mehrafza and M. Janssens of Southwest Research Institute® won for their paper entitled, ""Performance of Composite Construction Products in Reaction-to-Fire Tests."" For this paper, a glass-reinforced plastic panel construction product was tested for reaction to fire, and considered reaction-to-fire classification in the U.S., Australia, Europe and Japan.

In the Compression Moulding category, Robert L. Seats, senior development chemist, Dennis H. Fisher, research engineering fellow, and Helena Twardowska, senior staff scientist, all of Ashland Specialty Chemical, won for their paper, ""Tough, Low Mass SMC Development for Transportation Applications."" The paper reported on recent developments in tough, low mass Class A SMC for use in the transportation industry in an effort to reduce vehicle weight, thus more easily meeting regulation and managing rising oil prices.

In the Testing category, Bazle A. Gama, Shridhar Yarlagadda (University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials) and Masanori (Mike) Kubota (Kubota Research Associates) won for their paper, ""Low Velocity Impact and Damage Behavior of Kevlar Bonded Carbon/Epoxy Composites fabricated by Near-IR Irradiation."" The authors investigated the low velocity impact behaviour of carbon/epoxy composites with a single layer of Kevlar fabric bonded to the back face using quasi-static punch shear and low velocity impact tests.

Finally, In the Materials-Colour category, David M. Hyde and Selby M. Brannon of Plasticolors were awarded for their paper, ""Investigation of Infrared Reflective Pigmentation Technologies for Coatings and Composite Applications."" Their paper explored potential new applications of infrared reflective pigmentation technology in composites.

All ACMA technical papers are maintained in an electronic library, linked below.






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