AEWC Wins Best of Show and People’s Choice ACE Awards

24 October 2007

The AEWC Center, University of Maine, for its entry Modular Ballistic Protection System, won both the Best of Show and People’s Choice Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) at Composites & Polycon 2007 in Tampa, Fla.

The Modular Ballistic Protection System (MBPS) turns a standard U.S. Army tent into a big “walk-in” helmet. The system consists of composite ballistic panels that are mounted to the inside of the tent frame using an energy-absorbing connection system. Requiring no tools, the MBPS can be used by as few as four soldiers to up-armor a 20’ x 32’ tent in less than 30 minutes, providing soldiers with ballistic protection in their tents, where they work and sleep. It was developed at the University of Maine under contract from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center.

The Best of Show Award, recognized as the highest composites industry award, is presented to the entry that has the distinction of being the finest product, as determined by a panel of industry judges. The highly popular People’s Choice Award is selected by convention attendees for exhibiting the highest degree of design, innovation, creativity and the best use of composites materials.

Awards for outstanding merit were given in other categories, including:

Most Creative Application: Awarded to Graftech International Ltd., for its Safe Haven Rescue Chamber, a prototype safe house for miners in the advent of an explosion, fire, cave-in or flood. This product, constructed from Safetfoam composite panels, is the only safe house designed to sustain life for four days, provide protection from a 50 PSO blast or cave-in, provide protection from fire with temperatures of 1500*F, and provide a sealed system to protect against floods or toxic air.

Infinite Possibility: Awarded to Strongwell, for its Composolite Bridge Repair Scaffolding. A total of 8,074, 8-foot long panels were shipped to the site and assembled to create 22’ x 66’ platforms that were suspended about ten feet below the bridge deck, serving as a scaffolding/platform system. The panels were pultruded in a safety yellow color with a fine grit surface added for skid resistance.

Process Innovation: Awarded to Bulk Molding Compounds, Inc. (BMC), for its Gas Evacuation Technique BMC Appliance Handles. The GET was developed to provide the company with a handle that uses approximately 50 percent less material, allowing for an approximate 50 percent reduction in molding cure time. This has resulted in reduced cost for producing a high-gloss, rigid handle for the appliance market.

Superior Quality (in an Open Molded Part): Awarded to Able Manufacturing & Assembly, LLC, for its Kawasaki Rail Car Cab End Front Bonnet. This part is a front-end enclosure for passenger transit rail cars. They are manufactured in molds built by an open mold construction with multiple die locks. This part is the complete front end of the New York City passenger subway train.

Technical Innovation for Corrosion Application: Awarded to Ershigs, Inc., for its 88-foot Diameter Scrubber – Ershigs. The product, which is 77’ high FRP JBR scrubber wound on-site by ERshigs’ Construction Divisions, included turnkey supply and installation of all scrubber internals (FRP and PVS). It is the largest FRP scrubber in commercial operation in North America erected by a single FRP company. It is one of five being constructed by the company. This award was sponsored by Ashland.

All other ACE awards were sponsored by AOC and Composites One. The Awards for Excellence (ACE) are presented each year at Composites & Polycon, the annual conference and trade show of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

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