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ACMA Composites Show Celebrates Innovation

08 February 2011

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) announced the winners of the Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) and Pinnacle Awards at the successful COMPOSITES 2011 Show.

Receiving the Best of Show Award, the highest award, was Corrosion Companies, Inc., Washougal, Wash., for its Composite Cargo Tanker with DuraShield continuity capability, filament-wound composite tank trailer which utilizes ""BALTEK"" SB.100 balsa core. The inner liner in this new FRP cargo tanker design for handling corrosive liquids has the first ""DuraShield"" carbon fibre continuity system for checking the liner integrity.

Awards for outstanding merit were given in four categories sponsored by Composites One and CCP, including:

The Most Creative Application Award, which demonstrates the use of composite materials to make a product that is imaginative, innovative and artistic, was presented to Callaway Golf Company, Carlsbad, Calif., for its RAZR Hawk Driver featuring Forged Composite, the first Callaway driver featuring an aft body made using a carbon fiber-reinforced molding compound and a compression molding process. The proprietary molding process produces parts that are consistently strong, lightweight and precise with excellent surface finish and and wall thickness down to 0.035 inches. This newly developed composite material formulation has been named Forged Composite.

The Process Innovation Award, which exemplifies efficient manufacturing that contributes to overall product sustainability, was presented to Italpresse/Acell USA, Punta Gorda, Fla., for its Acell Monolithic Composite Process. This process allows composite panels to be manufactured in one single pressing operation. The panels are made from Acell foam, which allows air and gases to be filtered through the open cells, allowing resin to migrate into the cells to provide a strong mechanical key between SMC material and the foam. The foam is molded during pressing, eliminating the need to shape the foam beforehand.

The Composites Sustainability Award, which demonstrates an improvement in the environmental impact of a product, was presented to Continental Structural Plastics, Troy, Mich., for its 2011 Chevrolet Volt SMC Battery Cover Assembly. The combination of patented, lightweight SMC formulations and proprietary molding and manufacturing processes provided by Continental Structural Plastics helped GM develop the rechargeable 220 cell lithium-ion battery pack, which is covered with a lightweight, structural SMC cover assembly and is low cost, low mass and chemically resistant.

The Equipment Innovation Award, designed to improve the manufacturing production, environmental sustainability or product quality and performance in composites manufacturing, was presented to MD Fibertech Corporation, Sausalito, Calif., for its Multi-Directional (MD) Reinforcement System, a very high-speed (600 meters per hour) production process that uses unidirectional (UD) reinforcements as feedstock to produce high-quality, low-weight multi-directional reinforcements. MD reinforcements are suitable for a wide range of applications, including wind energy, automotive, marine, aerospace, transportation and military/defense. One MD machine system will produce the same output as 6 to 30 competitive machines.

Awards for outstanding merit were given in two categories sponsored by Ashland, including:

The Infinite Possibility for Market Growth Award, which demonstrates the potential to significantly increase the use of composites in existing or developing markets, was presented to GASTANK SWEDEN, Pitea, Sweden, for its Lightweight Glass Made Type 4 GNG Cylinder, which is a gas tank for natural gas fueled vehicles. It is the first worldwide fully wrapped glass composite cylinder that meets the stringent requirements set forth by the R110 United Nations that allows implementation of this equipment on board of vehicles. This cylinder is 57% lighter than the same capacity steel cylinder, improves vehicle performance and decreases the environmental footprint while remaining affordable.

The Innovation in Green Composites Design Award, which exemplifies innovations that minimizes the environmental footprint of the product, was presented to 3B-the Fibreglass Company, Battice, Belgium for its Sustainable Composites for Water and Sewer Applications, including manholes and trapdoors. The parts are made of minimum 90% recycled materials (such as plastic wastes, including used shoes and TPU profiles) and 55% glass fiber wastes. Besides an improved environmental footprint due to the recycling of wastes, other benefits for end-users are numerous compared to traditional cast iron, including weight reduction and superior corrosion resistance.

The Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) and Pinnacle Awards are presented every year at COMPOSITES, ACMA's annual exhibition and convention. ACE is the composites industry's premier product award competition hosted by ACMA to recognize technology achievement, salute excellence in composites manufacturing and advancements in product development.






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