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Composites Industry News

News for 18 April 2000


Guardian Technologies Develops Composite Armor

18th April 2000 0 comments

As part of its armor business restructuring strategy, Guardian technologies is currently working with several composite material vendors in an effort to develop a lightweight ballistic material package that will provide an overall reduction in the material cost component of each vest. By doing this in conjunction with outsourcing manufacturing, Guardian expects to increase its gross margin while lowering its prices, making it more competitive.

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Alyn Corp. Announces Results for Fourth Quarter and Full Year 1999

18th April 2000 0 comments

Alyn Corp, the advanced metal matrix technology company, reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 1999. For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 1999, Alyn reported a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $16,309,000, attributable to the transition process in which Alyn changed its strategy, restructured its operations and made considerable progress in introducing its innovative materials into the marketplace. Alyn Corp. as a company is being converted from an R&D company to a production company. Sales efforts are now focused at a number of larger volume key markets, and successes with the materials achieved during the last twelve months are the applications in robotics, automotive racing, nuclear shielding and sporting goods. Atlas Snowshoe launched the first pair of sub one pound snowshoes in January 2000 using the Boralyn(R) material. Boralyn(R) bicycle rims are beginning to appear in the market, as well as other bicycle components. In addition, Alyn’s first nuclear order (Trans Nuclear Inc.) was successfully completed in December 1999. During 2000, the company will remain focused on its primary goals of increasing sales and production in a timely manner, and at the same time achieving production and other operating efficiencies. Successfully accomplishing the company’s ambitious plan depends upon the continued effort of Alyn’s dedicated staff, company-wide commitment to quality and the customer base as well as the further development of a culture that is innovative and results oriented. For additional information, contact: rbrooks@alyn.com.

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Pan-African Nile Fiber to Establish a Plant to Produce Composite Panels

18th April 2000 0 comments

The Pan-African Nile Fiber is planning to establish a plant in Ethiopia to produce its patented non-wood fiber cane plantation, it was learnt this week. According to Mr. Ernet Altheimer, the CEO, and Mr. Michael Gebru, the president, the plant will produce pulp and paper products, composite panels and other value-added products. The venture is believed to create much needed jobs for Ethiopia and will help preserve Ethiopia’s depleted forests and eroded soil. A four-member team from Pan-African Nile fiber is planning to visit Ethiopia in the first week of May next month.

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Dura Products in Strategic Alliance With Canada Pallet Corporation

18th April 2000 0 comments

Dura Products announced an agreement to supply Canada Pallet Corp. with boards produced with Dura Products proprietary composite material. Canada Pallet will be manufacturing and marketing a unique new hybrid pallet, which will offer users the benefits of both wood and composite material. The new product series of hybrid pallets will be a traditional hardwood pallet with all leading edge boards being composite material. By utilizing composite lead boards, breakage will be left to a minimum, representing strong cost advantages to users. Dura Products International Inc. is an eco-efficient producer of a proprietary composite material made from a combination of recycled post consumer/post industrial plastics and cellulose fibre.

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Composites Unit Boosts Owens Corning

18th April 2000 0 comments

Owens Corning reported higher first-quarter profits that beat estimates by a penny, aided by a 20 percent jump in sales at its Composites Systems unit. The Toledo, Ohio-based company said profits rose nine percent to $48 million, from $44 million a year ago. Cost increases for asphalt and PVC resin constrained profits for its roofing systems and exterior systems businesses. In the composite systems unit, sales were up 20 percent to $284 million, while earnings increased 77 percent to $55 million, due to higher volumes, more favorable pricing, and productivity improvements. It said sale volumes increased in all key geographic markets, especially in the Asia Pacific region due to acquisitions in Korea and Australia last year. Owens said it sees strength across each of its geographic regions for composite systems and in all major market segments and will make additional capacity investments to meet growing customer demand. The company said it continued to leverage the Internet and had more than 6,000 visits to its www.owenscorning.com web site every day, which was up 240 percent over last year.

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Financing Raised to Commence Composite Crosstie Production

18th April 2000 0 comments

North American Technologies Group, Inc. announced the completion of $1.5 million in equity and short term debt financing to fund the startup of its new Houston manufacturing plant. Commenting on the funding, Henry Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of NATK said, “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of all the major process equipment for our first automated TieTek composite crosstie production line. We expect to begin operation in June 2000. Initial production will be used to satisfy the requirements of the recently awarded two-year, $10,000,000 contract with the Union Pacific Railroad. Product will also be available to meet additional demand.”

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Ex-NASA Official Sounds Off on X-33 Fuel Tanks

18th April 2000 0 comments

A former director of NASA’s Advanced Programs and Advanced Technologies likened the space agency’s plan to test the X-33 space plane as a waste of time. “What NASA wants to do is fly with an aluminum tank and that won’t prove anything,” said Ivan Bekey, a former NASA official, while testifying before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. The X-33 is a small-scale prototype of a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle, which was set to test-launch last year. Bekey said that without a lighter hydrogen-carrying fuel tank, testing the X-33 would defeat the purpose of developing a cost-effective vehicle. Reducing the tank’s weight is critical to fuel efficiency. NASA’s hope for the X-33 is to reduce the present cost of going into space of $10,000 per pound to $1,000 per pound. NASA is developing composite metal fuel tanks that will be 30 percent lighter but just as strong as aluminum ones. NASA’s Associate Administrator for Aerospace Technology, Samuel Venneri, said NASA intended to continue developing the lighter tank, but did not want to wait. He said the agency would use an aluminum tank for test launching so as not to hold up the vehicle’s overall development. When engineers found metallic layers peeling off of a metal composite fuel tank during a test in November, it forced NASA to push back the X-33 test launch. The X-33 is a NASA and Lockheed Martin $1.7 billion cooperative development project. The vehicle is intended to take the place of the Space Shuttle in ferrying people to space stations at hypersonic speeds.

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Brunswick Technologies Rejects Company Sale to Saint Gobain

18th April 2000 0 comments

Brunswick Technologies Inc. the manufacturer of composite reinforcements, today announced that it has received from Saint-Gobain Reinforcement Division an unsolicited expression of interest to negotiate a sale of the Company to Saint-Gobain. The Board of Directors of the Company has determined that the Company is not for sale at this time. Examples of products manufactured with BTI engineered reinforcements include: ballistic armor, boats, snowboards, railcars, truck panels, wind blades, airframe structures, automotive parts, marine pilings, bridges, and offshore oil and gas production equipment. BTI has manufacturing facilities in the Maine, Texas and the UK.

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