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Composites Industry News

News for August 2000


Tesla Magnetic Ltd announces the formation of Futura Composites

1st August 2000 0 comments

Tesla Magnetic Ltd announced the formation of Futura Composites BV, the continuation of the activities of Epicon Alkmaar BV. Under the leadership of N J Pereboom, Futura will operate independently from Marconistraat 40, 1704RG , Heerhugowaard, Netherlands. All your points of contact with Epicon – people and telephone/fax numbers will continue unchanged. Futura has taken over all guarantee and service obligations from Epicon. Tesla Magnetic Ltd is the parent company of Tesla Engineering Ltd whose core business is the design and manufacture of high performance conventional and superconducting electromagnets and coils. It supplies manufacturers of medical and semiconductor processing equipment and international research laboratories. Tesla believes that the capabilities of Futura in fibre-reinforced composites will allow the new group to satisfy more of the requirements of customers of both Futura and Tesla and that its resources will enhance the capability of Futura.

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Aerovac and Richmond Aircraft Products Join Forces

1st August 2000 0 comments

Advanced composite vacuum-bagging specialist Aerovac and its US counterpart Richmond Aircraft Products have teamed up. The deal, announced on the eve of the Famborough Air Show, was brought about through the £23.5m takeover of Richmond by Aerovac’s parent, Umeco. Richmond, based in California, is a leading distributor of vacuum-bagging and structural foam products to the aerospace and defence industries. OEMs and tier one suppliers use many of the firm’s products in the manufacture of structural and fabricated components. Key products include bagging films supplied under the Vac-Pak name, pressure sensitive tapes and Rohacell structural foam. Inclusion of the Richmond portfolio will extend Aerovac’s range and open up new opportunities in the vital US market for the firm, which was established in 1980. Among the non-aerospace outlets for the company’s products are rubber constructions used to enhance production of items such as Formula One racing car chassis and high performance yachts. Aerovac managing director Michael Cooke said this week: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Richmond. The acquisition will provide both companies with an opportunity to gain market share on a global basis and together we will become the market leader in vacuum-bagging products for both the aerospace and defence industries. This will offer major benefits to our customers, many of them global businesses, who are increasingly looking to procure added-value services from global suppliers.” Umeco’s position in the composite supply business also takes in GRP Material Supplies, the largest independent distributor of products to the UK’s GRP sector.

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AOC announces August price increases

1st August 2000 0 comments

AOC announced price increases of $0.03/lb for resins and $0.05/lb for gel coats, pigments and additives, effective August 14, 2000. For specific customers, the increase may be higher due to currency exchange rates or fuel surcharges. The announcement comes as the rising costs of petrochemical raw materials used to manufacture AOC products continues unabated. Over the past 12 months, raw material costs have expanded at a significantly faster rate than the ability to offset these costs. Ongoing cost reduction and productivity programs at AOC are designed to explore alternative means for recovering losses caused by more costly raw materials. Even with these efforts, eroding margins continue to threaten AOC’s ability to invest in new capacity, technologies and development needed to sustain composites industry growth. AOC is the North American leader in unsaturated polyesters and vinyl esters and is the world leader in innovative resin technology. AOC has six strategically located plants. In addition to U.S. plants in Tennessee, Florida, California and Indiana, there is a plant in Ontario, Canada, a joint venture facility near Mexico City and a distribution subsidiary based in the United Kingdom.

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Sheppard Joins Ashland Inc. as Business Development Specialist

1st August 2000 0 comments

Ashland Inc. has announced that Rees W. Sheppard has joined the company as a business development specialist with the Planning & Development Department, which serves Ashland Distribution and Ashland Specialty Chemical companies. David H. Armstrong, vice president, Planning and Development made the announcement. In his new position, Sheppard will be directly involved with Ashland Distribution and Ashland Specialty Chemical companies’ growth and new business development activities, including domestic and international business mergers and acquisitions, market research and analysis, strategic planning and other capital project activities in support of the companies’ various business units. Ashland Specialty Chemical Company is a leading, worldwide supplier of specialty chemicals serving industries including adhesives, automotive, composites, foundry, merchant marine, paint, paper, plastics, and semiconductor.

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Vermont Composites Completes Deliveries for the Airborne Laser Program

1st August 2000 0 comments

Vermont Composites, Inc., Bennington VT has completed the delivery of the first shipset of eight composite operator work consoles to ARGOSystems, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company in support of the Airborne Laser Program (ABL). As a subcontractor to ARGOSystems, Vermont Composites was responsible for analysis, design and fabrication, of the console and all related tooling. The composite work console designed and built by Vermont Composites offers a 40% structural weight savings over conventional aluminum consoles. This weight savings can allow additional equipment or fuel to be placed onboard the aircraft to increase the operational capability of the ABL system. Vermont Composites performed detailed finite element analysis and full scale structural testing on the console for verification of airworthiness requirements specified by Boeing. As well as the weight savings, the composite electronic enclosures such as the console provide EMI shielding and lower maintenance costs. Vermont Composites, Inc. offers a full line of services from design and analysis to prototyping and production. They produced high performance composite parts for the medical, aerospace, electronic, and industrial markets. More information on the range of products and services they offer can be found on their web site at

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Reichhold to Expand in Latin America and will Acquire Business of Fibercenter

1st August 2000 0 comments

Reichhold officials announced today that the company has agreed to acquire the unsaturated polyester resin and gel coat business of Fibercenter Ltda., the fourth largest producer of polyesters in Brazil, strengthening Reichhold’s position as the largest polyester producer in the Latin American region. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Reichhold will acquire Fibercenter’s resin and gel coat business, but will not acquire any plant facilities or physical assets except for a short list of process equipment. Annual sales of Fibercenter are approximately $10 million (US). Fibercenter will manufacture resins for Reichhold until a plant expansion at Reichhold’s Resana location near Sao Paulo, Brazil is completed early next year. Fibercenter’s gel coat production will be transferred as soon as possible to the recently completed gel coat plant at the Resana site. Also included in the acquisition transaction is a long-term contract for Reichhold to become the exclusive supplier of polyester resins and gel coats to Fibercenter’s expanding network of retail stores. This agreement in an excellent strategic step for both companies. With the sale of its resins and gel coats business, Fibercenter is now free to pursue its preferred strategy of growth through distribution and expansion of its store network. As exclusive supplier to the stores, Reichhold will enjoy opportunities for more rapid growth. Reichhold currently employs 327 people at its Resana site in Mogi da Cruzes, 70 km east of Sao Paulo. Reichhold is a leading manufacturer of adhesives, coating resins, polyester resins and synthetic latex emulsions for the coatings, adhesives, plastics, paper, textile, carpet, construction, transportation, marine and graphic arts markets. With manufacturing operations throughout North America, South America and Europe, the company has annual sales of $1.2 billion. Founded in 1927, Reichhold is a subsidiary of Dainippon Ink & Chemicals (Tokyo, 4631), the world’s largest producer of printing inks and polyester resins.

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Dupont Canada Inc – Strong Second Quarter Sales and Earnings

1st August 2000 0 comments

On Thursday DuPont Canada Inc. reported second quarter earnings of $79.4 million. At 2% below last year’s record second quarter results, this represents the company’s second best quarterly result on record. Year-to-date net earnings stand at $132.9 million, versus last year at $144.7 million. In Specialty Fibres, second quarter sales of $59 million were 17% better than last year, led by an outstanding 61% growth in sales of Kevlar and Nomex aramid fibres. Earnings for the quarter reached $5.8 million, or 37%, over last year. The North American market for Kevlar aramid fibre was very robust – particularly for the production of mechanical rubber goods (such as hoses), ballistic goods and protective apparel. Shipments of Nomex aramid fibre were also strong as Canadian customers succeeded in capturing export business for protective fabrics. This segment is expected to continue to perform well, but at a somewhat slower rate of growth in the second half of the year.

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Adam Aircraft Unveils Ultra-Modern, Twin-Engine Composite Aircraft

1st August 2000 0 comments

Touting the safety of its design, on Wednesday Adam Aircraft Industries began the first public appearance and demonstration of its new Adam M-309, a six-seat, pressurized, in-line twin-engine, carbon-composite aircraft, designed by industry icon Burt Rutan. Merging the latest carbon fiber composite technology and glass cockpit engineering, Adam Aircraft first flew the M-309 prototype last March and is now accepting bids for delivery position of the aircraft, slated for production in 2003. The M-309 is the vision of company founder Rick Adam, in association with Rutan, who through his company, Scaled Composites, has designed hundreds of aircraft. The Adam M-309 is Rutan’s 309th design, thereby giving it its name. “The design, the components, even the manufacturing process itself takes full advantage of the latest technologies to create a twin-engine aircraft that is unique in its market segment,” said John Knudsen, president of Adam Aircraft, who is driving the aircraft’s FAA certification and unique manufacturing process. Using advanced, single-cure carbon composite technology affords a sleeker and more flexible wing design than metal, and the elimination of riveted seams creates a superior performing aerodynamic surface. Along with being corrosion free, using composite materials also gives the Adam M-309 a larger inside cabin size with the same outside mold line. “I have spent my life involved in aviation in one form or another,” said Knudsen. “I believe, and our research so far indicates, that the in-line, twin-engine design, carbon composite construction and advanced technology of all the aircraft’s components will make this a very safe, economical, and enjoyable plane to operate.” Adam Aircraft Industries (http://www.adamaircraft.com), a Colorado-based company, is actively recruiting talented engineers and technicians.

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Ceramics Process Systems Corp – Second Quarter 2000 Results

1st August 2000 0 comments

On Tuesday, Ceramics Process Systems Corporation (CPS) announced net income of $70 thousand, on revenue of $1.35 million for the fiscal quarter ended July 1, 2000. This compares with a net income of $150 thousand, on revenue of $1.42 million for the fiscal quarter ended July 3, 1999. Grant Bennett, President, said: “Units shipped during the second quarter of 2000 were 17% higher than units shipped during the corresponding quarter in 1999 even though revenue declined 5% over the same period because of changes in product mix. CPS develops, manufactures and markets advanced metal-matrix composites for housing and providing thermal management of high-density electronics. The Company’s products are primarily used in high-density microprocessor assemblies, wireless basestations, motor controllers, and satellite communications

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Indigenous company breathes a new life into the building technology

1st August 2000 0 comments

in NigeriaEco-Building System Nigeria Limited is introducing a new dimension into construction work that may even make it possible to construct a skyscraper in a few days. Eco-Building Managing Director, Dr. Maduka Nwakwesi says that the company has mastered the art of infusing speed into construction work through a self-developed eco-crete panel/modular system which ensures the completion of about 10 bungalows in a month, 10 three-bedroom flats in two weeks and five, 5-bedroom duplex with detached quarters in three months. Ninety-five per cent of the materials are sourced locally, he stressed. The pre-fabricated materials, a mixture of cement, polymers, fibreglass and sand which is poured into prepared moulds to dry. Though the house is light, it is five times stronger than concrete houses. Due to the use of fibreglass, the only imported component, the house can resist fire, water and termites, although the company is working on replacing the fibreglass which it imports with a mixture of coconut fibre and jute.

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