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Composites Industry News

News for 2001


Composites For the Heavy Duty Truck Market

4th January 2001 0 comments

Hendrickson International and Delphi Automotive Systems announced a technology agreement to develop and manufacture a composite bumper for the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus markets. Advanced composite materials offer tremendous advantages to commercial vehicle manufacturers, helping to provide improved fuel economy, lower emissions, and increased payload capacity. Composites can be designed to conduct 50 percent less vibration than steel and to be more impact resistant. These corrosion- resistant composite materials could eliminate the need for painting while offering more freedom to vehicle designers to develop unique styling and aerodynamic features. A concept composite bumper, first unveiled by Hendrickson at the Great American Trucking Show on November 16th in Dallas, Texas, was developed using a hybrid glass and carbon fiber design weighing up to 70 pounds less than its steel equivalent. This concept targets potential applications in the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus (classes 5 – 8) markets. The structural composite bumper is stiffer than current plastic bumpers and requires less mounting hardware, enough to support add-on items such as headlights, fog lamps, collision avoidance sensors, sight-sticks or other devices. Eliminating brackets will reduce the number of component parts, help shorten assembly time, improve warranty and reduce maintenance costs for truck and bus manufacturers and their customers, www.hendrickson-intl.com .

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Sailing Leader Quits Sydney Race

4th January 2001 0 comments

Race leader Shockwave retired in the face of gale-force winds and 1997 winner Brindabella withdrew from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race with a damaged hull. Shockwave led the 82-yacht fleet out of Sydney Harbor at Tuesday’s start and for the first third of the 630 nautical mile race before skipper Neville Crichton elected to withdraw as it approached the south eastern tip of the Australian mainland. The New Zealand skipper said he was “apprehensive about the forecast and how they might fare,” with 40-50 knot winds predicted to hit the fleet in the Bass Strait, which is between the mainland and the island state of Tasmania. The carbon-fiber maxi was untested in rough seas and Crichton said the ultra-light hull was not suited to the conditions. Race organizers have imposed strict safety requirements on all racing yachts in accordance with recommendations stemming from an inquiry into the deaths of six sailors in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart.

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Design Series Focuses on Furnishings

4th January 2001 0 comments

The third show in the four-part “Century of Design” series at Metropolitan Museum of Art opens with a row of chairs, all utilizing new technologies to achieve new aesthetics. Highlights include a 1949 Charles and Ray Eames chair, the first example of exposed fiberglass used for domestic purposes. The carefully edited pieces — about 50 — come from the Met’s permanent collection. They consist mainly of furniture, with a few Op Art hangings and Studio Craft tie-dyes as a backdrop and a sprinkling of glass, ceramic, silver and, of course, plastic. Metropolitan Museum of Art:

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Composite Solutions, Inc. Revenues Grow

4th January 2001 0 comments

Composite Solutions, Inc ended the year with the receipt of a half dozen purchase orders for projects in California. One project uses CSI composite technology to retrofit columns that will be subject to blasts. The blast hardening retrofit is part of a government funded test program. Another contract is for the seismic strengthening of a historic structure in downtown Beverly Hills. The Beverly Hills project is being conducted by HBC Composite Solutions, LLC a joint venture between CSI and Howard Building Corporation (HBC). The project incorporates the use of composite fabric provided by CSI subsidiary Anchor Reinforcements. Engineering was conducted by CSI thus allowing the building owner to benefit from a complete turn-key contract. Other CSI projects are benefiting from the structural engineering design and analysis services of CSI strategic partner Karagozian & Case Structural Engineers. In early 2001, CSI expects to receive response from clients on a number of proposals based on a turnkey design build method for earthquake retrofitting and blast hardening of buildings. In a separate staement ,the company also announced that it has opened a Washington, D.C. office. This East Coast location represents the first of many satellite offices to be opened throughout the United States. CSI provides end-to-end solutions for a variety of industries that use fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. Using FRP technology developed by and licensed from the University of California, San Diego, CSI offers a comprehensive package from analysis through construction. Primary uses of the technology include revolutionary new construction, structural strengthening, earthquake retrofitting and blast hardening of a variety of structures. For more information visit CSI’s website

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Venezuela: Sudamtex’s petroleum division disappoints

4th January 2001 0 comments

Venezuelan textile company Sudamtex had expected its diversification into glass-fibre and oil to correspond to at least 25 per cent of group sales by now but they still contribute only 15 per cent three years down the line. Group chairman Alexander Furth, currently restructuring financial debt of around $50mil, admits disappointment but reaffirms faith in the strategy of diversification. Venezuelan oil drilling was virtually paralized in 2000 but in Colombia Sudamtex has found successsupplying petrol tanks through subsidiary Fibratank. The firm has been hit by the Asian crisis that led to falling textile prices and by the collapse of the oil business as well as falling consumerism and textile ‘fakes’. Furth has stated that George Soros has reduced his stake in the company, a stake that reached 20 per cent at one point. At the lose of financial year 1998-1999, Sudamtex posted a loss of 3.4bil Bolivars; in 1999-2000, losses rose to 8bil Bolivars. In the first half of the current 2000-2001 year, Sudamtex lost 1.1bil Bolivars with sales down from 12.9bil to 12.8bil. The company is re-locating certain activities, moving from Caracas to Maracay, leaving only the Fibratank offices in the capital near to Petroleos de Venezuela. Sudamtex employs 700 workers, with 1,300 having lost their jobs in the last two years.

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Venga Receives Conditional Approval For Listing

4th January 2001 0 comments

Venga Aerospace Systems Inc. (‘Venga’) announces that the Canadian Venture Exchange has conditionally approved the listing of Venga’s common shares. This approval is subject to Venga fulfilling certain conditions by January 15, 2001. “We are obviously very pleased that if all conditions are met, our company will be listed for trading on the CDNX” stated Hirsh Kwinter, Venga’s acting President. “This listing will provide our shareholders and the market place with accurate and immediate information about our shares’ trading activities,” said Kwinter. “We are currently working towards fulfilling the CDNX’s conditions and are confident they will be met within the exchange’s stated time frame,” added Kwinter. The aeronautics division of the company is currently in development of a full-scale composite drone aircraft.

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FreeMarkets and Owens Corning Announce New Agreement

4th January 2001 0 comments

FreeMarkets, Inc. the leading B2B eMarketplace, and Owens Corning, a world leader in building materials and composites systems, today announced that they have signed a new, two-year agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, which extends through 2002, FreeMarkets will continue to provide Owens Corning with access to its B2B eMarketplace, which Owens Corning will use as a platform for sourcing strategic direct and indirect materials and other goods and services for its operations worldwide. “We are very pleased to be extending our relationship with FreeMarkets,” said Chuck Dana, vice president of global sourcing, Owens Corning. “FreeMarkets is unmatched in its ability to handle and project manage complex direct and indirect material spend and deliver results, and has been integral to our continuing innovation in strategic sourcing. We look forward to continuing to leverage FreeMarkets’ technology and market making expertise to achieve significant savings on materials used in our products and supporting services.” Owens Corning has been using FreeMarkets as part of its strategic sourcing and e-commerce initiatives since 1999. To date, the company has sourced more than $125 million in goods and services through the FreeMarkets(R) B2B eMarketplace, and identified over $9 million in annual savings.

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ATP’s Marion Composites Enters Agreement

4th January 2001 0 comments

Advanced Technical Products, Inc., announced today that its Marion Composites division and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company entered into an agreement on a Long Term Contract for the design, development, qualification testing, and production of new technology radomes for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced F-16 Aircraft. The new technology radomes functionally interact with advanced state-of-the-art antenna systems to significantly improve radar performance and provide enhanced platform lethality and survivability. Production orders and options for the new technology radomes could generate Marion Composites’ sales exceeding $30,000,000 over the next several years. The Engineering and Manufacturing Development / Test Program begins January 2001 and the first Production deliveries will begin in 2002. “Marion Composites has fabricated more than 4800 F-16 radomes since 1978,” said James Losse, Vice President and General Manager for Marion Composites. “As a member of Lockheed Martin’s Star Supplier team, we have been able to sustain our involvement in the F-16 Program as the integration of new technology continues.” Marion Composites produces a wide variety of aerospace composite structues, shelters, and relocatable hospitals, and is the world’s leading manufacturer and designer of radomes for high-performance jet aircraft. Advanced Technical Products, Inc.’s operating divisions include Marion Composites, Lincoln Composites, Intellitec and Lunn Industries. ATP designs, develops, and manufactures high-performance radomes, aircraft components, rocket motor cases, pressure vessels, fuel tanks, shelter systems and other advanced composite products utilizing various production capabilities. The Company is also a leader in the design, development and manufacture of nuclear, biological and chemical detection and protection equipment. The Company’s products are used in a variety of applications in the aerospace and defense industries, as well as commercial markets. Further information on Advanced Technical Products, Inc. is available at www.atpx.com

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Hawk Corporation Starts Up New Plant in China

4th January 2001 0 comments

Hawk Corporation announced that production has begun at its newly constructed plant in Suzhou, China, a fast-growing industrial area outside of Shanghai. Hawk Composites, which is wholly owned by Hawk, manufactures friction materials for brakes, clutches and transmissions primarily for trucks and off-road vehicles. Jeffrey H. Berlin, Hawk president and chief operating officer, said, “Our new Chinese facility gives us a strong competitive position in two key areas. First, it enables us to export cost-competitive products from China to serve aftermarket customers in Southeast Asia and Europe. Second, it enables us to serve original equipment manufacturers in China, one of the world’s fastest- growing and potentially largest markets for these products.” Berlin said Hawk is well positioned to benefit from the potential growth in the Chinese economy. He noted that, although the Chinese facility is starting up with less than 30 employees, it is expected to become one of the Company’s largest operations within five years. The current facility allows for several years of expansion. Hawk has options on additional land for further plant expansion in the future. The Company also noted that a number of its multinational customers have facilities in or near Suzhou, China, where its new manufacturing facility is based. This plant enables Hawk to serve those customers most efficiently and meets their requirements for a global supplier base.

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Baltek¹s New Web Site.

4th January 2001 0 comments

Baltek Corporation, a global supplier of end-grain balsa and structural foam core materials, is unveiling a redesigned web site at www.baltek.com. It offers not only an exciting new look but provides a detailed insight into the world of the Baltek engineered materials system, including technologies and services for those manufacturing with composites. Visitors to www.baltek.com will immediately notice a new theme: ³Build Light, Build Strong². With easy 24-hour access and just the click of a mouse button, anyone can research specific Baltek products, download or print technical data as well as processing guidelines. You¹ll also find illustrated examples of Baltek¹s materials used in industries worldwide including marine, aerospace, energy generation, high-speed rail transportation, automotive and sports recreation. With these examples, visitors can begin to visualize other potential applications relevant to their specific industries. With on-line access to technical data and direct links to Baltek distributors, www.baltek.com makes it easy to select and obtain the structural core products that best fit any application. And the new web site will continually update Baltek¹s family of products and services offered worldwide. To ³Build Light, Build Strong², visit Baltek today at the all-new www.baltek.com.

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