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Composites Industry News

News for February 2001


Karen Stublaski joins Interplastic

2nd February 2001 0 comments

Lee Hagelee, Vice President/Research & Development and Jim Luke, Business Manager/Gel Coat & Colorant Group announced today that Karen Stublaski has assumed the role of Acting Director of Research and Development – Thermoset Resins Division Gel Coat & Colorants. Karen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wyoming. Karen has several years experience in the Color and Coatings Industry and before joining Interplastic last October, held the position of Director of Research and Development for Aero Colours.

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Hyundai HCD6 Concept Roadster

2nd February 2001 0 comments

Hyundai’s newest concept vehicle, the exciting new HCD6 roadster, will make its world debut during press days at the Chicago Auto Show February 7. Dubbed an affordable exotic, the two-seat, mid-engine Hyundai HCD6 was styled at the Hyundai California Design Studio and is targeted at both young buyers and baby boomers alike — drivers who enjoy open air motoring. Exterior styling features on the HCD6 include body sides shaped to direct air to the engine compartment, a single roll bar integrated into the center console and floating carbon-fiber bumpers. Hyundai’s concept roadster is powered by a 2.7-liter DOHC V6 engine and matched to a six-speed manual transmission.

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Composites Help Miami’s Freedom Tower Shine Again

2nd February 2001 0 comments

The Freedom Tower, a 75-year-old architectural landmark and enduring symbol of resilience in the face of adversity, looms large over the Miami’s skylne. Built in 1925, the sixteen-story stucco office tower is a prime example of Spanish Renaissance revival style, and is said to be modeled after the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain. In later years the structure became Miami’s “Ellis Island,” where 400,000 Cuban refugees were processed between 1962 and 1974. In 1997, the Cuban American National Foundation acquired the building, with plans for a complete renovation to serve as a museum and library commemorating the Cuban refugee experience. But by then, both the building’s aesthetics and its structural elements were in severely degraded condition. The engineering firm of Donnell Duquesne & Albaisa was selected to deal with the many structural challenges faced by the building. Early, primitive concrete construction methods had sowed the seeds of destruction within the building’s columns, beams and soffits. An improper mix of ingredients in the structural concrete had resulted in a high degree of cast-in caustic chlorides, exacerbated by the ravages of the prevailing saltwater air. The resulting delamination, cracks and spalled concrete created an environment where the reinforcement steel rebars were exposed to the elements and corroding. DD&A tapped Structural Preservation Systems, Inc., a national contractor specializing in structural concrete repair and strengthening, to perform the challenging structural repairs required. Column, slab and beam repairs were required throughout the Freedom Tower structure, including concrete-encased I-beams on certain floors. As with the columns, many beams required full-depth replacement. Some were enlarged to withstand the additional load-bearing requirements via the use of MBrace(R), a composite strengthening system made up of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. The Freedom Tower restoration is expected to be completed in Fall 2001. For further information on the project, e-mail bgallagher@structural.net.

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Heat System and Fiberglass Blamed in Austria Fire

2nd February 2001 0 comments

The fire that killed 155 people trapped in a cable car late last year originated in the heating system, an Austrian weekly reported Monday. The weekly Profil cited a member of the panel of experts investigating the cause of the tragedy as blaming the heating system. The person did not want to be identified. There was no official confirmation. The weekly cited the head of the expert team, Volker Edlinger, as saying that the fire was able to spread quickly at high temperatures because the cabin was made of a highly flammable compound of molded fiberglass and plastic. Later this week, the melted-down car is to be transported from the now-sealed tunnel where the tragedy occurred in Kaprun, south of Salzburg, for further inspection. The fire broke out Nov. 11 in a cable car heading up a tunnel through the mountainside, killing 155 people from Austria, Germany, the United States, Japan, Slovenia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. It was the worst accident of its kind on record.

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Operations Unify as Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics (SGTF)

2nd February 2001 0 comments

Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (Paris) has announced a unified identity for its five affiliated companies that share related products, markets, and technologies in the manufacture of industrial and commercial reinforcement fabrics from glass, polyester, and proprietary fibers. The organization, which has existed on an operational level for the past year, will now be known as Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics (SGTF). The new commercial organization brings together Bayex, Bay Mills, and PermaGlas-Mesh, all headquartered in North America; Tevesa, headquartered in Spain; and Vertex, headquartered in the Czech Republic. The size and scope of the Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics organization ranks it among the world’s largest fabric reinforcement companies. SGTF is acting as a global resource for fabric reinforcement, serving more than 5000 customer accounts through 18 production and commercial facilities located in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Worldwide, the organization employs more than 1,200 professional and technical personnel. “The SGTF organization creates advantages for the affiliated companies and for our customers,” said Doug Mattscheck, President of Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics America, from the company’s offices in Niagara Falls, New York. “By bringing together a group of individually strong organizations, we’re finding tremendous synergy in our research and development resources, technological capabilities, manufacturing capacities, and customer service and support abilities. And, of course, we’re backed by Saint-Gobain, a more than $25 billion corporation that is vertically integrated in basic glass and fiber glass.” The organization serves three basic industry sectors — Construction, Engineered, and Industrial — with a wide range of materials. In the construction sector, SGTF’s products for exterior applications include facade cladding mesh, roofing systems, and insect screening; products for interior applications include wall coverings, drywall tape and wallboard reinforcement. In engineered products, SGTF produces fabrics for fiber-reinforced plastics and advanced composites, as well as geotextiles and infrastructure products. For the industrial sector, the company produces reinforcements for abrasive wheels, laminates and facings, and coating fabrics. In North America, the new organization will be known as Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics America, and Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics Canada. “We are enthusiastic about the benefits the new organization brings to current customers of Bayex, Bay Mills, and PermaGlas-Mesh,” noted Mattscheck. “Starting now, wherever those customers are in the world, we’ll be better able to continue to deliver to them the highest quality products, solutions to day- to-day challenges, and innovations for a more effective, efficient and profitable future.” Further information about Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics is available through the organization’s new web site http://www.saint-gobain-technical-fabrics.com

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PPG Ends Indy Racing Sponsorship

2nd February 2001 0 comments

PPG Industries has declined to renew its sponsorship contracts with Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2001 season. PPG has sponsored pole and contingency awards for the Indianapolis 500 race, as well as the winner’s trophy for the speedway’s Brickyard 400 stock car race. The decision to discontinue Indianapolis Motor Speedway participation was driven by changing business objectives and customer requirements, according to Richard Zahren, vice president of automotive coatings. “PPG management concluded that in today’s challenging business environment, our greatest priorities are focused on product and service requirements of our customers, and assuring our resources are directed to those priorities,” he said. “Our racing programs certainly met their objectives, and we are proud of our part of the exciting tradition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the mid-1970s,” Zahren added. “But circumstances and objectives change, as does PPG’s business portfolio. We have significantly greater involvement today in aerospace, industrial and packaging coatings in addition to automotive coatings and glass. The combination of changing objectives and customer needs require redirection of resources.” Pittsburgh-based PPG is a leading producer of coatings, flat and fabricated glass, fiber glass and chemicals, with manufacturing operations in 23 countries. Its 2000 sales were $8.4 billion.

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Scaled Technology Works Has a New Name

2nd February 2001 0 comments

Scaled Technology Works, a subsidiary of Precision Castparts Corp., has changed its name to STW Composites, Inc. “This change was primarily motivated to emphasize to the marketplace our focus on composites,” said Bill Wailes, president of STW Composites. “With the full support of our parent company, STW Composites is postured for continued growth in our target industries of general aviation, commercial, and military aircraft and space structures.” “STW Composites’ new name gives this business one more way to differentiate itself in the marketplace, although the excellence of its designs and the cost-competitiveness of its products provide the most significant differentiation” said William C. McCormick, chairman and chief executive officer of Precision Castparts Corp. “STW Composites adds yet another element to PCC’s well-established leadership in complex aerospace structures.” STW Composites of Montrose, Colorado, designs, certifies, produces and delivers fully integrated composite structural components, major assemblies and complete general aviation aircraft.

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Primix Technology Receives U.S. Patent

2nd February 2001 0 comments

Primix Corporation is pleased to announce that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent protection for their revolutionary composite railroad tie. Marc Shea, CEO of Primix Corporation stated, “We are extremely pleased to receive confirmation of the unique technical aspects of our composite railroad tie. The legal protection provided by this patent will enable Primix to pursue our domestic sales strategy with out concern for competitive infringement upon the proprietary nature of our revolutionary product.” Primix estimates that their technology could generate economic returns to industrial users in the form of maintenance cost savings, if adopted for implementation in several large projects. Not only are they positive that this patent issuance will grant the company enormous benefits, but believe its benefits to the overall environment is very substantial as well. Primix also has international patent pending status for their composite railroad tie, and stated that Mitsubishi International Corporation using its 260 offices worldwide are following up diligently on global inquiries. Founded in 1996, Primix Corporation is the developer and manufacturer of a revolutionary composite railroad tie made from recycled material. The Company’s technology, which is sold both domestically and internationally to the railroad industry, has been proven to be 230% stronger and last 300% longer than traditional railroad ties.

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Guidance Material for Composite Blade Fatigue

2nd February 2001 0 comments

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the availability of two draft advisory circulars (ACs): AC No. 20-66 [DRAFT], Vibration and Fatigue Evaluation of Airplane Propellers, and AC 35.37-1[DRAFT], Guidance Material for Fatigue Limit Tests and Composite Blade Fatigue Substantiation. Comments must be received on or before April 2, 2001.

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Philippine Aerospace Development Corp to Be In Black

2nd February 2001 0 comments

The Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. hopes to be in the black this year. At present, PADC is still finalizing its negotiations for a joint venture with America’s biggest aircraft maintenance company, National Airomotive Corporation (NAC). The venture can bail the agency out of its financial problems. PADC has been losing P5 to P30 million per annum in the past. “We lack economies of scale through we have the competence to do assembly and fabrication of composite materials as well as plane bodies,” Reyes said. In the past, the agency was responsible for assembling the S211 of the Philippine Air Force and repairing even the biggest PAF planes, the C130 or L100 cargo aircraft. This was on top of its regular aircraft maintenance services, overhaul of engines, aircraft parts and components distribution. PADC is involved in national interest and security. Its clients are in the military, general aviation and the government. It is primarily engaged in aircraft assembly, repair and sale of aircraft parts.

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