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Composites Industry News

News for 2002


Marine Products Contract

10th January 2002 0 comments

3TEX has secured the largest marine products contract in the company’s history. Through a long-term strategic partnership, Sonic USA expects to annually produce more than 200 premier 26-45 foot class boats using 3TEX composite products and new Reichhold resins. Through the use of 3weave preforms, a new vacuum infusion process, and a new Hydrex 100-HF vacuum infusion resin system from Reichhold, Sonic and 3TEX believe a boat’s hull weight can be reduced by up to 20-30%. This will allow SONIC and 3TEX to produce a unique class of sports racing boats which can go faster and yet be very safe, while improving the overall durability and strength of the boat. “We are very excited about the potential of building lighter, faster boats with 3TEX 3weave preforms and new state of the art vacuum infusion processes, while not reducing boat safety or durability,” said SONIC USA owner Richard Hewett. “We hope to apply this new technology to an expanding product line in the months ahead.”

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Gurit-Heberlein to buy AIK Industries’ advanced composites ops

10th January 2002 0 comments

Gurit-Heberlein will acquire AIK Industries’ advanced composites operations as of March 1 for an undisclosed amount. The Kassel-based division employs 20 people, generates annual sales of 8 mln eur and has Airbus Industrie as its most important client. The move should enable Gurit-Heberlein to improve its sales and profitability, it said.

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Cincinnati Machine’s Composites Business Flying High

10th January 2002 0 comments

Cincinnati Machine reports that orders for its Composites Manufacturing Systems are at an all-time high. Exceeding projected sales figures in 2001 for the high-tech machines, the company attributes this surge in orders to the fact that new commercial and military aircraft, space launches and munitions contain a higher percentage of composite components. Composite components replace aluminum and other metal parts by providing added strength, reduced assembly times and, most importantly, less weight to the structure. Cincinnati Machine was the first company to manufacture a production-ready system for the automated lay-up of composite fiber material and continues to be a key partner to aerospace manufacturers in all sectors requiring the advanced equipment. “This has been a stellar year for our Composites business,” said Chip Storie, Cincinnati Machine’s vice president of marketing, “and all indicators point to another healthy year in 2002. Typically, large aerospace programs have a long gestation period, and we’re just beginning to see many of the programs we’ve been involved with since their onset come to term.”

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Andrew Hopkins General Manager of OC Automotive

10th January 2002 0 comments

Dr. Andrew Hopkins has been named general manager of the Owens Corning’s automotive business. OC Automotive is part of Owens Corning’s Composite Solutions Business, which has approximately $1.4 billion in annual sales and accounts for nearly 25 percent of the company’s annual sales. “”The Composite Solutions Business is focused on leveraging the synergies of our people, technologies and growth agendas to provide more value-added systems and solutions to our global customer base,”” said Dick Lantz, president of Owens Corning’s Composite Systems Business. “”Our Automotive business is committed to increasing the market share of composites per vehicle in a manner that generates value for the automotive customer and Owens Corning,”” Lantz added. “”I am confident in Andy’s ability to lead this critical growth business for our company.”” In this role, Dr. Hopkins will focus on providing innovative composites solutions to the worldwide automotive industry to accelerate growth for Owens Corning. Owens Corning’s Automotive business is one of the company’s most significant growth initiatives in the past 60 years, with sales of approximately $200 million in 2000. The company expects this number to double to $400 million by 2004. Current offerings within OC Automotive include the Silentex noise control system; OC Preformable System; and StaMax composites, a joint venture with SDM Automotive Polymers. “”I am excited to have the opportunity to lead such an exciting and innovative new growth segment within the Composite Solutions Business,”” said Dr. Hopkins. “”OC Automotive is committed to meeting the needs of leading automotive OEMs by providing solutions in the form of materials, parts and design and engineering services, all of which will be tailored to fit the needs of each individual customer.””

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U.S. to Shelve Fuel-Efficiency Plan

10th January 2002 0 comments

The Bush administration is abandoning an eight-year, $1.5 billion program to produce highly fuel efficient cars in favor of a government-industry push to develop vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The Energy Department said Secretary Spencer Abraham planned to announce details of the new program, dubbed “Freedom Car,” at a major auto show in Detroit on Wednesday. The Energy Department and senior White House policy officials in the Bush administration have all along been cool toward the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, a program championed by the Clinton administration as the answer to improved automobile fuel economy. Begun in 1993, the joint venture between the federal government and the Big Three domestic automakers was seen as a way to put family-size sedans that get 80 miles per gallon into showrooms by 2004. Using advanced aerodynamics, new engine technologies and lighter composite materials, the companies have produced prototype vehicles getting 70 mpg, but have not come near developing a fleet of such vehicles for mass production. Instead, the administration intends to focus on speeding up development of hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles, a technology that has attracted intense interest in recent years, although probably a decade away from producing large numbers of cars.

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No Record That NY Jet Damaged in Storm

10th January 2002 0 comments

European planemaker Airbus has no record that the A300 jet that crashed moments after taking off in New York last November was damaged in a storm before it was delivered to American Airlines, an Airbus spokeswoman said on Wednesday. The spokeswoman was responding to questions following a report in The Washington Post that said investigators were looking into evidence that the plane was blown backward onto its tail during a violent storm in 1987 while awaiting final work at an Airbus factory. “There is no record in the papers of the plane of something like that,” the Airbus spokeswoman told Reuters. “Under normal circumstances, there would be a repair indicated.” In Washington, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it would contact Airbus directly to ask if it had any records about the reported damage to the plane. “The maintenance records that we have from American Airlines have no information about a tail strike during the manufacturing process,” Ted Lopatkiewicz, a board spokesman, told Reuters. He said that was not necessarily unusual because maintenance records tend to begin when an aircraft is delivered. U.S. investigators have not determined the cause of the crash but have focused on the composite makeup of the tail section of the A300-600 series and extreme rudder movements just after the aircraft passed through a relatively common bout of turbulence from a bigger plane flying several miles ahead. Investigators believe the A300’s vertical stabilizer, or tail fin, and its rudder fell off before American Airlines flight 587 crashed.

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High-Powered Nylon

10th January 2002 0 comments

Nanjing Julong Chemical Industry Co. has received a certificate issued by Ministry of Science and Technology ranking their “”1800-Ton Intensified High-Powered Nylon”” into State Torch Plan. Nanjing Julong Co. started the research and development of the item “”1800-Ton Intensified High-Powered Nylon”” in 1999. The company mixed common nylon with fiberglass equably and put up mixed refining to get high-powered nylon. The main capabilities of Nylon 66 (AHO) of Nanjing Julong Co. reach the standards of Nylon ST801 of Du Pont. But the price of Nylon 66 is only 50% of foreign products. The item has passed the scientific and technical authentication organized by Jiangsu Science and Technology Commission in July 2000. The products of Nanjing Julong Chemical Co. match the demands of lots of industries, such as automotive industry, electronics, home appliance industry, shipping, railway and machinery. The products can substitute import high-powered nylon or correlative engineering plastic. At present the product has been marketed in China to bring economic and social benefit to China.

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Seminar on Sandwich Structures Rescheduled

10th January 2002 0 comments

The SAMPE sponsored Air Force/NASA Seminar on Sandwich Structures previously scheduled for October 2, 2001 has been combined with the annual Air Force Manufacturing Problem Prevention Program (MP3) Meeting and rescheduled for February 26 and 27, 2002 at The Aerospace Corporation. This seminar will present descriptions and properties of new sandwich structure materials and address their efficacy for use in various systems. Design, manufacture and testing of sandwich structures with an emphasis on experience sharing and lessons learned to prevent failures during fabrication, testing and development will be addressed. Of special interest will be the lessons learned from the NASA X-33 sandwich structures tank failure, presented by representatives from the NASA Marshal Space Flight Center (MSFC). In addition to the previously scheduled program, presentations addressing testing and non-destructive evaluation will be included. A full and updated schedule, as well as registration information, is posted on the website given below. The expanded schedule will allow additional time for attendees to visit the tabletop exhibits. Exhibitors at the meeting will include Seminar Patron Cytec Engineered Materials, and the following Sponsors: Airtech International; Aztek, Inc.; Bryte Technologies; Cytec Carbon Fibers; Delsen Testing Laboratories; Diab, Inc.; Heatcon Composite Systems; Hexcel Corporation; Hitco Carbon Products; Laser Technology, Inc.; Matec Instrument Companies; Textile Products, Inc.; Thermal Equipment Corporation; Thermal Wave Imaging; Ultracor, Inc.; and YLA, Inc. As a result of the postponement, additional space has become available for displays. Organizations desiring a tabletop display should contact Dr. Howard Katzman

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Nissan 350Z Deliveries Starting in August

10th January 2002 0 comments

Nissan today announced full equipment availability and pricing for its all-new 2003 350Z(TM) sports car, which goes on sale this August. The new Z(R) is being displayed at major North American auto shows, beginning this week in Detroit and Los Angeles. The new Z(R) coupe will be offered in five well-equipped models, including an Enthusiast Model, Touring Model, Performance Model and Track Model. The new front engine, rear-wheel drive Z(R) features a newly developed 3.5-liter V6 engine, producing in excess of 280 horsepower, with continuously variable valve timing control system (CVTCS), electronically controlled (drive-by-wire) throttle and dual exhaust outlets. The new Z is available with an electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode or 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission. The new Z(R) features a carbon-fiber driveshaft.

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North American Composites Announces Reorganization

14th January 2002 0 comments

North American Composites has appointed Butch Pitts and Vaughn Kohanek to the positions of National Accounts Manager East and West, respectively. They also appointed Noel Rofoli as West Coast Sales Manager in charge of the sales activities of California and Northwest districts and Don Lockridge as District Manager of the South Central District, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, Tom Bush has been appointed District Manager of NAC’s North Central District and will be responsible for the integration of NAC and Worum Fiberglass.

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