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Composites Industry News

News for 24 April 2002


Scott Bader forms partnership with Microban International

24th April 2002 0 comments

Scott Bader has signed an agreement with Mocroban International Limited to use Microban technology in the manufacture of their Crystic gelcoats. Both companies are delighted with the partnership. Graeme Manley, European Product Manager for Scott Bader said ‘This partnership has great potential. Scott Bader has a reputation for outstanding gelcoat products, technical excellence and innovation and Microban is the world’s leading global anti-bacterial brand.’ Microban protection is not a coating but an integral part of the product which is incorporated during the manufacturing process. It cannot be washed out or worn away and is used in over 450 different products from cutting boards to humidifiers, bath tubs to carpeting. The need for maximum protection in environments where health could be at risk is critical. Hospitals and the food industry will be key beneficiaries of this new range of protection. Contour Showers in the UK are already reaping excellent commercial benefits for the innovation. They use Crystic gelcoat with Microban for their specialist shower trays which are sold into hospitals and residential homes.

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New Challenges and Developments for Soficar

24th April 2002 0 comments

Soficar has recently settled carbon fibre rods which constitute the cables of the pedestrian suspension bridge in Laroin (village located close to the plant site). This bridge is the very first in France for which carbon-fibre composites are ever used. Carbon Fibre cables (a proved light, corrosion-free and resistant material) allow to extend the bridge span by avoiding the addition of further piles to support traffic and roadway load. Soficar, with its partners, Freyssinet International, but also IFP (French Institute for Petroleum), Doris Engineering and AtoFina (through Bostik Findley resins) intends to show thanks to this first life-size test the reliability of its products to find new markets and broaden its activity, specially in the offshore industry. Confident in its developments, Soficar invests in a new production line on its plant site in Abidos to manufacture composites through pultrusion process (carbon fibre rods), thermoplastic ribbons (carbon fibre impregnated with thermoplastic) and to carry on with efficiency Research & Development on composites for pipes and rigid risers for offshore applications. Besides, Soficar with is mother company, Toray, has finalized a new fibre called T800S, selected by Airbus as one of the supplying sources for the A380. To be compared with the 5 to 6 ton of carbon fibre currently used in most modern civil aircraft today, 40 ton will be needed for this outstanding plane. Regarding the industrial field, environmentally friendly applications with clean energy use concern are expanding: wind turbines, natural gas pressure vessels for vehicles, fuel cells, automotive, etc. In 2002, supported by French regional and local authorities, Soficar is going to invest globally for all these projects more than 6 M€. These new developments strengthen the position of Soficar and Toray group in carbon fibre world.

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Triple C project paves the way for high volume SMC

24th April 2002 0 comments

Daimler Chrysler initiated ‘Triple C’ (Compound, Characterisation and Consistency) as a multi-disiplinary project to make improvements, install traceability systems and increase transparency along the SMC supply chain. In short, to try and reach the levels of surface quality and productivity of steel. Other partners in the programme, which began last February were: Menzolit-Fibron (compound producer), Peguform (moulder) and DSM Composite Resins (supplier of the class A resin system). The project set out to demonstrate the suitability of SMC Compounds for high series class A, on-line paintable exterior body panel applications. Using the Mercedes CL Coupe decklid as a reference model, all key factors and process steps were studied for optimum performance. Sophisticated and powerful software tools, data warehousing and data mining, were used for processing all the complex data that together constitutes the SMC chain. Quality and consistency are vital in compound production and moulding: especially when it comes to exterior body panels for the automotive industry. Automotive OEMs have to be particularly discriminating to ensure that highly visible and functional parts such as the decklid are of a consistent high quality with minimal rejects. The Triple C project took each stage of the process – from resin and compound formulation and production through to the finished moulded and painted Class A part, making evaluations and taking corrective measures where necessary. This involved the establishment of an integrated process control and optimisation process, generating know-how that will ultimately lead to the introduction of a Premium SMC quality for automotive exterior applications. Thanks to the system approach of the Triple C project, the capability of SMC for high series class A, on-line paintable exterior body panel applications in Premium quality has been demonstrated. The first phase is now complete and quality-monitoring systems have been developed. Phase two, which will see the development of methodology and tools, is now underway. Dr. Thomas Schuh, Manager Body Polymer Components at Daimler Chrysler, commented: ‘Advanced design freedom and possibility to integrate antenna systems have been the main reasons for introducing SMC with the decklid of the Mercedes CL Coupe. The extraordinary requirements regarding surface quality called for the development of a SMC at premium level. The ‘Triple C approach’ is an important step towards enabling the SMC industry to produce premium quality at higher volume. Thus creating a chance for new markets in the area of high quality exterior body panels.

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Johns Manville and COMFIL enter into strategic alliance (1)

24th April 2002 0 comments

Johns Manville Europe, comprising the European businesses of Johns Manville, and COMFIL ApS in Denmark announced the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of thermoplastic composite systems for structural applications. COMFIL is a spin-off of the former Hoechst Trevira-Neckelmann company located in Silkeborg, Denmark.

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Johns Manville and COMFIL enter into strategic alliance

24th April 2002 0 comments

Johns Manville Europe, comprising the European businesses of Johns Manville, and COMFIL ApS in Denmark announced the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the field of thermoplastic composite systems for structural applications. COMFIL is a spin-off of the former Hoechst Trevira-Neckelmann company located in Silkeborg, Denmark. Johns Manville, with its core competencies in both glass and polyester products and COMFIL with a strong Know-how in polyester fiber systems and hybrid yarns have entered into a strategic alliance to manage development, productions, sales and marketing. Johns Manville will focus on the selling and marketing of Comfil-G , and the product and application development will be done by Comfil ApS. We aggressively search out opportunities to provide added-value products and “services to our customers and believe the strategic alliance with COMFIL is one of those opportunities,” said Luc Mechelaere, Vice President and General Manager of Johns Manville Europe. The initial focus will be on polyester hybrid yarns for structural and semi-structural applications in automotive, industrial and consumer products. Other polymer fibers such as PP and PA will follow. Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. In business since 1858, the Denver-based company has sales in excess of $2 billion and holds leadership positions in all of the key markets that it serves. Johns Manville employs approximately 9,500 people and operates 52 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Johns Manville Europe is the European operation for one of Johns Manville’s three stategic business units, and has 11 manufacturing locations in Germany, Sweden, the UK, Poland, Slovakia and China. COMFIL ApS is a new started independent company in Silkeborg, Denmark. It is a spin-off of the Hybrid Yarn Activities of Trevira Neckelmann A/S. COMFIL ApS develops and produces Hybrid yarns from continuous reinforcement fibres and various types of thermoplastic matrix fibres – especially polyester types. Besides hybrid yarns COMFIL ApS also develop and sell fabric and compression mould technology coming from 10 years of experience in the composites field.

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