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Composites Industry News

News for June 2002


Boeing & Hitco Celebrate Delivery of 100th C-17 Globemaster III

2nd June 2002 0 comments

Boeing and Hitco Carbon Composites will celebrate Hitco’s delivery of the 100th large composite tailcone structure for the C-17 Globemaster III transport plane to Boeing at ceremonies to be held at the 26 acre Hitco facility in Gardena, on May 30th. “”We at Hitco are proud to participate in the C-17 program by producing the large composite tailcone structure of the airplane for Boeing,”” said Paul Pendorf, President of Hitco. “”Receiving this award validates our continuing long-term position as a ‘key supplier’ to Boeing for this and other aircraft structures that we produce for them,”” he continued. “”We are proud of our 80 years in the Los Angeles area as a leading manufacturer of advanced composite materials for defense, aerospace and industrial applications.”” Hitco Carbon Composites, Inc. manufactures advanced composite materials for defense, aerospace and industrial applications.

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Spray Gun Helps Reduce VOC Emissions

2nd June 2002 0 comments

Marlin have launched their Titian spray gun to reduce the quantities of emissions generated during coating application. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are frequently released during application and subsequent drying of paints. In addition, when paints are applied using conventional spray techniques, a significant proportion of the sprayed material may be lost into the environment, thus both increasing VOC emissions and causing emission of solid and liquid paint components. Such emissions can include substances which are harmful to humans and/or the environment, The Marlin Titian spray gun was tested by the AQMD (Air Quality Management District) of Los Angeles. The test results showed that the Marlin Titian spray gun offers a very high transfer efficiency of 80-95%.

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Launch of Composites Integration Ltd

2nd June 2002 0 comments

Composite Integration Ltd has been created as a new company, based in Saltash near Plymouth, UK, whose focus is to help customer succeed in closed mould processing. Composite Integration has been established to practically assist customers throughout the closed-mould process, covering areas such as product design optimisation, materials selection, tooling design, tooling manufacture (composite and metal), equipment selection, installation, monitoring, process control and training. The need for high quality and practical training is recognised, and the company is able to provide both on-site and in house training to suit the individual client. It is of course important to ensure that all elements in the production process work well together and hence the emphasis on ‘Integration’. Their current projects include, designing and building RTM tooling, manufacturing of prototype components and materials selection including laminate testing for impact resistance. The company is also undertaking a number of development projects including work with new tooling methods and materials, specifically aimed at optimising the construction of composite RTM tooling. The company has two directors. Stephen Leonard-Williams and Richard Bland, each having a long history of working in the design, development and construction of resin injection machinery, process automation and monitoring.

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BGF Industries, Inc. Appoints New President

2nd June 2002 0 comments

BGF Industries, Inc. announced today that James Henderson has been named President, effective May 18, 2002. He replaces Richard Cromer, who is leaving to pursue other career opportunities after serving as President since April 1998. Mr. Henderson has been Executive Vice President, Sales and Merchandising, since joining the company in 1989. Before joining BGF, Mr. Henderson was employed for 31 years with United Merchants and Manufacturers, Inc. (“”United””). Mr. Henderson served as Senior Vice President of United, President of their Uniglass division, and as Chairman of the Board of United’s Marglass subsidiary in England.

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Lincoln Composites Demonstrates 10,000 Psi TUFFSHELL Hydrogen Fuel Tank

2nd June 2002 0 comments

Advanced Technical Products’ Lincoln Composites division has successfully tested a Tuffshell hydrogen fuel tank with an operating pressure of 10,000-psi (700 bar) and a burst pressure of 25,000-psi (1750 bar). The 10,000-psi tank was displayed at the California Fuel Cell Vehicle Partnership meeting in Sacramento, Calif. A 5,000-psi hydrogen fuel tank was also displayed at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) World Congress in Detroit, Mich. Richard Rashilla, President of Lincoln Composites, stated, “”Designing and manufacturing a 10,000-psi hydrogen tank is not a big challenge for us. In fact, this achievement is the result of only a 4-week effort combined with almost 40 years of pressure vessel design and development experience. Our results speak louder than press releases when it comes to delivering what the market needs. We would like the fuel cell vehicle market to grow as quickly as this extension of our highly reliable Tuffshell fuel tanks. Our experience building high performance pressure vessels with metal or plastic liners enables us to address the Fuel Cell Vehicle market needs for affordable, high- pressure storage tanks with confidence. Our field service record of over 45,000 Tuffshell tanks in natural gas powered vehicles throughout the world demonstrates the tremendous reliability of Lincoln’s plastic lined products.”” To enhance the hydrogen storage efficiency for Fuel Cell Vehicles it will be necessary to store compressed hydrogen at much higher pressures than currently used for compressed natural gas. A 10,000-psi tank would significantly increase the driving range of a compressed hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Most automotive OEMs believe that the additional range is necessary to make fuel cell vehicles viable. Lincoln’s 10,000-psi tank has an all- carbon fiber structure with a protective fiberglass over-wrap. Lincoln Composites designed this cost-effective product to meet all requirements of the Draft ISO 15869 standard for hydrogen fuel tanks.

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Engineers Create Robotic System to Make Composite Material

2nd June 2002 0 comments

A team of researchers is developing a robotic system to reduce the production cost of a lightweight, heat-resistant composite material, offering promise for future widespread applications.

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Nano-ceramic Particle Dispersion Photonic Crystal

2nd June 2002 0 comments

Powder technology company Hosokawa and Professor Yoshinari Miyamoto’s research laboratory of the Joining and Welding Research Institute, Osaka University, have codeveloped a photonic crystal with high-k nano-ceramic composite particles dispersed in epoxy resin lattices. Hosokawa developed the composite particle by employing mechanochemical bonding (MCB), the company’s unique ultra-fine particle composite technology. The particle delivers a dielectric constant that is 50% higher than conventional fine particles, helping reduce lattice intervals by 20%. The company and the university group have used the nano-ceramic composite particles in the optical modeling system the group successfully developed in 2001 to create photonic crystal, an artificial grating that is expected to pave the way for the development of terahertz wave-based sensors, and high-capacity milliwave communications devices. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has allocated 10 billion yen ($80.0 mil) for a five-year project to develop unexplored optical technologies. Funding will begin in fiscal 2003.

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SME Honours Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer

2nd June 2002 0 comments

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the world’s leading professional society supporting manufacturing education, announced today it awarded eight Serope Kalpakjian Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Awards, one in the area of composites. The SME Outstanding Manufacturing Engineer award, established in 1979, honors the accomplishments of individuals 35 years of age or younger who demonstrate outstanding leadership and achievements in the field of manufacturing engineering. One of the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer awardees representing academia is Jian Cao, Ph.D., assistant professor, mechanical engineering, Northwestern University, Illinois. Cao’s research activities center on the mechanics analysis and process optimization of forming sheet materials, including both metal and composites. Her most significant contribution has been in the wrinkling prediction and a new tooling process design concept in sheet metal forming and material characterization of continuous fiber reinforced composites. Cao’s research on wrinkling shows a practical way to predict this important failure mechanism accurately. Cao has also developed several efficient simulation tools that should speed the development of new tooling. In addition to being a highly sought-after speaker, Cao’s research is supported by material suppliers and automotive manufacturers, including Ford and General Motors, and by peer-reviewed grants from the National Science Foundation.

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Bear Sterns to Assist in Expanding Genmar VEC Technology

7th June 2002 0 comments

Genmar has engaged the investment banking firm of Bear, Stearns & Co to help evaluate strategic opportunities to maximize the market potential for its VEC technology outside the marine industry. Genmar first began experimenting with VEC technology in 1998 when it purchased Pyramid Operating Systems, the company that held all VEC intellectual properties and patents. Since purchasing Pyramid, Genmar has perfected the VEC technology and process for building fiberglass boats. Today, after successfully producing and selling more than 10,000 VEC boats, it has become clear that, in the near future, all of Genmar’s fiberglass boats will be made using the VEC process. After nearly 50 years of little to no change in the traditional open face molding process, Genmar believes its VEC technology will forever change the way fiberglass boats are built. While Genmar has been focused on testing and perfecting VEC for its boat manufacturing operations, it believes VEC has discovered many other industrial applications beyond building boats. In fact, Genmar believes the potential applications for VEC are far greater outside the marine industry than within. Irwin L. Jacobs, Chairman of Genmar, stated, “”Genmar has perfected the VEC technology for building fiberglass boats. Based on our success and the many inquiries we have received from companies outside the marine industry, some of which are among the world’s most sophisticated and largest corporations, we believe VEC has many commercial applications beyond the marine industry. To insure we consider all options, Genmar has retained Bear Stearns to help evaluate all VEC alternatives to find the right strategic partner to capitalize on the significant worldwide market opportunities we see for VEC.”” VEC (an acronym for Virtually Engineered Composites) technology is claimed to replace the traditional labor-intensive, open face molding process with a computer controlled, closed mold system that manufactures complex fiberglass parts of precision thicknesses and strengths in a fraction of the time presently required using the traditional process.

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Adam Aircraft Industries on Final Approach for First Flight

7th June 2002 0 comments

Manufacturing efforts are approaching an important milestone at Adam Aircraft as they advance toward the final stages of production of the first A500(TM) aircraft. The Denver-based aircraft manufacturer is within weeks of finishing the first of four test aircraft built to their centerline thrust, twin-engine design. With the carbon composite airframe fabricated, flight controls and electric wiring installed, and engine mounts ready, aircraft technicians are shifting their focus toward mounting the Continental twin-turbocharged 550 engines and trailing link landing gear, as well as installing flight instruments and flight test instrumentation. At the helm of the drive toward completion of Serial No. 0001 is Crew Chief John Oakley, who was instrumental in the construction, flight-testing, and maintenance of the A500 proof-of-concept model built by Scaled Composites in Mojave, California. Oakley is responsible for ensuring the airworthiness of the first aircraft and preparing it for its first flight. Aviation enthusiasts will have a chance to see the A500 as it makes its public debut in July at AirVenture3/4EAA’s general aviation showcase in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The first flight of the A500 culminates the realization of a goal set in 1998 by company co-founders Rick Adam and John Knudsen. Determined to deliver a twin-engine aircraft with a combination of leading-edge technology, reliability, comfort, and safety, CEO Adam and President Knudsen are poised to reach their target with unprecedented speed. “”When I arrived here 18 months ago,”” recounts Oakley, “”there were no walls in this facility. This is the fastest paced project for a production aircraft that I’ve ever seen.”” Meeting the challenges of maintaining a high standard of quality within the time constraints of an aggressive schedule can lead to frustration, but Oakley says, “”Seeing so much progress in such a short time is a source of great pride for all of us.””

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