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Composites Industry News

News for March 2002


Focus on Building & Construction at JEC

1st March 2002 0 comments

JEC SA has set up two different meetings at the JEC Composites Show 2002 (April 9-10-11, 2002) that will focus on Building and Construction. One is a Construction Forum and the other, a Construction Exhibition. In order to meet the requirements of professionals such as international architects, specifiers, building engineers, local authorities, systems and material suppliers, public utilities, and composites processors, JEC SA has set up two different meetings at the JEC Composites Show 2002 (April 9-10-11, 2002) that will focus on Building and Construction. One is a Construction Forum and the other, a Construction Exhibition. The Construction Forum will take place on Thursday, April 11 from 10am to 12pm. It will focus on the reinforcement of infrastructures and the challenging new applications in civil engineering and pipe systems (see program on the next page). During the 3 days of the JEC COMPOSITES SHOW 2002, visitors will be able to discover the innovative applications in the fields of construction and infrastructure at The CONSTRUCTION EXHIBITION. The main objective of the CONSTRUCTION FORUM and EXHIBITION is to highlight the major markets in building and construction for composites applications. It will also be possible to meet end users and processors at both meetings, which have been organized in co-operation with representatives from the Building and Construction Industry. With 760 exhibitors and more than 18,800 visitors in 2001, the JEC COMPOSITES SHOW has definitely proved to be the leading international rendezvous for the composite sector. The JEC COMPOSITES SHOW is a place to discover new technology trends and innovations. It is also a business crossroads devoted to end markets.

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Wilde & Partners Appointed Exclusive UK Distributors for ESAComp

1st March 2002 0 comments

ESAComp software for the UK and Ireland. ESAComp, developed by Componeering Inc. of Helsinki in Finland, is software for the analysis and design of composite laminates and laminated structural elements. The development work for ESAComp was initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC), to combine all composite analysis and design capabilities under one unified user interface. From its origins in the aerospace industry, ESAComp has been developed as a general tool dealing with composites, both in industry and in research. Helsinki University of Technology’s Laboratory of Lightweight Structures undertook the original development of ESAComp. In 2000, the development work was transferred to Componeering Inc.

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Fluid Impingement Technology Receives U.S. Patent

1st March 2002 0 comments

The United States Patent & Trademark Office has granted the U.S. patent for FIT® (Fluid Impingement Technology). In an effort to anticipate the changing emissions control standards, the Magnum Venus Products Advanced Design Group developed the patented FIT line of products. Fluid Impingement Technology reduces emissions levels to new lows, exceeding EPA requirements. Equipment design for the FRP industry has been focused on meeting the strict emissions standards set by the government. With F.I.T., those standards have been met. FIT works at power ratios of only 3:1 or 6:1, eliminating spray atomization. Systems with power ratios over 11:1 will produce high levels of atomization, essentially changing the system from impinge to atomized spray. During testing, tip fluid pressures as low as 15 psi were recorded using the Cipher Gun. These low pressures have many benefits to the manufacturer. One benefit: Lower styrene emissions. Government Environmental agencies around the world are constantly re-evaluating the EPA standards and allowable styrene emissions levels for FRP manufacturers. Many are told to lower their emissions or cease operations until they can. In an effort to meet the ever-changing standards, manufacturers turn to new technology for the answer. FIT has been proven to be that answer. Several independent tests have shown that FIT has the lowest emissions in the industry. Another benefit to the FIT systems is a substantial material and time savings for the manufacturer. With the lower pressures there is less resin used, a reduced amount of waste material and faster clean-up.

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Epoxy vinyl ester resin premixed with antimony

1st March 2002 0 comments

Ashland has introduced HETRON@ FR992Sb epoxy vinyl ester resin, which eliminates fabricators’ need to handle and mix in antimony trioxide. Ashland incorporates antimony, an additive used as a fire-retardant synergist, into its HETRON FR992Sb epoxy vinyl ester resin during its production. That enables fabricators to make composite parts that meet Class 1 ASTM E-84 flame-spread requirements using a resin right out of the drum — without adding any further fire-retardant additives or synergists. Unlike conventional fire-retardant resins using antimony, HETRON FR992Sb epoxy vinyl ester resin can be formulated days in advance of use without concerns about drift or antimony settling. HETRON FR992Sb epoxy vinyl ester resin also improves consistency, hastens infusion and wet out, and reduces the costs and handling associated with antimony powders. “By premixing, we eliminate for fabricators the need to handle antimony powders,” said Bruce R. Colley, HETRON resins product manager for the Composite Polymers Division of Ashland Specialty Chemical Company. “For end users, our product offers the desired fire retardance with an added benefit of a translucent laminate for easy inspection.” Ashland developed HETRON FR992Sb epoxy vinyl ester resin for use by the wastewater, power and chemical-process industries in corrosion-resistant, reinforced, thermosetting plastic equipment where a high degree of flame retardancy is required. Those types of equipment include filament-wound, hand lay-up and spray-up tanks, pipes, ducts, stacks, scrubbers, linings, or other equipment handling corrosive gases, vapors or liquids. “We’re pleased to be the first to bring this type premixed resin to the fire-retardant composites market,” Colley said of the product that Ashland began introducing to customers last month. “It’s indicative of our ongoing commitment to the composites industry and the effort that Ashland puts into supporting new, useful technologies.” Premixed HETRON@ FR992Sb epoxy vinyl ester resin is available worldwide. It replaces Ashland’s HETRON FR 992 epoxy vinyl ester resin (without antimony), which Ashland will continue to produce in limited quantities to meet specific customer needs.

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Reinforced Plastics 2001 Industry Awards

1st March 2002 0 comments

Reinforced Plastics has announced the winners of its 2001 Industry Awards. Established in 1996, this competition is designed to recognize the best new composites materials and processing equipment and the winners are voted for by the readers of Reinforced Plastics magazine. The 2001 awards is the most successful competition to date, attracting more voters than ever before.he prestigious Product of the Year award, the entry our readers voted as the overall competition winner, will be announced at the Reinforced Plastics 2001 Industry Awards Dinner, which will be held in Paris on 8th April. Best resin system Winner: Derakane Momentum, The Dow Chemical Company Highly commended: Crystic Stonecast, Scott Bader Company Ltd Highly commended: ArmorStar Marine Laminate, Cray Valley Best gel-coat Winner: NORPOL Extreme, Reichhold Highly commended: Neogel 8397-W-0100 , DSM Composite Resins Highly commended: Nexterra®, Valspar Corp Best compound/prepreg Joint winner: HexMC™, Hexcel Composites Joint winner: SPRINT™, SP Systems Best core material Winner: Derenid Aluminium Honeycomb, Derenid Highly commended: ParraGlass/22, Parabeam BV Highly commended: Corracore, Honeycore CC Best mould release Winner: WaterWorks System, WaterWorks Highly commended: Zelec® LA-2, Stepan Company Best spray-up equipment Winner: Indy System, Glas-Craft Inc Highly commended: MIPG-24/HV Multicolour Gelcoater, Aplicator System AB Best resin injection equipment Winner: RI-2 RTM Production Unit, Aplicator System AB Highly commended: VARTM Resin Conditioning Machine, Liquid Control Corp Highly commended: Megaject™ MkV, Plastech TT Ltd Best continuous processing equipment Winner: Four-Axis CNC Filament Winding Machine – 34 m Length Capacity, Pultrex Ltd Highly commended: WLC Light Capacity Filament Winding System, McClean Anderson

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Harsco’s Composite Materials Unit to Supply NGV Fuel Tanks to Volvo

1st March 2002 0 comments

Harsco’s Structural Composites Industries (SCI) unit has been selected by Volvo to produce up to 5,000 lightweight composite fuel tanks this year for Volvo S80 series natural gas vehicle (NGV) automobiles, with the potential for follow-on orders as the NGV market continues to grow. Announcing the contract, SCI general manager Ron Eickelman said, “We are honored to partner with Volvo’s world-renowned commitment to vehicle safety and performance. This award underscores our ability to design the safest, most weight-efficient fuel tank solutions available today and further enhances our leadership as a major NGV tank supplier to the automobile and bus industries.” Founded in 1971, SCI is the world’s leading producer of lightweight, filament-wound composite cylinders, pressure vessels and structures for gas storage. Natural gas is seen as one of the best medium-term alternatives to gasoline for motor vehicles, reducing smog emissions to near zero and carbon dioxide emissions by about 20 percent, while retaining performance levels comparable to gasoline-fueled vehicles. Worldwide NGV users exceed one million vehicles, while US demand is also beginning to accelerate, with over 100,000 vehicles already on the road and more than 1,300 natural gas refueling stations in operation, according to industry estimates. SCI’s composite-material technology is an ideal complement to NGV requirements. Because natural gas is stored in gas form, a larger fuel tank is required to achieve practical driving range. With a conventional tank, increasing size also increases weight. SCI’s filament-wound carbon fiber technology keeps weight to a minimum, while offering high shock resistance and long life.

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Aztex receives nomination for the US Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award

1st March 2002 0 comments

Aztex’s lightweight reinforced foam, X-Cor™, product was nominated for the prestigious Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award at the recent US Defense Manufacturers Conference.

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Round the World in 140 Days

1st March 2002 0 comments

To sail around the world single-handedly takes a huge amount of motivation, commitment and unending enthusiasm – and that’s even before setting sail. Not many of us would contemplate actually undertaking such a tremendous task, even though it has been many a sailor’s dream. So when a young man decides to make that dream a reality, it’s bound to attract attention. Particularly when the said young man is not ex-Royal Marine*. Particularly when the young man has chronic arthritis – in both hips, shoulders, spine, the right knee – and will soon need a hip replacement. Forty thousand children in the United Kingdom currently have chronic arthritis, which not only affects joints, but can also affect internal organs such as the kidney and liver. Alex Ransby, skipper for the planned 28,000 mile trip, has suffered from Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of juvenile onset arthritis, since his early teens. Arthritis is a condition that people generally don’t associate with children, and funding to support them and their families is limited. Alex plans to use his trip to increase awareness of the disease, and to raise money, through sponsorship, for the Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association. Alex is a twenty eight year old accomplished yachtsman and City and Guilds qualified boat builder. Although he learned to sail as a child, he has not done so for six years. Alex approached SP Systems for sponsorship of materials for his wooden boat, Hipjoint, in the summer of 2001, and, recognizing the determination and dedication of this young man, the company decided to support him. SP produces a range of epoxies and reinforcements for boatbuilding, but Alex decided on SP106 epoxy as an adhesive for the wood and main laminating work, SP320 as a clear coating epoxy, woven aramid reinforcement for impact resistance and woven E glass reinforcement for sheathing. It is unusual to use a wood-based construction method for such a boat – carbon fibre being more popular in recent years. However, with wood’s exceptional insulating qualities and with the tremendous advances that have been made in the field of epoxies by SP Systems, Hipjoint will not only prove to be both light and strong, but will keep Alex much warmer in the adverse weather conditions that he is likely to face on his 140 day journey. Hipjoint was turned over in January 2002 and the official boat naming ceremony will take place in April. Alex and his boat will be tested when they appear in the Isle of Wight Round the Island Race, and at Cowes Week in August. But the real test will come when they finally set sail in October, and Alex has a chance to prove that dreams can come true. *Over the past 15 years, only ex-Royal Marines have successfully completed such a round the world journey.

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Gripen provides another double boost for Polish Aerospace Industry

1st March 2002 0 comments

Gripen International has further strengthened its partnership with the Polish aerospace and defense industry by signing two new industrial co-operation agreements. Gripen International has further strengthened its partnership with the Polish aerospace and defense industry by signing two new industrial co-operation agreements, which are linked to supply of the Anglo-Swedish Gripen multi-role fighter to meet the national and NATO defense needs of Poland for the next 30 to 40 years. Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding, signed between Gripen partner Saab AB and PZL Swidnik, Saab personnel have, following evaluation, confirmed that capabilities at Swidnik will suit the development of advanced new carbon-fiber (CFC) manufacturing techniques. This enables the Polish aerospace company to be considered as a supplier of complex CFC parts for Gripen, including nose and main landing gear doors. Following manufacture, the units would be exported from Poland to the Gripen production facility in Linkoping, or an alternative site, for final assembly. It is planned that all equipment required for the introduction of this advanced manufacturing process would be produced in Poland. “”The manufacture of CFC doors for Gripen will require significant technology transfer to Poland. These parts have complex, double curved surfaces which require advanced manufacturing techniques unlike anything that is currently manufactured in-country”” commented Simon Carr, sales and marketing director Gripen International. Gripen International is a company equally owned by Saab of Sweden and BAE SYSTEMS of the U.K. Gripen is the first fourth-generation multi-role fighter in service world-wide, designed to meet the demands of all current and future threats, while at the same time meeting strict peace-time requirements for flight safety, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs.

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SGL Carbon Group and ORNL Sign Research Agreement

1st March 2002 0 comments

German-based SGL Carbon Group and the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory plan to explore new graphite and carbon materials through a cooperative research and development agreement.

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