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Composites Industry News

News for May 2002


Reichhold Introduces a Low-Styrene, Non-Roll System for Acrylic Backing

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Reichhold is introducing the Norpol Non-roll system, a low-styrene, non-rolling system for acrylic backing of sanitary applications such as bathtubs, shower stalls and trays. The NORPOL non-roll system provides a wide range of benefits to fabricators including labor savings, shorter gel and cycle times, lighter parts and lower styrene emissions due to its low styrene content (less than 35 percent). An added benefit is the use of standard spray-up equipment along with the option of using automation, including robots. The NORPOL non-roll system is based on technology transferred from Reichhold’s parent company, Dainippon Ink and Chemicals (DIC). “Since 90 percent of each bathtub is sprayed-up without rolling, it essential eliminates a tremendous amount of labor cost,” says Per Pettersen, a Reichhold technology specialist. “Traditionally, most showers and bathtub producers had to roll on the resin. With this new system, only 5-10 percent of the rim area needs adjustment through rolling.” For acrylic backing in bathtubs, shower stalls and trays, the NORPOL non-roll system yields the required stiffness at equal thickness as standard laminates.

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VMRS from Airtech

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Airtech Advanced Materials Group has introduced a new way to make tooling for aircraft repairs. In conjunction with Wright-Patterson Airforce Base and licensed from Lockheed Martin Company, Impression Master„¥ VMRS (Vacuum Mold Repair System) was developed. This consists of a reusable rubber bag filled with a formable compound. This bag can be placed over a good part directly on the aircraft or on a spare part. When vacuum is pulled, the soft formable rubber bag takes a set to the exact shape. The Impression Master„¥ VMRS bag can be removed from the aircraft, still maintaining its rigidity and impression. The repair patch is layed up on the mold bag. The laminate curing system consists of heater blankets in conjunction with a standard hot bonding machine or a hot air system generated by a heater/controller and can be circulated under a second rubber bag, covering the Impression Master„¥ VMRS. Once cured to the required temperature, the repair can be removed, and air let back inside the Impression Master„¥ VMRS bag. The bag will lose its shape, go soft ready to be used again and again.

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Whitewater Specialties Changes Corporate Name

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Whitewater Specialties Ltd., one of North America’s largest thermosets designers/manufacturers, has changed its name to Whitewater Composites Ltd. “”This new name better reflects our core capabilities of engineering and manufacturing high-quality fiberglass and polyurethane parts””, explained Stuart Burns, President of Whitewater Composites Ltd. “”This change underscores our corporate strategy of focusing on new market sectors for increased growth, in particular promoting our Contract Manufacturing capabilities to product and equipment developers throughout North America.”” The name change culminates a very successful 12-months for Whitewater Composites that has seen strong growth for fiberglass architectural and building products. “”We are forecasting 10% sales growth for architectural products in 2002″”, added Mr. Burns. “”We are very excited about our ongoing investments in advanced fabrication techniques, such as Resin Transfer Molding, which has resulted in several key contract manufacturing contracts in Canada and USA.””

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2002 Reichhold Pultrusion Awards

3rd May 2002 0 comments

The Reichhold Pultrusion Awards were presented in conjunction with the “6th World Pultrusion Conference” held on the 4th and 5th of April, 2002 in Prague, the Czech Republic. The Pultrusion Awards, sponsored by Reichhold, presented some of the latest pultruded products. This year, in line with the theme of the conference ‘A STRONGER PROFILE FOR THE FUTURE’, an award was presented to the Most Informative Pultrusion Website. The winning product and website were selected by a jury of 100 delegates, who attended the World Conference in Prague. The award for Most Outstanding Pultrusion Profile went to Top Glass SpA for Top Hussor Form-Work. The award for Most Informative Pultrusion Website went to Strongwell

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Dow Automotive Enters Alliance with Cyclics

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Dow Automotive has entered an alliance with Cyclics Corp. to develop cyclic butylene terephthalate (CBT) resins for automotive applications. The material development activities will be focused on a number of automotive structural composites, including vertical and horizontal body panels and truck boxes. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Dow Automotive’s research and development team will work with R&D experts from Cyclics to determine how the material can best be incorporated in automotive applications. Dow Automotive provides a unique position in the market with expertise in thermoset and thermoplastic process development and materials science expertise. The two organizations envision that components will be able to be formed using a number of techniques, including compression and injection molding. The focus for this year will be for Dow Automotive to work with customers to identify industry trends and unmet needs, which will drive future development efforts. “We are extremely excited about working with Cyclics on the development of this innovative product for the automotive industry,” said Jane Palmieri, new business development manager for Dow Automotive. “Market development studies show that there is a great need for this type of new material in a number of applications both in North America and Europe. One of the benefits of composites made from CBT resins is that they will be recyclable, helping OEMs and tier one suppliers meet governmental regulations for recyclability. In addition, this alternative material will contribute to lighter weight vehicle designs. “Working with Dow Automotive is a great fit for our business,” said John Ciovacco, Chief Executive Officer, Cyclics Corporation. “We believe their automotive industry expertise and material science leadership will help in the development of an innovative, game-changing material for the automotive industry.” Cyclics opened a new headquarters and R&D facility in Schenectady, New York today to support this and other materials development initiatives. “The new building and the Dow alliance together clearly raises Cyclics to the next level,” said John Ciovacco, President and CEO of Cyclics Corporation.

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Advanced Technical Products, Inc. to Be Purchased By General Dynamics for $250 Million

3rd May 2002 0 comments

General Dynamics and Advanced Technical Products, Inc. entered into a definitive agreement for General Dynamics to acquire all 5.89 million outstanding shares of Advanced Technical Products (ATP) for a cash purchase price of $33.50 per share.

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Martin Marietta Materials Licenses Composite Trailer Technology

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with Composittrailer n.v., of Lokeren, Belgium, to manufacture and market commercial truck trailers in North America, utilizing fiber-reinforced composite materials. Under the agreement, Martin Marietta will produce trailers using Composittrailer’s patented, all-composite chassis technology and will enhance the trailer products based on Martin Marietta’s own composite fabrication expertise. Initially, trailers will be manufactured at the Composittrailer factory in Belgium; however, Martin Marietta plans to relocate manufacturing to the United States within one to two years. The introductory product will be an open-top trailer with a composite slat conveyor floor for the waste, agriculture and woodchip markets. A broader range of products is planned, including flatbed and refrigerated trailers. Fiber-reinforced composites, made of continuous glass or carbon fabrics in a polymer resin, have long been recognized as having high strength, durability, low weight and corrosion resistance. Commercial truck trailers made of these composite materials are significantly lighter than aluminum trailers, enabling higher cargo loads, therefore, reducing freight costs by 5% to 15%. In addition, the trailers have longer lives and lower maintenance costs. Stephen P. Zelnak, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Martin Marietta, stated, “”Our Company is looking forward to introducing composite commercial truck trailers to the North American market. This agreement with Composittrailer is an extension of our Company’s expertise in structural composite materials and represents a significant stepping stone to broader commercial applications. The American transportation industry is just beginning to consider the use of composites to reduce costs and increase the serviceable life of trailers. Our initial focus will be in the live-floor trailer market with $300 million in annual sales. However, we estimate the potential size of the composite truck trailer market in the United States to be $2.5 billion to $3 billion in annual sales, with the total truck trailer market at approximately $5 billion annually. “”In fall 2002, after closed track testing is complete, we expect to introduce two prototype all-composite commercial trailer units to the United States markets. We expect to begin to accept orders for trailers in early 2003. Sales are expected to be modest in 2003 and accelerate in 2004, consistent with industry acceptance of and demand for this new technology. As indicated, all assembly will be initially completed in Belgium to U.S. specification utilizing U.S. components with the establishment of United States’ assembly facilities most likely expected in early 2004.”” Composittrailer recently received the European Road Transport Innovation Award for its composite commercial truck trailer at the 2002 International Truck Show in Amsterdam. The trailer also won an award for Most Innovative Application at the Fifth World Pultrusion Conference in Berlin in April 2000, and later won the Trailer Award at the 2001 International Trailer Show in Kortrijk, Belgium. The trailer was runner up for the Best New Product Award at the 2002 International Composites Exposition recently held in Paris, France.

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Lindbergh’s Grandson Lands in Paris

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Erik Lindbergh popped out of the cockpit Thursday, furiously waving his arms in the air at the end of his 17-hour flight from New York to Paris. He was celebrating the replication of his grandfather’s groundbreaking solo and nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Two generations ago, aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, who took along five sandwiches and only nibbled on one, needed nearly twice the time — 33 1/2 hours — for his then-astounding flight. Erik said he ate a sandwich and a half. “I really wanted to celebrate the 75th anniversary of grandfather’s flight,” Lindbergh said at a news conference at Le Bourget airport outside Paris. “I did it in half the time and ate twice as much.” Lindbergh’s Lancair Columbia 300 — dubbed the New Spirit of St. Louis — landed at Le Bourget at 11:27 a.m. Wearing his blue pilot’s jumpsuit, Lindbergh was met by a crowd of commercial sponsors, dozens of reporters, and well-wishers that included a six-member crew from American Airlines. The re-creation was part of anniversary commemorations of Charles Lindbergh’s May 20-21, 1927 feat that dazzled the world. Erik Lindbergh, a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor, took off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y., just after noon on Wednesday. He had already flown the first two legs of his grandfather’s journey from San Diego, Calif., to St. Louis, Mo., and then on to Farmingdale. Lindbergh said he didn’t take up flying because of his grandfather. “Becoming a pilot was almost accidental,” he said. “I didn’t really think about it until I was 24 and took a flight with a friend. Not many members of the family fly.” Lindbergh said the trip was designed to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis, which disabled the 37-year-old for 15 years before surgery and drug treatment helped restore his movement. “I have my life back. I have my freedom,” he said. “With that second chance, I wanted to do something special.” Organizers also hope the journey will promote the X Prize Foundation, a St. Louis-based nonprofit group offering $10 million to the first private group that can successfully build and launch a manned spacecraft, then repeat the feat within two weeks. “I’m trying to open up space flight for everyone, so that in the near future people like you and I can go and buy a ticket and fly into space,” Lindbergh said. Lindbergh’s $289,000 aircraft, made of a glass and carbon composite, had an average cruising speed of 184 mph, compared with the 108 mph of the original, $10,580 Spirit of St. Louis. The single-engine plane used a Global Positioning System navigation device to chart its exact location. Lindbergh’s grandfather used deduced reckoning — “holding a compass and guessing at the wind.” Erik Lindbergh, of Seattle, is the son of Jon Lindbergh, the oldest surviving child of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The couple had six children.

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Reinhold Industries Achieves Record Sales

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Reinhold Industries reported record first quarter 2002 revenues of $13.9 million, up 14% from $12.2 million for the first quarter 2001. Sales in the Aerospace business unit were $3.4 million, up significantly from 2001. Sales by the NP Aerospace business unit increased $0.5 million due primarily to increased sales of personal protection products. Sales by the Thermal Insulation business unit were $0.3 million for the first quarter 2002. The Thermal Insulation business unit was acquired on April 20, 2001. Sales by the Bingham business unit decreased to $4.9 million due to a continuing general downturn in the printing industry. Sales by the Commercial business unit decreased to $0.7 million due mainly to soft market conditions and lower sales of production tooling. Sales by the CompositAir business unit were flat at $1.7 million. Operating results in the first quarter were mixed”” said Michael T. Furry, President and CEO of Reinhold. “”The Aerospace business unit achieved higher profitability due to increased sales of Minuteman III PRP components. At NP Aerospace, the headcount reductions implemented in the fourth quarter 2001 contributed to the highest quarterly pre-tax profit in over a year. However, due to the transfer of manufacturing operations to our new Santa Fe Springs, California facility and the resulting labor inefficiencies from an inexperienced work force, CompositAir did not meet our profit objectives. “”Bingham’s financial performance is improving. Although sales during the first quarter 2002 were lower than sales in the first quarter 2001, pre-tax profit increased slightly. Additional cost reduction efforts are continuing which should contribute positively to 2002 results.””

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Approval for Lightweight Composite Gas Cylinders

3rd May 2002 0 comments

Harsco Corporation’s Structural Composites Industries (SCI) unit has become the gas industry’s first composite cylinder manufacturer to receive formal Type Approval from Chinese regulatory agencies for three different families of composite gas containment cylinders, used in the firefighting, home oxygen and natural gas vehicle (NGV) markets. The certification follows an extensive multi-agency review of SCI’s engineering, manufacturing and quality systems, and gives SCI added standing in its pursuit of China’s expanding market for lightweight gas cylinders. A recent report by the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicts a 7.8 percent growth rate for the Chinese economy this year, fueled in part by its admission to the World Trade Organization. With its certification, SCI becomes the second Harsco unit to receive formal Chinese government approval for its gas containment equipment. Harsco’s Taylor-Wharton operations hold similar Type Approval certification for cryogenic bulk tanks and liquid cylinders, used in larger-scale industrial gas applications. Both SCI and Taylor-Wharton are part of Harsco’s Gas and Fluid Control Group, manufacturers of the world’s broadest range of gas and fluid containment and control equipment.

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