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Composites Industry News

News for January 2003


York International Announces Plant Divestiture

6th January 2003 0 comments

York International Corporation is divesting its manufacturing facility in Sparta, NC that was closed in August of this year and will now be leased to Martin Marietta Composites. The 181,000 square foot facility was sold to Sparta Business Park, LLC, which is part of a national commercial real estate development enterprise based in California. The facility will be leased to Martin Marietta Composites, a division of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. Martin Marietta, based in Raleigh, NC is expected to begin start-up at the Sparta facility in mid-year 2003. Commenting on the divestiture, Mr. David Myers, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said, “”We are pleased that the community of Sparta, will benefit from the commercial development of this property and the relationship with Martin Marietta Composites’ operation.””

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Envirokare Appoints Asian Agent for TPF Technology

6th January 2003 0 comments

Envirokare Composite Corp has engaged Professional Management Ltd. (PML), a private Hong Kong-based agency, to represent their Thermoplastic Flowforming (TPF) composite technology technology in Southeast Asia. The TPF process, developed by Thermoplastic Composite Designs Inc. (TCD), enables the cost-effective manufacture of large structural parts using long-fiber reinforced thermoplastic resins. The process utilizes either recycled or virgin resins. During 2001, TCD granted to ECC a license to utilize the TPF technology to develop, produce and market a wide array of products. Envirokare believes that products developed and manufactured utilizing the TPF process will have significant advantages over those currently available, including lower costs, increased strength and durability, lighter weight and environmental benefits. The company is currently developing a number of products in industries such as materials handling, automotive, construction, housing and marine. “”PML has been engaged to give us a presence in the vast manufacturing and technical market represented by the Pacific Rim, in which local representation is critical in dealing appropriately with local language and cultures,”” said Steve Pappas, president of Envirokare. PML is active in a number of commercial areas including technical and commodity products. PML has well-developed associations and relationships with the business community and senior government levels in a number of countries included under terms of the agreement. China, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Indonesia are included in the territory to be covered by PML, whose role includes identification and qualification of potential applications and licensees for the TPF technology.

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Vision Agents Get New Kiosks

6th January 2003 0 comments

The New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation has invested sh25m in new fibre glass kiosks to improve customer care and distributions of its newspapers throughout Uganda. The kiosks, which were manufactured by Richiencoy Services, will replace the wooden ones, according to the Circulation Manager, Tom Wasswa. Wasswa together with the City Circulation Officer Dan Kauma, on Wednesday launched the project at Diamond Trust building. The building is owned by the Aga Khan Foundation, who also have a majority stake in The Monitor. Wasswa said, The New Vision was offered space at Diamond Trust, so long as they also sell Monitor products as well.

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Whitewater Composites staff gain CCT

6th January 2003 0 comments

10 senior managers and production supervisors from Whitewater Composites have successfully completed the Certified Composites Technician (CCT) course from the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

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Zoltek Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year-End Results

6th January 2003 0 comments

Zoltek has announced fourth quarter and full fiscal year results for the periods ended September 30, 2002. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002, including discontinued operations, Zoltek reported a net loss of $1.3 million, which included a $0.6 million gain on discontinued operations, compared to a net loss of $10.5 million in the prior year fourth quarter, which included a $6.9 million loss on discontinued operations. For the full fiscal year, Zoltek reported a net loss from continuing operations of $8.7 million on revenues of $68.4 million, compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $21.3 million on revenues of $76.5 million in fiscal 2001. Including discontinued operations, Zoltek reported a net loss of $7.8 million for fiscal 2002, compared to a net loss of $31.6 million for fiscal 2001. Zoltek reported a net loss from continuing operations of $1.9 million on revenues of $16.6 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2002, which compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $3.6 million on revenues of $17.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001. Results of operations from the carbon fiber business unit were negatively impacted by unused capacity costs totaling $1.3 million during the recently completed quarter, compared to $1.9 million in the prior year quarter, and carbon fiber sales and results continued to be adversely affected by depressed industry conditions. Zoltek’s improved results for the fourth fiscal quarter reflected tightened operating budgets across the Company, concentration of production in certain plants and reductions in the workforce in both the United States and Hungary. “”The good news is that we had improved gross margins in the fourth quarter, and indeed during the last three quarters of the year compared to the corresponding prior year quarters,”” said Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “”Operating losses from continuing operations also were lower in each of the last three fiscal 2002 quarters compared to the prior year. We continue to work to reduce costs and generate additional cash from our existing businesses. At the same time, we continue to invest selectively in targeted high-potential development projects in keeping with Zoltek’s long-term strategy of commercializing carbon fibers as an affordable, high-performance and high-volume structural material.”” The Company also announced that it now expects to file its Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2002 on or before January 14, 2003, due to the timing of the proposed refinancing of its bank credit facilities and additional financing which the Company is seeking to complete before finalizing its audited financial statements. The Company believes that these financing transactions, if completed, should provide the financial resources to enable it to pursue identified initiatives for increased sales of carbon fiber products for growing applications beginning in the current fiscal year.

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Maxi Alfa Romeo wins Sydney-Hobart sailing race

6th January 2003 0 comments

Australian maxi Alfa Romeo won the 630-mile Sydney-Hobart sailing race on Saturday when it surfed across the finish line under spinnaker about 20 miles ahead of its nearest challengers. Sydney-based New Zealand businessman Neville Crichton’s carbon fibre boat took about two days and five hours to complete the race down Australia’s east coast to the island state of Tasmania. The sleek gray carbon fibre boat surfed under spinnaker at speeds of up to 18 knots in favourable conditions over the closing stages but still finished well outside the race record of one day 19 hours 48 minutes and two seconds set by Danish flyer Nokia in 1999. Alfa Romeo led the fleet of 55 yachts out of Sydney Harbour on Thursday and crossed the finish line in the Derwent River at about 6 p.m. (0700 GMT) surrounded by spectator craft.

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CMN Composites wins major new military contract

6th January 2003 0 comments

CMN Composites, the specialised manufacturing division of French naval shipbuilding group, Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), has been awarded a major new contract to construct and supply high-technology containers for surface to air missiles. The contract from the French government’s weapons procurement agency, Delegation Generale pour l’Armement (DGA), is to design, construct and supply a total of 120 specialised containers for the transportation and storage of the missile ammunition for the Crotale VT1 mobile air defence system. The cases will be constructed in composite materials to a high specification and will be delivered over a period of several months. The Crotale VT1 is a mobile, vehicle-based, ground to air missile system developed by Thales to provide protection against air attack for land forces and military installations. The value of the contract has not been disclosed but was said to be worth ‘several hundred thousand Euros’. “This contract is very important for CMN Composites as it further establishes the company’s pre-eminent position internationally in the supply of these specialised containers,” said a CMN spokesman.

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Hydrosize Technologies Receives STTR Award

13th January 2003 0 comments

Hydrosize Technologies has received a Phase II STTR award ($500,000 for 2 years) from the Office of Naval Research to continue the development of halogen free, low smoke flame retardant vinyl ester composites. During Phase I of this research, Hydrosize Technologies, Inc. and university partner, Virginia Tech, successfully demonstrated a halogen free flame retardant system for fiber reinforced vinyl ester composites. The Phase II research will support the continued R and D and optimization of the flame retardant formulation as well as issues regarding the scaling of the technology from the research lab to larger scale production. “This award from ONR recognizes the potential of our novel non-halogenated flame retardant system for vinyl ester and unsaturated polyester composites. We have shown that our invention reduces the Flammability, Smoke and Toxicity (FST) as compared to conventional halogenated vinyl ester composites,” said Dr. Heather Brink, President and CEO of Hydrosize Technologies. The research is targeted to meet the demanding requirements of Naval surface ships, however many other commercial applications will benefit as well.

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New Distributor for Scott Bader in Northern Europe

13th January 2003 0 comments

From 1st January 2003 Hans Claussen AS will be Scott Bader’s new agent in Norway. Established in 1914 as agents for textiles, plastics and foodstuffs today their core business is in thermoplastics and composites. Much of the composite business in Norway is for marine and offshore applications, an area in which Scott Bader has worked for many year. The team of five, headed up by Per Egil Claussen will support Scott Bader Scandinavia based in Sweden, led by Managing Director Agne Bengtsson. Asked about how he feels about the new arrangement during a visit to the company’s UK headquarters Claussen said ‘I am very impressed by the people and the facilities here on site. I can see Scott Bader is an open company and that is how we like to do business at Hans Claussen. I look forward to a happy and successful relationship’. The addition of Hans Claussen to the Scott Bader network of distributors further strengthens the company’s European coverage.

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A New Epoxy Vinyl Ester Resin from Shanghai Fuchem

13th January 2003 0 comments

Shanghai Fuchem has developed a new-type epoxy vinyl ester resin featured with shrinkage-free together with an improved elongation rate & impact resistance performance. The results from tests show that the resin has a 0.015% linear shrinkage after curing in ambient temperature and 0.160% after 2 hours’ post-curing in 80°C, compared to a shrink rate up to 3-4% for other conventional vinylester resins. It is also claimed to have increased toughness, making it appropriate for use in applications such as anti-corrosion liners, racing helmets and performance racing boats.

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