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Composites Industry News

News for October 2003


CFA Changes Name to American Composites Manufacturers Association

15th October 2003 0 comments

The Composites Fabricators Association (CFA) officially switched over to its new name, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) at the opening of its annual trade show and convention, COMPOSITES 2003. This is the second name change for the organization in its 24-year history. “ACMA thrives as an organization because we are willing to change with the times,” said Richard Morrison, ACMA’s President of the Board of Directors. “In 1991, we recognized that the composites industry was no longer only about fiberglass, so we changed our name from the Fiberglass Fabricators Association to CFA. Today, terminology as well as roles are changing in the composites industry, and we have found that the word ‘manufacturers’ encompasses more of our industry than the word ‘fabricators.’” The association’s leadership believes the new wording will put the focus on the entire spectrum of composites professionals involved in making finished composites products. While ACMA is the largest composites manufacturing association in the world, ACMA’s leadership also chose to highlight the organization’s focus on North America and more specifically, the United States. “A large part of what we do is work with federal and state law makers to help shape regulations and legislation that impact our industry. While we do have an international membership base, our lobbying efforts are primarily focused on the U.S., and we felt our name should reflect that,” said Missy Henriksen, Executive Director of ACMA. “Our non-U.S. members are able to take advantage of our broad range of benefits, and we hope that they are also able to take the work we have done at the U.S. level in cooperation with legislators and regulators and use the outcomes in their own nations.”

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New P-50 Robot Offers Performance for Coating Applications

15th October 2003 0 comments

FANUC Robotics highlighted its compact new P-50 coating robot at Composites 2003 in Anaheim, the design being based on the success of nine generations of coating robots the company has offered since 1982. It claims precise, reliable, and affordable coating solutions to a wide range of industries, including consumer goods, appliances and automotive components. The P-50’s small size and multiple mounting methods make it suitable for companies with floor space limitations. With a maximum horizontal reach of 1360 mm, and coating speeds as high as 1500 mm per second, the P-50 is claimed to have more useable workspace, and faster acceleration than any other coating robot in its class. According to Barton Faylor, FANUC Robotics’ paint industry manager, the P-50 is extremely easy to setup, use, and maintain. “This robot is perfect for a variety of applications including general industrial coating, dispensing, lens coating, mask painting, and many more. Its speed and long reach help minimize cycle times and lower overall production costs.” “We’ve taken over 20 years of robotic painting and coating experience and engineered this robot to meet our customers’ requirements for flexibility, performance and cost,” added Faylor. At the show, the P-50 demonstrated its performance in a system that simulated applying gel coat to a vanity sink.

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Enhanced Reinforcement for Pultrusion and Filament Winding

15th October 2003 0 comments

Saint-Gobain Vetrotex has enhanced a high-performance fiberglass reinforcement for pultrusion and filament winding. Newly modified RO99®-673 roving offers improved mechanical properties and an enhanced ability to withstand handling with no change in processing characteristics.

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Composites One Introduces Kit Concepts

15th October 2003 0 comments

Kit Concepts, a service providing composites manufacturers with pre-packaged fiberglass material cut to size and nested in the order needed, has been launched by Composites One. “We developed the program to help composites manufacturers bypass the time-consuming and error-filled task of manually cutting and loading fiberglass material,” said Tom Hunter, Kit Concepts Production Manager. Each kit contains fiberglass material that is cut exactly to the customer’s patterns and CAD drawings. Cut material is then packed together in a single kit, and then placed in the order that they are used in the manufacturing process. Since the program’s initial introduction, a growing number of composites manufacturers in a variety of industries are using Kit Concepts for applications ranging from boat hulls to automotive parts to manhole covers. The pre-cut fiberglass material is suitable for customers using closed mold processes such as RTM (resin transfer molding) and vacuum infusion, as well as those using open mold processes. “Kit Concepts is a time and labor-saving alternative to manual cutting,” said Hunter. “You can reduce cutting and loading time in half!” he added.

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New Luxury Car Is Dressed in SMC

15th October 2003 0 comments

The new Cadillac XLR is combining the nameplate’s legendary luxury with the experience of a high performance roadster. The vehicle’s composite hood is compression-molded of sheet molding composite (SMC) by Tier One supplier ThyssenKrupp Budd Company. The matrices of ThyssenKrupp Budd proprietary SMCs are based on resin systems from AOC, the leader in North American automotive composite resins. “Because nothing reflects the style and prestige of a vehicle like the hood, it is especially gratifying to work with ThyssenKrupp Budd to develop the material for a Cadillac hood,” says Mike Dettre, Business Manager – Closed Mold for AOC. “In addition to its ability to create high style, SMC is specified because it lowers vehicle weight, reduces tooling costs, and resists corrosion and denting.” The Cadillac XLR hood assembly includes a complex-shaped, non-appearance SMC inner panel that is bonded to an SMC outer panel with a Class A finish. The hood surface has a four-sided, tapered design and includes steel hinges, brackets and the hood latch.

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Bayer Introduces New Spray Polyurethane Formulation For Part Reinforcement

15th October 2003 0 comments

Bayer Polymers Americas announced its new Baytec RS polyurethane material at Composites 2003, the Composites Fabricators Association’s industry trade show, a multi-layer polyurethane technology designed for reinforcing acrylic and ABS parts in applications ranging from spas to bathtubs to architectural parts such as garage doors. The Baytec RS system uses open mold processing. It is sprayed onto the back of formed acrylic or ABS parts, providing reinforcement without the use of glass fiber. This eliminates the need for hand roll-out of the fiber and helps to cut cycle time. Curing is also faster. While an FRP material may take an hour to be ready to trim, parts reinforced with Baytec RS material are ready in 15 minutes. “Costs are reduced in several ways with this material,” said Harry George, Specialty RIM Business Group Leader. “The single, open mold reduces tooling cost, labor costs for hand roll-out of fiber reinforcing materials are eliminated, and cycle time is cut, meaning greater productivity. “The fact that there are no solvents is another key benefit,” George added. The Baytec RS system can be applied at and cures at room temperature, with a gel time of about 2 minutes, and does not require post-curing. It is processed using three-stream low-pressure metering and mixing machinery. The material is applied as a “sandwich” – two solid layers with a cellular layer in between. The “sandwich” is about 3/4-inch thick. After curing, the Baytec RS material offers hardness up to 80 Shore D. The flexural strength that would otherwise be provided by glass fiber reinforcing is replaced in the Baytec RS system by a proprietary blend of structural fillers blended into the polyol used in the formulation, said George. He added that the sandwich construction also provides slightly higher impact strength to the completed part. George said that Baytec RS material can also be applied onto a gel coat in a mold in addition to serving as a backing for pre-formed acrylic or ABS parts. “Lower-cost tooling – one polished surface or a thermoformed piece of plastic – that’s what you’re spraying onto – instead of having a two-sided mold and the press and clamping pressure and associated costs,” George said. “In some cases manufacturers can even use molds currently being used for FRP materials.”

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Atofina Chemicals Introduces New Products

15th October 2003 0 comments

Atofina Chemicals introduced two new products and a newly patented product at the Composites 2003 show in Anaheim, in addition to their existing line of Luperox organic peroxide products.

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Reichhold Plans to Expand Morris Manufacturing Site

15th October 2003 0 comments

Reichhold plans to invest in its Morris, IL manufacturing operation, its largest facility in the U.S. which is currently sold out. The Morris site expnsion will increase its current capacity by 35 percent, and also includes plans for bulk handling and automated charging of solids, state-of the-art silica mixing technology and an upgrade to the process computer control system to ensure batch-to-batch product consistency. “I’m thrilled to announce Reichhold and our parent company, Dainippon Ink & Chemicals, are committed to serving our customers better by expanding our Morris, IL site – – a key production site which is currently sold out in polyester capacity,” said Gary Krall, chairman and CEO. “The improved production capabilities and increased capacity will allow us to deliver cost-effective products and services to our customers with increased speed and efficiency.” Reichhold has received the required permits and production is slated to go online in 2004. Reichhold’s Morris site, situated on approximately 128 acres 65 miles southeast of Chicago, IL, was purchased in 1967. The Morris site produces unsaturated polyester resins for the composites industry as well as producing emulsions and polyurethane dispersions (PUD) for the coatings industry.

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Norac Appoints Plastiformas de Mexico As New Distributor

15th October 2003 0 comments

Norac has appointed Plastiformas de Mexico as a distributor of Norox and Benox organic peroxide products for the composites industry in Mexico. Plastiformas de Mexico services the composites market from distribution centers in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico, D.F., with a full range of materials for both reinforced and cast polymer applications.

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Rexco Introduces New Marbalease Mold Release

15th October 2003 0 comments

Rexco introduced a new, specially formulated Marbalease Polymer Concrete Release at Composites 2003. Marbalease Polymer Concrete Release is a fast drying and easy-to-use liquid wax release for use with polymer concrete on metal or polyester mold surfaces. Rexco products include mold release waxes, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) film-forming barrier solutions and mold polishes/buffing compounds,

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