NetComposites

Connecting you to the composites industry

Advertisement

Composites Industry News

News for August 2004


COMPOSIT Thematic Network Completes Automotive Industry Research Report

5th August 2004 0 comments

The final industry reports of the COMPOSIT thematic network project are now available. The reports are based on the collated findings of the ten COMPOSIT research clusters with one report for each of the aerospace, automotive and rail industries. The reports focus on the future research requirements of the transport sectors in order to facilitate an increased use of composite materials. The first of these reports, available from the NetComposites website, relates to the automotive industry. The automotive industry’s big adventure with composite materials began in 1953 and is still ongoing. Since these early days, it has been demonstrated that composites are reliable, lightweight, fatigue resistant and easily moulded to shape – in other words, a seemingly attractive alternative to metals. However, there has been no widespread switch from metals to composites in the automotive sector. This is because there are a number of technical issues relating to the use of composite materials that still have to be resolved including accurate material characterisation, manufacturing, surface finish and joining. Throughout 2002 and 2003, the COMPOSIT thematic network on “The Future Use of Composites in Transport” organised ten workshops on the use of composite materials in the aerospace, automotive and rail industries. These workshops focussed on a range of different issues: repair, design and structural simulation, crashworthiness, manufacturing, lightweighting, joining, recycling, modelling, fire safety and new material concepts. During each workshop, the state-of-the-art was analysed and assessed in order to highlight limitations in materials and processing, and identify recommendations for future research priorities. The automotive report presents the findings of COMPOSIT in terms of the automotive industry. Key recommendations for future research priorities include: The development of composite materials and processes for their application to mass production. The development of highly automated composite material manufacturing processes. Composite material cost reduction. The development of composite material design, analysis and test procedures that are specific to the automotive industry. The development of new numerical models for composite materials. The reports suggested that there would appear to be significant future opportunities for composites in the automotive industry, especially if one considers their potential advantages compared to metals. Composites can offer benefits in terms of weight reduction, tooling cost savings, and design and styling freedom. The use of composites for sports car applications has demonstrated their viability in both semi-structural (e.g. body panels) and structural (e.g. chassis) applications. The ability to locally vary composite reinforcements also offers significant advantages over metal tailored blanks (different thicknesses of sheet metal that are laser welded before stamping, e.g. in car doors). Furthermore, decades of use in aerospace and military applications has eased concerns over the durability and fatigue life of composites. In terms of markets, opportunities might arise from the Far East, especially China. Forecasts anticipate that manufacturing and sales within the Chinese automotive market will double every year. To compete with low cost labour markets like this, European car manufacturers have the opportunity to specialise in advanced technologies and materials such as composites. Another implication of the rapidly growing Asiatic markets is a possible global shortage of steel and its associated raw materials. Again, this may present opportunities for composites. Today it is easy to paint a rosy picture about the future use of composite materials in the automotive industry. However, it would be a big strategic mistake to assume that the substitution of metals with composites will be unavoidable and automatic. There is no doubt that the number of composite material applications within the automotive sector will increase, but, as has been demonstrated by the aerospace sector, they will never completely replace metals. Composite materials have enormous potential, but the composite industry will need to demonstrate their advantages for each application and compete with advocates of metals. Ideally, designers should seek to work with both materials without prejudice, exploiting their best characteristics for a given application. If this approach is to be adopted, special attention will be required when considering the joining of composite and metal parts. Another essential requirement is the development of the tools required for product design, simulation, manufacturing and regulation Further information on COMPOSIT can be found at www.compositn.net. The complete reports can be downloaded from our site by clicking here

Read more


CEO of Czechinvest Becomes Deputy Prime Minister of Czech Republic

6th August 2004 0 comments

Martin Jahn, x-director of CzechInvest, has been appointed Deputy Prime Minster for the Czech Republic. Czech Invest exhibited at JEC this year and encouraged composite manufacturing companies to setup operations in the Czech region. As Deputy Prime Minister for economic affairs, Martin Jahn will be in charge of increasing the competitiveness of the Czech economy, primarily by improving the business environment. He thus builds on the results of his previous work at CzechInvest, which has been actively contributing to improving the investment and business climate in the Czech Republic for several years. “My objective is to facilitate the registration of new firms in the Czech Republic, and to simplify our economic legislation in general. I aim to involve businesspeople themselves into the process of law-making, so that new regulations will cater to the needs of potential investors and entrepreneurs,”” says the new Deputy Prime Minister Martin Jahn: “”Among my other priorities are the development of human resources, applied research and development and other areas that contribute to a faster economic growth of the Czech Republic. I am convinced that the Czech Republic has the potential to become Europe’s technology and knowledge centre within ten years.”” The new Deputy Prime Minister Martin Jahn will also be in charge of enforcing the Czech Republic@s economic interests abroad, especially as EU matters are concerned. The leadership of CzechInvest passes from Martin Jahn to Radomil Novák, previously Deputy CEO for the operational management of CzechInvest. His goals are to continue the agency’s current activities and to further improve the services it provides to both foreign investors and domestic entrepreneurs.

Read more


New Functional Mould Software for Improved Processing Productivity

6th August 2004 0 comments

Moldflow have released new Plastics Insight software, designed to add improved functionality with simulated processing. Moldflow claim that the new software, with a strong focus on 3D technology, offers pre- and post-processing productivity improvements and is packed with a wide range of customer driven enhancements, MPI 5.0 redefines “”the best”” by delivering even more comprehensive solutions to address today’s manufacturing issues and support all design analysis geometry types associated with plastics moulding processes. The software is claimed to offer the world’s largest database of its kind with more than 7,800 materials characterized for use in plastic CAE analysis. MPI 5.0 offers 19 distinct modules that can be used to simulate nine unique moulding processes. MPI 5.0 provides a broad range of modelling and meshing enhancements and tools that reduce the time required to create an analysis-ready model. In addition, the product offers enhanced geometry troubleshooting diagnostics, clean-up tools, and an automatic mesh fix wizard. MPI 5.0 offers new simulation capabilities and improved solver performance for analyzing thin-walled part designs using mid-plane and MPI/Fusion meshes. User interface enhancements help companies increase productivity with new tools for comparing project studies, synchronizing result selection and result properties and displaying and manipulating models in less time than ever. Numerous solver enhancements include the ability to simulate mould core deflections and evaluate the flow of one or two different materials injected into two separate geometries in a sequential process. Using MPI 5.0, filling and packing analyses run up to 40 percent faster than in previous versions of the software. Also new are a fast fill solver and options to control the opening and closing of sequential valve gates. Paul van Huffel, senior engineer at Cascade Engineering and MPI 5.0 beta user, says, “”The addition of corner effects to the warpage analysis and the new core deflection analysis will have a significant positive impact on our development of new products and moulding technologies. Our customers stand to gain substantially from our use of this improved toolset. The new user-defined keys will also be a significant time-saver for us internally, thus allowing Cascade Engineering to get more work done in less time. MPI 5.0 will definitely help us to be more effective and more productive.”” New 3D innovations help users simulate the gas-assisted injection moulding process and evaluate the effect of polymer or metal inserts on the cooling and warpage of the plastic part. In addition, the software helps predict core deflection, packing and warping of thermoset materials and dynamic paddle-shift in the microchip encapsulation process. Other enhancements include more robust and efficient 3D mesh generation and a new 3D probe result for examining result values through the part thickness.

Read more


Carbon Fibre Brakes to Blame for Lack of F1 Overtaking

6th August 2004 0 comments

Jean Todt, the Ferrari Principal, said that the efficiency of the composite brakes used in F1 are one of the main reasons for the lack of overtaking. The Frenchman said that a qualifying procedure that places the fastest car at the front of the grid does not bode well for overtaking. “”If you want them to all overtake one another,”” said Todt, “”start the grid in reverse order. We would see them all pass but it would not be very natural.”” When asked about the carbon fibre brakes that slow the cars from speeds approaching 200mph down to 40mph in a few seconds, Todt asserted that “”Overtaking is so difficult with these brakes, because the drivers brake so late – most of them are braking at exactly the same point.””

Read more


DK Composites Produce 35m CFRP Yacht – Largest in South East Asia

6th August 2004 0 comments

A Malaysian-German joint venture company has constructed a 35m-long carbon-fibre yacht, the biggest built in South-East Asia. DK Composites (Dian Kreatif) Director Habibur Rahman Ibrahim said the 7.5m wide ultra-fast Maiden Hong Kong, an advanced composite yacht, weighs about 35 tonnes.

Read more


PPG’s Innofibre Improves Processing Efficiency for Screen Makers

6th August 2004 0 comments

New Innofibre from PPG Industries is designed to improve the quality and processing efficiency for screen manufacturers and others. Available in G75, G150 and DE100 yields, the fibre glass’ durable compatible sizing, or DCS, is claimed to generate minimal fuzz and broken filaments during processing in customer operations, reducing the potential for breaks in the continuous-strand product year round. The non-starch oil sizing also bonds well with polyvinylchloride, polyester, vinylester, epoxy and other resin matrices. “”Developing innovative products that help customers improve their quality and efficiency reflects our commitment to being a global leader in the fibre glass industry,”” said Vicki Holt, PPG’s vice president of fibre glass. Manufactured in Lexington, N.C., Innofiber DCS fibre glass is available worldwide. Holt said production of PPG’s newest product is expected to increase the rest of the year. “”Reducing down time is a critical priority for customers,”” she said.

Read more


UMR Receives ACTE Award for Work with RTI

6th August 2004 0 comments

The University of Missouri-Rolla has received the 2004 Award of Merit from the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for the campus’ collaboration with Rolla Technical Institute (RTI) on several research and educational projects. UMR was cited for involving RTI students and faculty members in several research and educational projects during the past five years. One of such projects involved RTI masonry students in UMR research to strengthen building materials. RTI students worked with researchers in UMR’s Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies to test the strength of new, lightweight construction materials in concrete blocks. The RTI students built a wall using fiber-reinforced composite materials developed at UMR, then observed as UMR students tested the technology. “”The partnership between UMR and RTI is truly unique because it brings together a major research university and a technical institute to work toward the common cause of providing a relevant and meaningful educational experience to students from both institutions,”” says UMR Chancellor Gary Thomas. “”This partnership has been beneficial to both parties over the past five years, and we look forward to years and years of continued collaboration.””

Read more


Royal Society Reports on Need for Responsible Development of Nanotechnology

6th August 2004 0 comments

A recent report published by the Royal Society in the UK asserts that while Nanotechnology offers many potential benefits, its development must be guided by appropriate safety assessments and regulation.

Read more


Electric CFRP Fuel Pumps for Carburetted Vehicles

6th August 2004 0 comments

Edelbrock has teamed up with Essex Industries – the same company which makes fuel system components for B-2 Stealth Bomber and other planes – to produce new state-of-the-art electric fuel pumps for carburetted applications. Two strong and durable electric fuel pumps are now available. Both have anodized aluminium housings, quality components and are factory- tested. They come with mounting brackets. The two pumps (1791 and 1792) use a precision-machined carbon fibre vane that is lightweight, very accurate and repeatable, and extremely strong, according to Edelbrock. This translates to less centrifugal force to prevent friction and wear, and no metallic particles are released into the fuel line. The rotors are precision-moulded parts from a hard composite, which provide a light weight repeatable part that reduces inertia loads on the pump. #1791 is factory preset to 6.5 psi and no regulator is needed. With a replaceable screen-type inlet filter and the free flow rate of 120 GPH is sufficient to supply 600 hp. #1792 has a free flow rate of 160 GPH, good enough to feed a 1,000-hp engine. Pump is factory preset to 12 psi and requires an external regulator such as the new Edelbrock

Read more


Cyclics Corporation to Introduce New CBT Resin Grades at the K Show

6th August 2004 0 comments

Cyclics Corporation will be introducing a variety of grades of CBT resin at the K Show in Dusseldorf, Germany this October. CBT resins are claimed by Cyclics to offer an “unmatched combination of processing ease and high performance in demanding applications”. Cyclics also state that this new product achieves its unique processing by melting to a water-like viscosity before it polymerizes and solidifies to a high strength engineering thermoplastic. The versatility of CBT resin enables it to be processed by nearly all types of plastics processing and offers designers and moulders new opportunities in composites, where the low viscosity of CBT resins allows the maximum use of structural fibres to produce lightweight structural composites that can be thermoformed and recycled without hazardous VOC emissions. CBT resins will also offer opportunities in Nanocomposites where the resins easily wet-out or exfoliate nano-scale particles to produce lightweight materials with greatly improved stiffness, use temperature, dimensional stability and decreased permeability. Cyclics believe the Resins will also have uses for rotational moulding, low pressure moulding and casting and compounding, where the CBT resin offers a variety of improvements.

Read more


[ Page 1 of 7 ]

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Follow us
Subscribe to our email newsletter

Subscribe to receive our weekly round-up of all the industry's latest news, jobs, events and more!

We'll always keep your personal details secure and will never share them with third parties for marketing purposes. You can unsubscribe at any time. For further details on how we may use your data, please visit our Privacy Policy.