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Composites Industry News

News for February 2004


Keynote Speakers Announced for SAMPE 2004

19th February 2004 0 comments

The SAMPE 2004 organizing committee has identified Michael Fortson, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and Director of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program, as its Keynote Address Speaker at the Long Beach Symposium that runs from 16-20 May, 2004. Mr. Fortson’s address is entitled “”F-35: 21st Century Fighter Design and Materials Technology”” and will discuss this critical program in terms of today’s more revolutionary design, manufacturing and process engineering requirements. The F-35 JSF is being designed to replace a large number of legacy aircraft for the USAF, USN, USMC and the UK. The F-35 must not only have superior performance to legacy aircraft, it must also be affordable. The performance, weight, and low observables goals necessitate using composite materials and processes. However, the affordability requirements mandate that we find a way to build the structure more efficiently than in the past and avoid risk. In addition, this will be the first Low Observables aircraft that will field 1000’s vs. 100’s; not only for U.S. government customer, but for the UK, and a number of potential International partners. This presentation describes the JSF’s challenge to meet these sometimes competing requirements, and how the F-35’s approach is truly revolutionary in developing superior performance in an affordable product. Mike Fortson is currently Director, JSF Deputy Air Vehicle Development Team Lead at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Ft. Worth, TX. He is responsible for the design, development, and the manufacture of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The NASA Deputy Administrator, Frederick D. Gregory, will provide the SAMPE 2004 Luncheon Speech covering the current and planned initiatives in space with a talk on NASA’s Plans for Future Space Exploration. Frederick Gregory is NASA’s Deputy Administrator and a veteran astronaut who flew on three Space Shuttle missions. He is responsible for directing and managing many of NASA’s programs, including its program to develop technology options for future human and robotic exploration beyond low Earth orbit, as well as NASA’s day-to-day operations and activities. Mr. Gregory will outline the space agency’s new vision and mission objectives, its plans for future space exploration activities, and its efforts to transfer cutting-edge technologies to Industry. Mr. Gregory will also give an overview of NASA’s Innovative Technology Transfer Partnerships Program, established to catalyze partnerships with industry, academia and others to develop and transfer technology in support of NASA missions. This program has facilitated the development of hundreds of “”spin-off”” products and processes for the materials, manufacturing, medical and numerous other industries.

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Lectra Launches Two New Versions of VectorComposite

19th February 2004 0 comments

Lectra has launched two new versions of its Vector cutters, dedicated to the cutting of composite materials: VectorComposite-67 and VectorComposite-67E. “The main benefit of the new VectorComposite cutters is that they can operate in environments that are saturated with carbon dust, the distinguishing feature of production environments in these industries,” states Pierre-Michel Richer, Manufacturing Product Line Marketing Manager, Lectra. The loading and cutting devices are fully adapted to difficult production environments. All electronic elements are protected from carbon dust. The workstation is apart from the Vector and its rigorous security devices is ensuring user safety and comfort. With this level of protection, VectorComposite provides optimum cutting quality, while addressing the severe requirements of these industries. The new versions of VectorComposite can also be equipped with two different models of inkjet printers, allowing tracking of cutting operations. The first model prints text according to a predetermined axis. It is suitable for marking pieces with simple geometry. The second model prints text in 360° and is therefore suitable for identifying complex pieces placed in any direction.

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Techfab Introduces Short Roll Kits to Meet Reinforcement Demands

19th February 2004 0 comments

TechFab has introduced two C-GRID kit products designated as CT-300 and CT-550 to meet reinforcement demands of growing concrete countertop and interior structures markets. These are flexible carbon fiber grids individually packaged in 41” wide x 75’ rolls for easy ground shipment, handling and storage. The patented C-GRID reinforcements use a novel carbon fiber reinforced epoxy resin based grid design and are custom engineered for a variety of internal concrete reinforcement applications. They replace typical materials such as galvanized wire, wire mesh and light steel rebar. Décor designer manufacturer Elemental Surfaces located in Apopka, FL was one of the early C-GRID reinforcement adopters. Rick Parks, President and former Biotechnology Engineer turned Specialty Precaster stated, “Our signature in the concrete countertop world is bold and decorative. To get massive looking finished products without the weight, our custom works are often very complex or highly engineered dimensional castings. C-GRID unquestionably is the best reinforcement material for our product. It eliminates weight and fabrication problems associated with steel alternatives. We’ve never had a C-GRID reinforced piece break.” According to John Carson, Commercial Development Director for TechFab LLC, “Market reception and interest in C-GRID reinforcement for use in concrete countertops, vanities and customized designer products has been phenomenal. C-GRID technology gives precast manufacturers and designers a unique material technology that provides interior designers and architects a practical means to create more innovative designs “ A sample of Elemental Surfaces recent work using TechFab C-GRID, along with that of several other décor manufactures including FormWorks, and Mark Concrete will be on display at TechFab’s booth #7285 at World of Concrete, Orlando,FL. February 16-20, 2004. TechFab, LLC is a 50/50 Joint Venture with partners Hexcel and Chomarat.

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New Composites Partnership for Scott Bader in Germany

19th February 2004 0 comments

In January 2004 Scott Bader appointed Ter Hell & Co GMBH as a national distributor for Scott Bader Crystic resins and gelcoats in Germany.

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NOROX Special organic peroxide for gelcoats now available worldwide

19th February 2004 0 comments

Norox MEKP-9, with very low water content and low hydrogen peroxide level, has been used by the composites industry in the US for a long period of time. The reason is that most gelcoat systems made in the US do not tolerate high levels of water or hydrogen peroxide to get the perfect gelcoat surface connected to for example the US boat builders. As many of the gelcoat systems with US origin now are available all over the world Norac can now offer MEKP-9 from the Swedish plant to supply Europe and other areas outside the US. With a more global business world, from the start of 2004 Norac will use global branding for all organic peroxides produced and marketed by the company in the US and Swedish plants. This means that products with the same specification will have the same product name both for the US market and for the rest of the world. By taking this step Norac hopes that it will make it easier for their customers to find the correct Norac peroxide.

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Goodrich to Provide Composite Technology on Reusable Launch Vehicle

19th February 2004 0 comments

Goodrich Corporation has been awarded a contract from NASA – Langley to supply an integral, high-temperature composite flaperon control surface to be ground-tested for use as a hot structure for future reusable orbital vehicles. The contract is expected to generate $1.4 million in revenue for Goodrich over the next 2 years. Goodrich’s Santa Fe Springs, California-based carbon plant will be manufacturing the test vehicle’s flaperon, which helps steer the vehicle. The flaperon will be made of Goodrich’s proprietary high-temperature composites. Traditional vehicles such as the Space Shuttle use thermal protection tiles on a metallic frame, the combination of which is quite heavy and costly to maintain. According to Paul Walsh, Director of High Temperature Composites for Goodrich, “”Interest by NASA and the Department of Defense in composite technology continues to grow as space vehicles need to become smaller and more agile. New vehicles on the drawing board will fly at many times the speed of sound, which will cause localized overheating not only in flight but also when they re-enter the earth’s environment. Our lightweight ceramic and carbon-based composites are ideally suited to handle the heat generated by space vehicle reentry and also have the potential for military use. We’re proud to have been selected by NASA for this project that will truly take space vehicles to the next level of efficiency and safety.”” Goodrich’s Santa Fe Springs, California facility specializes in composite materials capable of withstanding the temperatures for use in a variety of applications from jet engine nozzles to space vehicle reentry surfaces.

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Owens Corning Adds Glass Fabric Knitting Production at Taloja India Plant

19th February 2004 0 comments

Owens Corning will add glass fiber knitting capability at the Taloja, India, plant of Owens Corning India Limited (OCIL), a joint venture between Owens Corning, USA and Mahindra & Mahindra, India. The investment adds fabric knitting to the plant’s existing glass roving operations, to supply growing market demand in India and surrounding regions, especially for the wind energy market. India is currently the fifth largest country in the world in terms of installed capacity of wind mills. “This investment is another step in demonstrating our commitment to the growth of the composites industry as well as the fabrics market, by expanding our ability to make and distribute all facets of fabrics on both a local and worldwide basis,” said Jeff Boersma, vice president and general manager of Owens Corning’s fabrics business. “As the global leader in the composites industry,” added Owens Corning Composites Business President Chuck Dana, “”this investment is a testament to OC’s purpose of delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives. And, it demonstrates our commitment to our customers’ success and their bright future by investing locally in the markets where they do business to offer tailored, low-cost manufacturing platforms.”” Satish Kulkarni, Managing Director for OCIL, added that the investment is key for India on a number of fronts. “Our expanded capacity at Taloja will benefit India in terms of economic development and energy conservation — especially with our country’s current energy situation and the need for continued growth of alternative energy sources like wind energy,” said Kulkarni. “Increasingly, composites solutions are helping transform the lives of people — especially in India, by offering environmentally friendly cost effective solutions to some of the basic issues like providing clean drinking water, electricity etc.”

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Talon Composites Receives Contract from BNFL

19th February 2004 0 comments

Talon Composites, a manufacturer of proprietary metal matrix composites, has entered into contract with British Nuclear Fuels PLC (BNFL) for the Talbor Metal Matrix Material for PWR/BWR caskets for the transportation of nuclear fuel. The MMCs consist of aluminum and boron carbide and are supplied primarily to the nuclear waste and nuclear transportation industries for neutron shielding applications. Talon’s process results in the boron carbide being dispersed evenly throughout the composite, making it particularly suitable to the nuclear industry. Robin A. Carden, CEO of Talon remarked, “”We are extremely pleased by the formalization of our contractual relationship with BNFL. The agreement will require us to form our materials into large assemblies for nuclear transportation. Also, Talon’s relationship with Allied Manufacturing of Ontario, Calif., announced October 2003, allows us to combine our metal matrix technology with Allied’s large-part machining capabilities. In the end, we are able to offer a complete storage cask fabricated from a variety of materials.”” He further added, “”Advances in our manufacturing techniques facilitates the production of plates in excess of 5 meters long.””

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