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Composites Industry News

News for September 2004


Araldite Adhesives Bond with Europe’s Future Design Engineers

3rd September 2004 0 comments

UK University students win materials design award, aimed at educating students in structural adhesives for industrial bonding.

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Composite Technology Completes First Commercial Installation

3rd September 2004 0 comments

Composite Technology Corporation (CTC) has completed the first commercial overhead installation of its proprietary Aluminum Conductor Composite Core (ACCC) high-performance electrical power cable.

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Multi-Axial Inc. Introduces New Composite Product Line

3rd September 2004 0 comments

Multi-Axial, Inc. has issued details of its first two families of basic “”value-by-design”” brand advanced composite products, StructurPly and Tow Strand brands. The StructurPly family consists of: StructurPlyI Engineered Uniaxial thermoplastic matrix resin preimpregnated, (commonly called “”prepreg””) material, StructurPlyII Engineered Multiaxial Thermoplastic Matrix Resin Prepreg, StructurPly III Engineered Uniaxial Low Binder Reinforcement Architecture (commonly called “”textile perform””), and StructurePly IV Engineered Multiaxial Low Binder Reinforcement Architecture. StructurPly I and II are thermoplastic matrix resin prepregs that are used in the construction of primary load carrying composite structures. Unlike the typical 3 to 8 hours required by the thermoset resin materials to cure, StructurPly cures within 2 to 4 minutes at 385 F degrees and 14 psi pressure. The StructurPly III and IV Uniaxial and Multiaxial Reinforcement Architectures are used as a precursor for the thermoset prepreg industry, the revolutionary Resin Infusion (RTM) and related processes for making complicated shapes and very large fibrous reinforced composite components and Wet Lay-Up processes that are typically used in the sporting goods and boat building industries. The second family of “”value-by-design”” products is the TowStrand brand that consists of two basic products. They are TowStrandI Engineered Uniaxial Low Binder Selective Reinforcement and TowStrandII Engineered Uniaxial Thermoset Matrix Resin Selective Reinforcement Prepreg. These products were designed for the most economical and effective method of selective reinforcing a wide variety of structural members such as, engineered wood beams (Glulam) for building construction, sporting goods and boats to name a few. Founded in May of 2003 and located in Huntington Beach, California, Multi-Axial has spent its first year of operation at its proof-of-concept facility performing the research and development necessary to bring its unique product line to market. Multi-Axial engineers pioneered the enabling technology and developed the machinery and manufacturing processes that created the two families of distinctive, way-of-the-future engineered non-woven binder-bonded fabrics. These products replace the outdated “”aerospace”” or conventional woven fabrics and unidirectional collimated tape products with typical thermoset matrix resins that have been in use for over forty-five years. SturcturPly products offer the advantages of being lighter, stronger, and more durable than conventional prepreg materials. They will save up to 60% of the fabrication cost for a wide variety of composite components that are utilized in every market.

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PPG Introduces Continuous Strand Fibre Glass Reinforcement Mat

3rd September 2004 0 comments

PPG Industries has introduced MatVantage II binder-free, continuous strand fibre glass mat, a stitched product offering high tensile strength and improved capabilities for the forming of complex parts. MatVantage II mat uses stitch bonding technology to lock fibre glass strands in place, eliminating the use of insoluble binders, which make traditional mats stiff and susceptible to breaks. As a result, PPG’s binder-free product is soft and conformable for complex pultruded shapes. Furthermore, the strength of MatVantage II mat is designed to reduce tears and downtime in customer processes, said Vicki Holt, PPG’s vice president of fibre glass. “”There’s no need to accept the shortcoming of traditional continuous strand mats anymore,”” Holt said. “”Our researchers and engineers have designed MatVantage II mat to have a positive impact on our customers’ fabrication processes.”” Holt added MatVantage II mat has a consistent white colour in all densities and is compatible with pultruders’ slitting, splicing and creeling techniques. The sizing on the strands is compatible for most resin systems, including polyester, epoxy and vinyl ester reinforcements. “”MatVantage II continuous strand mat is a welcome new reinforcement that has the potential of solving processing problems in complex pultruded shapes,”” said Ron Carrico, purchasing manager for Strongwell, the world’s largest pultruder. “”Strongwell values the solutions PPG brings to the reinforcements market and its focus on fibre glass innovation.””

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Boeing Joins CMI's Silent Aircraft Initiative

3rd September 2004 0 comments

Boeing has formally entered into a collaboration with the Cambridge-MIT Institute’s ‘Silent’ Aircraft Initiative.

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Groundbreaking Innovations Usher an Exciting Phase in the Plastics Materials Industry

3rd September 2004 0 comments

According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, Plastics Materials: Emerging Technology and Trends – adherence to polymer regulations and innovation are key aspects in the growing plastics and composites market. Economical, performance-focused plastics materials application development is dependent not only on leveraging traditional, well-defined ‘cost-performance’ parameters, but also on understanding the strategic nuances essential for sustaining long-term growth. “”Adherence to regulatory legislation — particularly in the areas of continuous improvement in size and weight reduction — is one of the most compelling propositions that plastics materials suppliers should focus on in their continuous quest for innovation,”” says Technical Insights Sr. Research Analyst Donald Rosato. Additionally, participants need to understand the importance of product design for enhanced reusability, automated and robotic handling systems that mandate a precise size for finished plastic products, and the need for complete recycling capability. “”Keeping pace with advancements in plastics materials technologies is the key to maintain global cost competitiveness in plastics applications development,”” says Dr. Rosato. “”If the host of innovative plastics materials and the corresponding applications on the horizon is any indication, then the industry is making giant strides in the right direction.”” The development of a new type of plastic composite tape known as PURE (Polymeric construction material with Ultimate properties, Recyclability, and Environmental safety) is another striking innovation. It is a self-reinforced PP composite made of co-extruded tapes, which is claimed to have five times the stiffness of conventional PP fibre and properties superior to fibreglass-reinforced plastics. “”With its lightweight, substantial rigidity, good wear resistance, and greater tensile strength coupled with its fully recyclable nature, PURE has the potential of an environment-friendly material,”” says Dr. Rosato. The initiative to build an all-polypropylene, fully recyclable car roof using PURE is likely to get more exciting with the implementation of the end-of-life vehicles directive by the European Union. This directive includes a target of recycling nearly 85 percent of every car by 2006 and 95 percent by 2015. The growing global demand for plastic pallets, which conform to precise sizes, is another compelling development in the light of increasing levels of automation, stricter hygiene standards, and the need for superior design features. A few participants have developed lightweight pallets using recycled polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). Besides being cost-competitive, these pallets are often used to ship products to countries that prohibit entry of untreated wooden pallets for fear of insects usually harboured in the wood. The use of a polycarbonate copolymer film — that is scratch/chemical resistant and capable of withstanding ten-year weathering tests – to form a paintless Class A decorative finish is a remarkable advancement generating considerable excitement in the global automotive industry. Corn-derived polylactide plastics is yet another new material that is rapidly gaining acceptance in bedding and upholstery fibres and packaging films, thermoformed part applications, and injection moulded products. “”The market acceptance of a plastics material is dependent on the productivity enhancement brought about by it in manufacturing,”” says Dr. Rosato. “”Hence, plastics material suppliers need to continuously sharpen focus on technical development and offer customized offerings – whether in terms of grades, colours, or special effects.”” Plastics Materials — Emerging Technology and Trends, part of the Chemicals and Materials Subscription Service, is a compendium of hard-to-find data and information collated from prioritized trade sources. It defines and describes the value of a given technology in different polymer segments such as major plastics material, engineering plastics, thermoplastic elastomers, higher performance plastics, compounded plastics, and plastics additives technology.

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UK Engineering Companies Provide Composite Design Support

3rd September 2004 0 comments

Brunel University’s team propelled itself into the design finals of the international Formula Student event with help from two Warwickshire-based engineering consultancies.

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Acquisition of Carbon Fibre Business in the US

3rd September 2004 0 comments

Toho Tenax is to unite with Acordis, a leading fibre manufacturer based in the Netherlands, to acquire the PAN-based carbon fibre business in the United States.

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Mitsubishi to Build New Plant in Nagoya to Make Boeing 7E7Wings

3rd September 2004 0 comments

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, has purchased a plot of land in Nagoya from Mitsubishi Motors Corp to build a plant to manufacture wings for Boeing’s 7E7 airplane, scheduled for launch in 2008. The move aims to expand the firm’s aerospace business to make up for slow-growing or declining shipbuilding and nuclear power facility operations. Construction of the plane wing plant will be cost some $319 million. Mitsubishi Heavy is in charge of manufacturing the carbon fibre wing, which will be the first carbon fibre wing to be used in commercial passenger airplanes. It plans to supply wings for 2,000 Boeing 7E7s over a span of 20 years. The wing plant, to be built on a 100,000 square meter site where Mitsubishi Motors, the troubled auto maker, formerly assembled vehicles, is scheduled to come onstream in 2006. Mitsubishi Heavy is expected to pay 4-5 bln yen for the land, the first sale of property for Mitsubishi Motors since the embattled automaker unveiled a rehabilitation program in May, the paper reported. Mitsubishi Motors is expected to use the proceeds from the land sale for investment in the development of new cars. The struggling carmaker closed the plant on the land in 2001 following a plunge in domestic auto sales. Boeing and MHI have been working closely together for more than 30 years. For the 777, 767, 747 and 737 models, MHI has been responsible for the design and manufacture of various airframe structure components, including fuselages, fuselage panels, entry doors, cargo doors and inboard flaps. In March 2004 MHI won Boeing’s “”Suppliers of the Year”” award in the category of major structures. The awards, given in recognition of a commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, were conferred on 13 recipients from a field of 10,900 suppliers in more than 60 countries. And only last month, MHI released a press statement of the shipment of the new wing centre section for the Boeing 747.

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Newly Developed Blast-Resistant Panels Withstand Explosive Force in DOD Testing

3rd September 2004 0 comments

A collaborative project produced new cost-effective blast resistant structures using pre-fabricated reinforced polyurea panels.

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