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Composites Industry News

News for 11 August 2005


Axson Introduces New Range of Extrudable Pastes.

11th August 2005 0 comments

Axson Group’s R&D department has developed a new performance line of extrudable pastes called SC167, SC300 and SCP270 which allow industries such as automotive, aerospace and marine to create high quality models and tools. “Axson has followed the technical changes of today’s industries and with the advantages of the new extrudable paste series we have taken that next step in affordable tooling products and the cost effective means that of the designers needs in their industries”, said Patrick Blosse, Axson Director of International Development. These extrudable pastes are said to provide excellent surface quality, low shrinkage, very good dimensional stability and without the hassles of bond lines that you see with similar board usage. “We have developed these pastes SC167, SC300 and SCP270 for the automotive and marine industries. The automotive industries especially need a material to create high quality models with an extremely good surface without the bonding lines. SC167 answered all these concerns with the ability to rework the surface if needed by hand. Its softness allows similar to today’s hand application but yet can be machined like a clay, wood or plaster. SC300 Answered the needs for a high mechanical and thermal property material for use in those areas such as metal forming, vacuum forming and low temperature pre-preg curing applications. SCP270 was specifically designed for those in the marine tooling industries. The polyurethane extrudable paste is extremely cost effective for those industries where use of boards are cost prohibitive. With SCP270 you can create extremely large scale models and tools and still retain that easy of use and excellent surface aspect you need”, explains Patrick Blosse. Artware Design, who specialise in the design, creation and production of prototypes, mainly for automotive, recently produced the full scale model of the C4 for Citroen. For cost and delivery reasons, they decided to produce this full size model using the SC167 epoxy extrudable paste, developed by Axson. “We fully master this technique, and we have optimised it to be able to produce a rolling model without the need of a mould and composite parts” declared Alain Grandjean, CEO of the company. After a quick and rough milling of the polystyrene block, the operator first lays-up the paste on a 20 mm thickness. After more than 24 hours, the paste is then machined with a 5 axis CNC, to the final dimensions. This hardening time seems long, but guarantees a low shrinkage and low internal stresses. The various blocks having been bonded, the whole car body is then treated and painted. “Since it is not made in composites, this prototype could not be competitive on a rally! But it can be driven at low speed and that’s what it is designed for. We are also used to the classical cycle model / mould / parts, but it generally induces longer lead times and higher costs” concluded Alain Grandjean.

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Bodycote completes the acquisition of CSM Materialteknik

11th August 2005 0 comments

Bodycote Materials Testing Group has completed its acquisition of CSM Materialteknik AB from SAAB AB of Sweden. CSM is one of Scandinavia’s leading knowledge based company in the fields of applied materials and process technologies and provides testing and consultancy services to the aerospace, defence and power generation industries. The business, which operates from three laboratories in Sweden, is headquartered in Linkoping and employs 105 staff. The business will trade as Bodycote CSM AB and expands Borycote’s capabilities in the materials engineering discipline.

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Dyneema Selected as Preferred Supplier of Brazilian Federal Police

11th August 2005 0 comments

DSM Dyneema has been selected as the preferred supplier to armor the patrol boats of the newly created Sea Police National System (NEPOM), a division of the Brazilian Federal Police. This month, the first unit of 11 armored boats will patrol the port of Rio de Janeiro. Additional units will be released between 2006 and 2008. The use of Dyneema, along with steel plate, was designed by AXIA Blindagens, a Brazilian armor company with molding and armor design capabilities for high level vehicle armor protection. This product combination provides the Brazilian Federal Police with a lightweight solution and high protection against multi-hit impact in the NIJ Level III. Franco Giaffone, president and senior partner of AXIA Blindagens, said “”We have a wide variety of armor options, but the tough environment that these patrol boats will face brought us to select the best material both from the ballistic viewpoint and the excellent resistance against salt water and UV light.”” The new patrol boats, built on a Spirit Ferretti frame, will most likely face high power rifle ammunition threats such as 5.56 and AK 47 ammunitions. DSM Dyneema’s UD consists of a UniDirectional cross ply composite that provides a superior ballistic performance at the lowest weight/areal density achievable today. Dyneema¨ is 15 times stronger than steel on a weight per weight basis. DSM Dyneema’s Vice President Life Protection Americas, David Cordova comments, “”DSM Dyneema relies on close collaboration through the entire value chain and provides unique innovations to meet the customer and environmental resistance expectations.””

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BigHead Standardises Chrome-Free Fasteners

11th August 2005 0 comments

In line with the EU’s recent Directive, BigHead Bonding Fasteners has now standardised on a new chrome-free zinc-passive finish for the mild steel range of its famous BigHead bonding fasteners This type of finish – containing no Chrome-6 – is now mandatory for plated metal parts used in the Auto industry, with other industries rapidly following suit.

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Epoxy Tooling Board Speeds Micro-Car to Market

11th August 2005 0 comments

Already widely used in the world’s automotive industry, Huntsman Advanced Materials tooling boards have now been used in the development of a new Italian micro-car – the k200. The ATR Group, an Italian consortium comprising nine leading companies involved in the research and production of carbon fibre advanced composite structural parts and components, is behind the k200 project. Among its other prestigious international automotive clients are Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Audi, Bugatti and Porsche. SLC, part of ATR Group, worked on the k200 model, specifically designed for the niche micro-car market. Made entirely from composite materials, as a result, the k200 is a super-light vehicle. Drawing on their wide expertise in composite materials, ATR Group technicians specified Huntsman Advanced Materials’ BM 5055 epoxy tooling board to build the models for ten carbon fibre moulds of the chassis, all the bodywork and interior components of the k200. ‘The physical properties of this tooling board were particularly suitable for our technological process’, said Giulio Strambi, Technical and Operational Manager at ATR Group, ‘especially the high temperature and pressure stability which are key requirements for the curing process of the resin. Also, compared with other products on the market, we appreciated the ease of machining BM 5055 and its good surface finish after CNC milling. This enabled us to drastically reduce the final hand polishing operations and, subsequently, to speed up the entire manufacturing process’. BM 5055 epoxy tooling board is suitable for hand laminating pre-preg moulds and vacuum forming. It offers high dimensional stability, good temperature resistance, a smooth surface finish, Shore strength of 75D, density ranging between 0.72 and 0.75g/cm3, and compressive strength of 50-55MPa.

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LRM and DuPont to Develop Thermoplastic Flowforming

11th August 2005 0 comments

LRM and DuPont have executed a joint development agreement to explore the utility of LRM’s ThermoPlastic Flowforming (TPF) technology, in applications in the building and construction markets where DuPont already has a strong presence. The development activities will focus on utilizing the capabilities of TPF process technology to produce large structural thermoplastic parts that can be made more cost effectively than unitary structures by other processes. The development activities are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2005. Dr. John Verbicky, President of LRM, said, “”We are pleased that DuPont, after completing a comprehensive review of thermoplastic processing technology and their needs for large structural product applications, has chosen TPF processing technology and LRM Industries as the most attractive and viable approach to address their building and construction market opportunities. We continue to believe that there is a wide range of large structural part applications for which the TPF process is the most commercially viable and capable technology in the industry. DuPont’s selection of the TPF process strongly reinforces that belief.”” TPF is an emerging process technology for the low pressure, fully automated molding of long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (LFRT) large structural parts providing enhanced mechanical properties through the randomization and preservation of fiber length in molded parts. LFRT molded products represent one of the fastest growing elements of the worldwide molded plastics market with applications potentially replacing conventional materials such as steel, aluminum, wood, fiberglass and cement, in nearly all major industrial market segments. LRM Industries, LLC (LRM) was formed to commercialize ThermoPlastic Flowforming technology through development, manufacturing and licensing. LRM is a joint venture of NOVA Chemicals Inc. and Envirokare Composites Corporation.

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Owens Corning Reports Record Second Quarter Sales

11th August 2005 0 comments

For the second quarter, Owens Corning posted net sales of $1.590 billion, an increase of 10.3%, compared to net sales of $1.441 billion for the same period last year. For the first six months of 2005, sales totaled $2.992 billion, a 12.9% increase from the year prior. During the first half of the year, strong demand for many of the company’s products continued, particularly in insulation and roofing markets. The increase in sales reflects a favorable pricing environment for many products, and higher sales volumes in both its building materials and composite solutions business segments. Increased volumes resulted from continued strength in the United States housing and remodeling markets, an improving global economy, and strong demand for the company’s residential roofing products in the Southeastern United States, created in part by the Florida hurricanes of 2004. “”Second quarter sales were the highest of any quarter in our company’s history,”” said Dave Brown, president and chief executive officer. “”Strong sales and improved pricing helped to offset energy, material and product delivery-related cost pressures. Our continued focus on operational improvement and domestic and global expansion positions us well for the remainder of the year.”” “”Our commitment to safety also continued to yield measurable results in the second quarter with a reduced number of recordable injuries to our employees,”” said Brown. During the second quarter, the company reported income from operations of $169 million and net income of $67 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, compared to income from operations of $93 million and net income of $33 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, for the second quarter the year prior. The company’s cash position continues to be strong, ending the second quarter with a cash balance of $1.048 billion, compared to $874 million for the same period in 2004. In connection with the company’s Chapter 11 process, on March 31, 2005, a federal district court issued a ruling estimating the total liability against Owens Corning for personal injury or death caused by exposure to asbestos to be $7 billion. As a result of the court’s estimation, the company increased its recorded reserves for asbestos-related liability in the first quarter of 2005 by an aggregate $4.342 billion. The non-cash charge of $4.342 billion in the first quarter resulted in a year-to-date loss from operations of $4.112 billion. During the same period in 2004, the company recorded income from operations of $128 million.

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Fortron PPS Composite Cuts Weight of Aircraft Seating

11th August 2005 0 comments

In its quest to reduce the weight of aircraft seats, a major seat manufacturer has switched a variety of seating elements from aluminum to a Tepex composite made with carbon fiber and Fortron polypheny-lene sulfide (PPS).

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Resin Systems Announces Orders and Expands into Europe

11th August 2005 0 comments

Resin Systems Inc. has received an order for approximately $26 million USD of its RStandard modular composite utility poles from an established European Union energy producer. RS will be supplying RStandard utility poles of heights between 32 meters (105 feet) and 41 meters (135 feet) that will be installed in an electric power grid of the EU energy producer. RS will commence delivery of the order upon satisfactory completion of independent testing of the RStandard poles for the customer. The independent testing is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2005 and RS anticipates that all contract deliveries will be completed by the end of 2007. “”We are proud to have been chosen to address the upgrade requirements of an important energy provider’s existing electrical power grid,”” said Greg Pendura, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Resin Systems Inc. “”Our RStandard utility poles will improve the capabilities of the existing infrastructure and will support the increased capacity being developed in that region.”” The company has also acquired approximately one half of a European Union company to pursue market opportunities in the EU and adjacent former eastern bloc countries for the sale of RS’s Version resin and products, with the exception of RS’s modular composite utility poles. RS intends to advance approximately U.S. $1.875 million to the EU company to establish a production facility in the EU. In addition, the EU company has received a purchase order to supply approximately U.S. $45 million of industrial conveyor system rollers made from its Version resin to a domestic EU mining conglomerate.

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Composites Repair Technologies for Algeria

11th August 2005 0 comments

Furmanite has won a substantial three-year contract to supply leak sealing and composite repair services to the In Salah Gas (ISG) project in Algeria. Under the contract, awarded by joint venture operator BP/Sonatrach/Statoil last month, Furmanite will provide design, management and implementation of specialist engineered temporary and permanent repairs to pipework, pipelines, vessels, flanges and flow control devices to maintain the safety, reliability and economic performance of the In Salah Gas project. Furmanite will be delivering its under pressure leak-sealing and composites repair technologies on a call-off basis as required to meet these needs, including a 24/7 service to cover any emergency work. The substantial contract applies across all the In Salah Gas project facilities, including the production facilities at Krechba, Teg and Reg fields, the Hassi R’Mel compression facility, and the interfield pipeline systems and main 460km, 48in-diameter export pipeline. ‘Our range of services are geared to helping operators minimise downtime and keep their assets earning, and this is what we will be offering the In Salah Gas project’, says Furmanite business development manager Mike Tucker. ‘Whether designing and installing a temporary leak-sealing clamp or a undertaking a permanent repair using composites technology, these services can be applied online while production continues, avoiding unscheduled shutdown and representing potentially massive savings’. ‘Equally importantly, the quality we offer means we also deliver technical assurance and reliability – particularly critical given the challenging desert environment’. Commenting on the contract award In Salah Gas integrity engineer Andrew Wade said: ‘To date our focus has been on achieving an inherently safe, modern and efficient design with minimum emissions and discharges. Our focus is now on the operational organisations and systems’. ‘Maintaining the safety, reliability and economic performance of the ISG project is critical, and to this end we are implementing a comprehensive integrity and maintenance management programme’. In Salah Gas is a joint venture between Algerian State Oil Company Sonatrach, BP and Statoil. The gas gathering project covers fields covering some 23,000km2 located in the Algerian Sahara, with reserves of around 200 billion cubic metres of dry gas. The $1.8 billion Phase 1 project comprises four gas production and compression sites, with associated processing, pipeline and support infrastructure, and became operational last year producing 9 billion cubic metres a year into existing Algerian gas networks for export to markets in southern Europe. Carbon Dioxide from the produced gas is separated and re-injected into deep wells to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.

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