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Composites Industry News

News for 5 March 2006


New Owens Corning Products for Wind Energy Market

5th March 2006 0 comments

Owens Corning has added a second glass fibre knitting line at its Taloja, Mumbai plant to increase the production of sophisticated multi-axial glass fabrics. “This latest expansion of our fabric knitting capacity will benefit India in terms of economic development and energy conservation as our focus in India is aligned with infrastructure development, a national priority,” said Satish Kulkarni, Managing Director for Owens Corning India Ltd. “These highly technical fabrics are used in several key industries but especially for the wind energy market to supply growing demand in India and surrounding regions for continued growth of renewable energy sources such as wind power,” explained Kulkarni. India’s power generation through wind energy has surpassed 4200MW making it the wind energy leader in Asia. The states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are the leading regions for wind power in the country. India obtained the annual World Wind Energy Award 2005 for favourable policies enabling the proliferation of wind energy and emerges as the fourth largest country in the world in terms of a wind power generating nation after Germany, Spain and the US. “The rapid investment in a second fabrics weaving line here at Taloja confirms Owens Corning’s pledge to our customers to offer tailored, low-cost manufacturing platforms and also demonstrates our commitment to sustain the company’s future growth strategy in India,” added Owens Corning Composites Business President Chuck Dana. “Increasingly, composites solutions are helping transform the lives of people, in India and around the world, by offering environmentally-friendly cost-effective solutions to some of the basic necessities such as providing clean drinking water and electricity.” The company has also launched a new single-end roving and knitted fabric, WindStrand, which it says will allow the wind energy market to take another step forward in competing successfully against other alternative energy sources by reducing the cost per kilowatt-hour. The company claims that the product will allow turbine manufacturers to increase blade lengths by as much as six percent and deliver up to 12 percent more power — for up to 20 percent less cost than any competing carbon-glass hybrid solution currently on the market. In addition to the cost and performance benefits of WindStrand, the product also provides manufacturers with the traditional processability of glass, combined with the stiffness strength and weight of other high-performance materials. Other product highlights compared to conventional E-glass include: • Up to 35 percent higher tensile strengths • Up to 17 percent higher stiffness (modulus) • Enhanced fatigue, impact, aging, corrosion, and temperature resistance The product, which is targeted to be commercially available in late 2006, is the first application using the new Owens Corning high-performance reinforcement platform, HiPer-tex, which is the result of a new glass melting, fiberizing and sizing technology. The new reinforcement will be produced using the Owens Corning next-generation fibreglass manufacturing process, which has a significantly smaller environmental footprint than other technologies currently in use. The performance statistics for WindStrand are said to be based on extensive beta testing in the field, and design blade optimization by an independent research establishment based in the Netherlands Composite Technology Centre (CTC). CTC studied the effects of replacing traditional E-glass with WindStrand for several components in a 44-meter long rotor or blade, suitable for a 2.5 MW wind turbine. “For 67 years, since the original invention of fiberglass, we’ve delivered sustainable, energy saving solutions that truly transform markets and enhance lives,” said Chuck Dana, Owens Corning Composites Solutions Business president. “To continue that pioneering history with the introduction of a new product for wind energy, which is key to our collective ability to meet the rising demand for energy and to safeguard the security of energy supplies, is absolutely at the heart of our corporate purpose and our spirit of true innovation.”

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Met-Pro Receives Order for GRP Systems

5th March 2006 0 comments

Met-Pro’s Duall Division has received an order valued in excess of $ 1.2 million to supply six fibreglass reinforced plastic aeration systems, complete with Duall scrubbers and fans, to a municipal water treatment facility in the Southeast United States. The aeration systems are designed to remove hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide dissolved gases from contaminated groundwater as part of the process designed to make the groundwater suitable for public use. Each aerator is designed to treat 5 million gallons per day. All equipment will be constructed of Duall’s NSF approved DUALLast fibreglass reinforced plastic with thermoplastic inner liner and will be fabricated in Duall’s Owosso, Michigan manufacturing facility. “”This order demonstrates Duall’s strong presence in the groundwater remediation market and reinforces Duall’s reputation as a leader in this field,”” said De Hont, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Met-Pro “”As announced earlier this week, Met-Pro just completed a fiscal year in which we had record sales and bookings, as well as the highest backlog entering a new fiscal year. This order, together with our strong backlog and steady level of customer interest and quotation activity, allows us to remain optimistic about our prospects for the current fiscal year.””

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M.C. Gill Qualifies Floor Panels for Boeing 787

5th March 2006 0 comments

M.C. Gill has qualifies its new Gillfab 4809 floor panels to the Boeing Material Specification BMS 4-20, intended for use on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. M.C. Gill worked closely with Boeing to develop three types of floor panels (aisle, underseat, utility) that meet or exceed Boeing’s weight, flammability, and durability requirements. These next generation aircraft floor panels feature Kevlar N636 Honeycomb core combined with carbon fiber reinforced epoxy skins. The lightweight floor panels are intended for use on the 787 Dreamliner aircraft and are said to offer significant weight savings compared to current Boeing qualified composite floor panels.

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Kubota Research Enhances Composite Impact Resistance

5th March 2006 0 comments

Kubota Research Associates has developed a new method to significantly increase the impact and shatter resistance of composite materials. The technique works by using a Kubota Research ‘P-Wave’ radiation unit sed to consolidate a ‘P-Wave’ Pseudo-prepreg layer (branded ImpacGard), onto the surface of a reinforced composite. Tests on samples have been conducted at the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials (UD-CCM) at conditions equivalent to impact speeds of 5 to 9 mph, and results are said to indicate that applying a single layer of Kubota’s ImpacGard increases low velocity impact resistance up to 40% on a 3mm thick M30/8551 carbon/epoxy composite. Kubota say that ImpacGard has broad applications in the transportation and construction industries to improve advanced materials performance and safety. The P-Wave ImpacGard technology and impact resistance test results will be exhibited in the DuPont-Toray booth at the JEC Composites Show later this month. Kubota Research Associates is a new member of the UD-CCM University-Industry Consortium, a globally recognized center of excellence for research and knowledge in the advanced composites industry. Mike Kubota, CEO of Kubota Research Associates said, “”We are pleased to have established a working relationship with UD-CCM. Our company along with our global partner DuPont-Toray looks forward to collaborating with UD-CCM to advance the development of P-Wave(TM) technology to bring a new generation of cost-effective advanced composites to the industry.””

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Windjet to Attempt Land Record in March

5th March 2006 0 comments

The Windjet wind power speed record team will return to America in Mid march, to be on Land record standby from March 20th, for a period of 6 weeks. Windjet is a campaign to break three Wind Powered World Speed Records on land, ice and water, using wind power alone. Green Marine built the original Windjet land craft and is still closely involved with the project. Travelling at five times the wind speed on land and up to 9 times on ice, the Windjet craft are claimed to be some of the most efficient vehicles on the planet. After several months in Nevada waiting for the right conditions for an attempt on the Land Record which is 116.7 mph (USA) set in 1999, the team is now back at their UK base. The next attempt for the record will be in March 2006 at Ivanpah Dry lake, 40 km south west of Las Vegas. The project is the culmination of several years of design and development and will challenge the land, ice and water speed records for wind powered vehicles. The story of Windjet started almost ten years ago, when two ‘sailors’ were on a cycling holiday in the Outer Hebrides. These ‘sailors’ were Bill Green, owner and director of Green Marine, and Peter Whipp, a close friend and sailing colleague. Faced with a huge expanse of open sand, the idea was born to create a composite land yacht, which after a few months and many beers, progressed into a record breaking machine. Peter, an engineer himself, draughted in James Labouchere, an Aeronautical Engineer, to assist with the design and together they developed the concepts for the land yacht which was then constructed at Green Marine’s Lymington facility. After thorough static tests that loaded the vehicle to simulated speeds far in excess of the current record, the craft was tested, proving her power, efficiency and record breaking potential. However, the opportunity did not arise to make an official challenge on the record. Richard Jenkins, project director and pilot, was at school during the construction but was closely involved with Green Marine and the testing of the vehicle. On leaving college, Richard returned to Green Marine and started in earnest on a thorough development programme to bring the vehicle up to record breaking condition, in preparation for an attempt on the world record. The Records to break; Land: 116.7 mph (USA) set in 1999 Ice: 143 mph (USA) set in 1938

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Airbus Begins Production of A400M Composite Wing

5th March 2006 0 comments

The A400M military airlifter has taken another step forward as wing manufacturing has begun at Airbus’ Filton, Bristol site. Other than the aluminium alloy ribs, the A400M wings are essentially being constructed from composite materials. Filton will be also be carrying out the wing final assembly and delivering the completed wings to the aircraft final assembly line in Seville, Spain. New facilities are currently being completed and commissioned in preparation for wing final assembly to begin shortly and first wing deliveries are scheduled for around year end. Charles Paterson, Head of A400M Wing at Airbus said: “”Partners and suppliers worldwide are working on the production and delivery of various components for the first A400M.”” The Airbus Filton site, which leads the wing design for A400M, is manufacturing 20 of the 48 ribs in a set of A400M wings (the other 28 being supplied by Mecachrome of France). The machining at Filton is carried out in a dedicated rib cell on high-speed 5-axis machines supplied by Makino of Japan. Firm orders for A400M now stand at 192 aircraft – 180 in the original order for seven European NATO nations through OCCAR (60 for Germany; 50 for France; 27 for Spain; 25 for the UK; 10 for Turkey; 7 for Belgium and 1 for Luxembourg); plus 12 aircraft ordered by two further customers (8 for South Africa and 4 for Malaysia). The A400M, the world’s most modern military transport aircraft, will first fly in 2008 with deliveries beginning from 2009.

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World Nanotube Demand to Exceed $200 Million In 2009

5th March 2006 0 comments

After more than a decade of promise and speculation created by their unique properties, nanotubes are establishing a presence beyond university laboratories and corporate research and development (R&D) centres. Current commercial applications include motor vehicle fuel system components and specialized sports equipment. In the short term, world demand for nanotubes is expected to expand rapidly from this small base to more than $200 million in 2009. However, a number of issues, including high costs, inadequate purity levels, and insufficient product yields in manufacturing, still need to be addressed. As these issues are resolved, growth in global nanotube demand is expected to accelerate and surpass $9 billion by 2020. These and other trends are presented in World Nanotubes, a new study from Freedonia. Electronics applications will offer the earliest significant commercial outlet for nanotubes, and will remain the largest market for the foreseeable future. Nanotubes can be used in a multitude of electronics applications, including interconnects, displays, memory, storage and others. Flat panel displays for both computers and televisions are expected to be the first widely commercialized application. Over the long term, a number of even more ambitious applications should emerge. Nanotubes’ conductive properties could enable them to supplant conventional semiconductor materials in a broad range of applications. Although such a shift is at least a decade (or more) away, in the interim nanotubes will be used to augment and improve silicon-based technologies by allowing for more powerful semiconductors with smaller features. The US will remain the largest national market for nanotubes, due to its diverse, technologically advanced economy and leading position in nearly every projected major outlet for nanotubes, including high-end electronics, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, aerospace and defense equipment, and construction materials. However, the US is projected to account for a smaller share of nanotube demand than for nanomaterials overall, due to the importance of the electronics market, which is dominated by Asia. Japan is a smaller nanotube market than the US, but is projected to be larger than any other nation, and is also the leading investor in R&D on a per capita basis. Many of the EU member states, as well as South Korea and Taiwan, have substantial R&D programs, typically involving government funding and participation by the private sector and academia. A number of developing nations, most notably China, will become increasingly important, as high-end electronics production shifts to these regions.

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RPT and FANUC Release AccuTrim Robots

5th March 2006 0 comments

Robotic Production Technology (RPT) and FANUC Robotics America have released six models of the AccuTrim™ robot designed specifically for path-intensive, non-metallic product trimming applications.

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DIAB to hold Core College

5th March 2006 0 comments

DIAB will be holding a Core College, a full day of both theoretical and practical information on designing and building sandwich structures.

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