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News for 23 March 2006


Oxeon to Introduce Texero UD Tape Reinforcement at JEC 2006

23rd March 2006 0 comments

As a natural step in Oxeon’s development, they will be introducing TeXero high quality dry UD-tape, suitable for any application where low weight and high stiffness in one direction is required, at JEC 2006. TeXero tapes can be produced using carbon, aramid and/or glass fibres, whilst brittle fibres, such as boron, can also be incorporated. TeXero tapes are today produced between 20 and 50 mm and its areal weight corresponds with the degree of spreading and the type of fibre chosen. Tapes of high strength carbon fibres are available from 40 gsm. TeXero is the outcome of over a year of development in both fibre spreading technology and stabilization methodology. The main focus has been on developing a dry narrow UD-reinforcement tape with consistent width, structural stability, uniform fibre distribution and, when using carbon, to be able to use heavier tows (12k, 24k or 48k) to obtain a lightweight tape. Oxeon already uses TeXero for TeXtreme, its tape woven reinforcements. They will be exhibiting at stand R20.

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Polystrand Show Thermoplastic Laminated Structural Panels

23rd March 2006 0 comments

Polystrand is now able to produce laminated structural panels incorporating their ThermoPro continuous advanced fibre and thermoplastic reinforcement. Combined in a process requiring no adhesive, the reinforcement adds lightweight strength, stiffness and impact resistance to traditional core materials such as polypropylene honeycomb, foam, wood and other advanced core materials. Potential applications include cargo containers, load-bearing floors and side panels of recreational vehicles, and walls for rail cars and trucks. Samples of the new laminated panels will be shown next week in Paris at JEC Composites 2006, where Polystrand is exhibiting for the first time. “We look forward to having the market see this new laminated product,” said Ed Pilpel, president of Polystrand. “Customers who worked with us in developing the panels are excited about the ability to add strength and impact resistance with a lightweight reinforcement that requires no adhesive for lamination. Thermoplastic resin in the reinforcement is able to bond the materials together.” Pilpel said structural laminates will be made with Polystrand X-ply tape, a reinforcement material made in a proprietary process that impregnates continuous fibre with a polypropylene thermoplastic resin. Tapes used for structural laminates are generally 60 to 70 percent continuous advanced fibers, including E or S glass fibre, and 30 to 40 percent polypropylene thermoplastic. The fibres are arranged in a 0°/90° orientation. Laminated panels can be made with several types of wood including balsa, fibreboard, luan, oriented strand board and particle board. “The new panels give manufacturers a great way to add impact resistance and stiffness to their products without adding a lot of weight,” said Pilpel. Also at JEC, Polystrand will show ThermoBallistic-H armor panel, a hybrid thermoplastic material made with both “E” and “S” glass fibre. Announced in February this year, the new hybrid material combines layers of ThermoBallistic-E and ThermoBallistic-S reinforcing tape in a 0°/90° orientation. Previously, Polystrand reinforcing materials were made with only E Glass or S Glass. “We have received a lot of inquiries since announcing the availability of the new hybrid material in February,” said Pilpel. “Interest has gone beyond ballistics to include a variety of other applications. The ability to produce lighter weight parts, for example, is especially attractive to aircraft, automotive, construction and infrastructure applications, and faster moulding and reduced waste have been attractive to everyone. “Lower material cost is just the beginning,” concluded Pilpel. “Eliminating emissions, reducing mold time and eliminating waste are also benefits that impact the bottom line.”

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Vistagy to Host Renault F1 Car and Engineer at JEC

23rd March 2006 0 comments

Alan Duerden, CAD support engineer for Renault F1 Team, will speak on developing composite racecar parts using FiberSIM software and the Renault F1 Team car will be on exhibit at the VISTAGY booth (C21). Renault F1 Team has used FiberSIM to advance the design and manufacture of composite components on three generations of racecars, including the R25 car, which raced the team to victory in both the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Formula One Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships in 2005. Alan Duerden, CAD support engineer for the team, will give a presentation titled “Champion cars, composite parts, and FiberSIM” in the VISTAGY booth at the following times: ▪ Tuesday, March 28: 10:30, 13:30, and 16:30 ▪ Wednesday, March 29: 10:30, 13:30, and 16:30 ▪ Thursday, March 30: 9:30, 11:30, and 14:30 In addition, regular demonstrations of the latest release of FiberSIM software will take place in the booth. FiberSIM 5.1 boasts several major new capabilities, including new tools for merging models, defining zones, generating automated plybooks, and specifying splices and drop-offs.

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Plastech to Introduce New Machine Developments

23rd March 2006 0 comments

Plastech will be introducing four new machine developments at JEC – Megaject New Auto Head, a Catalyst Flow Alarm system, VacuuM Station and Mono Vacuum Moulding. All-pneumatic high output injection machines, complete with compact fully interlocked Auto Injection mixing Head featuring safe over pressure control, self priming ratio pumps, patented safe solvent pump system are all features now added to Plastech’s new range of resin meter mix injection machines. Plastech say that human error eliminated when switching between recirculation and injection mode and that the new range of machines provide self monitoring of the automatic valve position should either the catalyst or resin head valves not activate correctly. These features have always been available on the company’s higher cost PLC machine models but are now included in their lower cost Megaject machine range. The company emphasizes that electronic control is more expensive and is often an overkill in design offering features adequately provided with safe pneumatics and do not meet with the new European ATEX safety requirements without further expense. The second introduction is a simple Catalyst Flow Alarm system “”CATAL-CFA””, a system that is said to offer a new intrinsically safe concept in monitoring catalyst flow as well as being able to comply with ATEX directives now current in the European market. VacuuM Station (VMS), another new innovation from Plastech, provides a complete low cost factory Vacuum system with newly designed installation kits. Plastech say that the system offers economic, simple, and rapid installation of an entire vacuum installation by the client, and that the innovative design eliminates the need for vacuum storage tanks and potential loss of vacuum on working moulds when others are being vacuumed closed. This in turn features rapid recovery of full vacuum in the event of major vacuum leak correction. Mono Vacuum Moulding (MVM), a new moulding process, is also being presented for the first time at JEC and is the result of Plastech’s continued development to bring closed mould technology to all composite moulders at an affordable price. Daily demonstrations of MVM will be conducted on Plastech’s Stand proving that closed mould production is now very affordable and thus available to any moulding company wishing to move forward and apply an alternative to open mould activity. Examples of Polyester, Epoxy and Phenolic parts produced using the MVM system will also be displayed.

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Phoenixx Displays Thermoplastic Prepregs

23rd March 2006 0 comments

Phoenixx TPC will be displaying its new developments in thermoplastic prepregs specifically designed for automated tape laying applications, wider (360 mm) unidirectional prepreg tapes, pultruded profiles, ultra-thin prepregs (25-30 g/m2 FAW), and chopped injection & compression moulding compounds. At their booth A44/C51 they will also be talking about new developments in continuous ribbons, moulding compounds, & pultruded profiles; particularly in the areas of PEEK, PPS, & PEI/Ultem resin systems. Phoenixx also supplies thermoplastic prepreg materials using a variety of other thermoplastic resin systems, including PEK/PEKK, PA/Nylon, PFA, Cyclic PBT, PMMA, PP, & HDPE resin systems, among others.

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Dieffenbacher Presenting New Direct Processes and Materials for the Car of the Future

23rd March 2006 0 comments

Dieffenbacher will be exhibiting their services under the ‘Fit for ultra-light components’ banner at JEC 2006. Highlights are the new, energy saving ‘Compress’ generation of presses that incorporate the rapid developments made to Dieffenbacher’s LFT-D direct processing system, as well as automated SMC processing that incorporates highly significant, trend setting technologies for manufacturing light-weight components for structural and semi-structural applications. Diefenbacher say that the highlight is the new generation of Compress and Compress Plus presses for re-shaping fibre-reinforced plastics. The new Compress series has been further standardised with specific attention paid to the hydraulics as well as the new Proguide visualisation system that uses an ergonomic information display based on professional industrial design principles. The main focus during the development phase was on ensuring that the processing parameters can be modified rapidly via a touchscreen or keyboard. Easy to use, intuitive and target-orientated navigational methods guide the operator to the required information or function, for example, by pressing the selector switches and specifically assigned function keys. Special priority was also given to enhancing the user friendly operation in order to ensure efficient error analysis and data handling in addition to developing these innovations. The Compress Plus completes the new generation of presses. This series provides the users with further cost advantages thanks to the low energy consumption and the even shorter cycle times (< 20s). A new closing design had to be developed in order to reduce the energy consumption by 50% or more. The cylinder is mechanically locked in position after rapid closing so that the press pressure can be built up from a working stroke of approx. 200 mm as opposed to more conventional strokes of between 1,000 and 1,500 mm (and often higher). The increased rapid closing speed of up to 1,200 mm/s makes for even shorter closing times when using huge press strokes and this means that the process is optimised for the associated material as well as reducing overall cycle times (< 4s). The exhibition also sees the launch of Dieffenbacher’s long-fibre thermoplastic direct processing system (LFT-D / ILC), which has been further developed to provide additional automotive application options. Another highlight is the production of visible components, which is also based on Dieffenbacher’s LFT-D/ILC technology. Not only are the final films for Class A surface components back pressed but visual components with structured surfaces are also displayed without any additional coatings. Also new is the concept for producing light weight versions of underfloor enclosures with high impact strength. The excellent economic efficiency of the LFT-D/ILC technology is underpinned by the very short cycle times of 20-25 seconds and dual toolpiece operation as well as the minimised material costs. Dieffenbacher’s SMC processing technology and its enhanced quality significantly increase the SMC applications that can be used in the automobile industry It is in this context that Dieffenbacher has successfully supplied a variety of high-speed / high precision presses for bodywork components that need Class A surfaces. The integrated process controller in the process control system has been specially optimised to meet the new requirements. The new system design for fully automatic SMC part production also had to be developed for the new concepts, in order to meet the increasing requirements with regard to the very tight tolerance limits and reproducible part production calculations. Completely new paths have been integrated in the automated SMC processing system. Specially designed SMC path controllers have been developed to prevent the sheet moulding compound from running as well as SMC winding consoles to reduce the styrene loss and both of these help to minimise edge trimming of the SMC coils. However, it also realises processing security by considerably reducing the amount of reworking carried out on Class A surfaces, which also results in drastic cost savings.

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Airtech to Focus on Its Materials in Action

23rd March 2006 0 comments

This year, Airtech will focus on its materials in action, including resin infusion processing using a tool for a UAV composite part and prepreg / autoclave processing in their composite workshop area.

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Biteam to Exhibit Profiled Pre-Form

23rd March 2006 0 comments

Biteam AB has produced a unique boot-like profiled solid type pre-form of carbon that enables savings in weight of the composite material part and the space requirement besides offering improved performance. The fully integrated woven profiled beam incorporates a tapered section at one side of a vertical section to provide increased base area while it also simultaneously supports and strengthens the vertical section of the beam. This construction is said to reduce the use of oversized beams. The newly developed pre-form is intended for supporting aero engine guide vanes and other engine components. The pre-form can be woven directly in either straight or with a required radius of curvature. The pre-curved type is considered more suited for the engine application because the relatively wider base offered by the integrated tapered part of this pre-form can sit on and match with the required curved member while the vanes are fastened to it. Together with the recent selection of Biteam’s 3D-weaving technology for a project that aims to produce a variety of profiled solid pre-forms for making modular construction elements for use in aircraft construction, Biteam is hoping to establish itself as the manufacturer of woven profiled pre-forms for primary load bearing application in the aerospace industry. Biteam will exhibit the novel boot-like profiled pre-form, as illustrated, at the JEC Show 2006, on stand R20.

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Diatex Launch Multilayer System for Vacuum Moulding

23rd March 2006 0 comments

Diatex will be launching Vacuopeel, a multilayer system used for vacuum moulding of composite materials with techniques such as prepreg, wet lay-up, and thermoplastic. Vacuum moulding of composite materials involves using a number of vacuum consumables that have an effect on the fabrication and quality. Some of these are used in successive layers, such as peel ply, perforated film, breather felt, and vacuum-bagging film. Standard procedures involve applying each one separately (e.g., peel ply, perforated film, breather felt), which can be difficult, especially when moulding is done against a vertical mould. This type of procedure can result in overlapping on very large parts, or even the omission of a layer. Overlapping can cause deformation on thin parts, creating weak areas, or it can affect the porosity of subsequent layers. Omissions can have dramatic consequences on the moulded part’s final properties. A solution to these problems was created by Diatex in 1991 in the form of Vacuoplex a multilayer system to be laid down on one side of the resin-saturated part or preform. The system combines the three above mentioned vacuum consumables into a three-layer unit: the peel ply layer on the bottom, adhering directly to the preform; the perforated film, permeable to resin and gases, as the next layer; and the breather/bleeder felt on top. This easy-to-use solution has eliminated the risk of overlap or of omitted layer. Diatex has developed Vacuoplex even further and now offers Vacuopeel to allow moulders to leave the peel ply on until later – for example, just before assembly, painting, or some other operation

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Preview of New Applications at the JEC Show

23rd March 2006 0 comments

The JEC Composites Show 2006 runs next week, from March 28-30, at the Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles in Paris, and will include the following highlights, many of which we have reported in recent months. NetComposites will also be exhibiting its own recent developments in self-reinforced and natural composites on stand N29. Automotive: Carbon-reinforced thermoplastic intake manifold At the JEC Composites Show 2006, Diaphorm is showing an automotive intake manifold moulded from continuous carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic, which opens up new possibilities for more intricate, complex shapes. Made for the Honda H22 engine, this manifold weighs 5 kg less than the stock metal part it replaces and delivers 13 HP more than current aftermarket manifolds. It was made using the Diaphorm moulding process, which features low pressures and inexpensive tooling and machinery. This application demonstrates how part designers can take advantage of advanced lightweight, durable (thermoplastic) materials, ensuring that the part can ultimately be cost effectively manufactured in volume. The manifold line will be marketed under the FiberTuned™ brand name. Automotive: Polyurethane foam piece of art The FoamPartner Group, which develops, manufactures and processes soft polyurethane speciality foams, is showcasing the Blue Cocoon, a unique piece of art created by the independent Swiss sculptor Marco Ganz. The sculpture conveys the impression of an imaginary land speed record vehicle. Its slim streamlined body boasts an overall length of nearly 9 meters and seems to float in the air, being supported by two wheels only. It pays homage to the legendary Bluebird vehicles designed and driven by Sir Donald Campbell and son Malcolm. The bodywork of the Blue Cocoon is a sandwich construction using carbon fibre/epoxy resin face sheets and a structural, rigid foam core. As the design shows no flat surfaces at all, the designers used FoamPartner’s new polyurethane foam, StructUre, which combines the processing advantages of flexible foam with the mechanical properties of rigid foam. Large sheets of foam, still in the flexible state, were draped onto a wooden tool and passed through a high-energy electron beam, which modified the foam through cross-linking into a rigid state. The solution demonstrated by the Blue Cocoon can be adapted for transportation and general industrial applications. The picture shows the pre-shaped, cross-linked foam core elements for the Blue Cocoon (©2005 ProLitteris / Marco Ganz) Automotive: Spoiler for high-end vehicles On its stand at the JEC Composites Show 2006, the Sora Composites Group is exhibiting a spoiler for high-end vehicles. The spoiler was not manufactured using the company’s ICS injection-compression process but with the SMC 2 process, which uses bonded skins to produce high-quality surfaces ideal for high-end cars. Sora Composites, which specialises in industrial composites, is a preferred partner for automotive and industrial manufacturers. The group provides innovative processes through its two subsidiaries, Sotira and SPPP, which can handle all manufacturing steps, from design to final product delivery. Ground transport & Automotive: Toilet unit for coaches and buses The Brazilian company MVC Componentes Plásticos Ltda. (Marcopolo Group), which specialises in thermosets and thermoplastics processing, is showcasing three applications on its stand. The first one is a toilet unit for coaches and interstate buses designed to defy road conditions in Brazil while meeting the toughest standards of bus manufacturers. Developed using the RTM Integrated System and RTM Light processes, the toilet integrates several parts into a single unit, offering comfort, durability and aesthetics. This product was initially developed for the bus market but, with small concept variations, it will be suitable for the railway and building market. The second new development is the interior roof for Mitsubishi’s Pajero P45, a coextruded thermoplastic part (PP/nonwoven textiles) for off-road and light vehicles. Finally, MVC is exhibiting a Marcopolo front grid produced by integrated RTM technology. The integrated structure is injected in the same moulding process. The part offers superior temperature and mechanical resistance, as well as excellent structural performance. Compared to conventional RTM, this technology offers two advantages: weight reduction and higher productive efficiency. Picture available Aeronautics: Exhaust mixer prototype for civil aircraft Snecma Propulsion Solide (Safran Group), which specialises in solid-propellant rocket motors and thermostructural composites, is showcasing a turbine exhaust mixer prototype designed for CFM 56 civil aircraft engines. This ceramic-matrix composite unit was developed for tomorrow’s aircraft engines, which will have to comply with new environmental standards. This CMC unit is lighter and exhibits higher overall performance than existing metal components. Applications: jet engines for civil aircraft. Machines: High-stiffness carbon-reinforced tubes CompoTech has developed a process using the ultra high modulus “Pitch” carbon fibre to produce extremely stiff tubes for almost any machinery application. The tubes are about 2 times stiffer at over 400 GPa, and 4 times lighter than steel, which exponentially improves the dynamic properties of these parts. For example, a CNC machining centre equipped with CompoTech drive shafts and beams can provide the same level of accuracy at twice the speed, or produce twice the accuracy at the current speeds. Advantages: high bending and torsional stiffness properties for greater accuracy, low weight, repeatability, custom shapes and sizes. The tubes can be used in a wide range of applications such as drive shafts, high-speed milling machine beams, high-speed robots and rollers. They should be of interest to machine manufacturers. This picture shows a section of a CompoTech ultra high modulus carbon fibre tube with a square outer and round inner form. Materials: Corrosion-proof, fire-resistant gratings Nantong Mincom Composite Materials Co, a manufacturer of chemical-resistant moulded and pultruded fibreglass gratings and profiles, is presenting a choice of grating products: mini-mesh moulded gratings 14 to 38 mm in thickness, heavy-duty gratings more than 60 mm in thickness, phenolic gratings 30 to 50 mm in thickness, phenolic profiles, USCG-98 L2-approved phenolic gratings, translucent gratings and plates for decorative applications. The products are corrosion-proof, fire-resistant, non-magnetic, anti-slip, non-conductive, non-sparking, maintenance-free and lightweight. They are suitable for offshore, chemical, water treatment, architectural and electric insulation applications such as industrial flooring, platforms, walkways, assembly lines, trench covers, stairs, catwalks and pedestrian walkways in a variety of recreational installations. Materials: Press-moulded composites Teximpianti S.p.A. is presenting new products based on three different technologies: pultruded parts, press-moulded composites and press-moulded rubber. The pultruded elements are mainly based on carbon fibre and epoxy resin systems. The press-moulded composites, with maximum dimensions of 1.5 x 5.0 m, are produced from prepregs mechanically processed for final applications. The press-moulded composites are intended for applications such as industrial parts, weaving machine elements, sports goods, armouring and impact-resistant parts, dielectric insulation elements, etc. The pultruded components are used for structural building parts, sports goods, industrial elements, pipes, etc. The press-moulded rubber is used to produce rubber ribbons for steel cylinder covering. Medical: Composite cervical plate Joining solutions designer and manufacturer Icotec uses the patented Composite Flow Moulding (CFM) process to produce continuous-fibre-reinforced composite elements such as fastening systems, medical implants and other complex shape components. Icotec’s stand at the Jec Composites Show 2006 is displaying a new innovation for the medical industry: the first cervical plate made of continuous-fibre-reinforced composite (traditionally either titanium or steel are used for this type of implant). The implant has reached the evaluation phase and should receive the CE mark and FDA approval by the end of 2006 before being available to surgeons. This composite cervical plate offers a number of advantages: great fatigue resistance that prevents implant breakage, biocompatibility (proven to be safe even for patients with a high allergy risk), radiolucency that makes post-surgical investigations easier without disturbing artefacts, design that is both ergonomic to the patient and surgeon-friendly, flat plate design that prevents disruption of adjacent soft tissue, and smooth hydrophobic surface that prevents soft tissue attachment. The image shows two sizes of icotec’s cervical plate made of endless carbon fibre composite, Nicolás Durán, Erat Design Group, Switzerland Sports: Stiff and strong braided prepreg for the Six 13 Bike The bicycle industry is constantly challenged to enhance performance while meeting weight parameters set by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) competitive cycling governing body. The primary objective when developing high-performance race bikes is to optimise the stiffness-to-weight ratio, ensuring that energy from the athlete is not wasted but instead transferred directly to forward momentum. A&P is presenting a new braided carbon prepreg used by Cannondale Bicycle Corporation for the production of customized bicycle tubing on the Six 13 bike. Braided prepreg is used to produce bike frames with optimal torsional stiffness providing stability at high speeds and a more cost-efficient manufacturing process. The Cannondale Six 13 Team bike was chosen by the Italian racing team Lampre Caffita in the European pro Peloton. Braided prepreg creates a seamless, optimized tube. In terms of manufacture, braided materials are easy to use and do not require the cutting of unidirectional prepreg on the bias to create off-axis reinforcement. JEC Group General Manager Frédérique Mutel commented, “”In the composite industry, innovation is present at each and every stage of the value chain. New-generation resins and fibres use fewer raw materials and are more compliant with regulations. Our engineers are inventing new, robotised manufacturing processes that aim at zero waste; our designers, genuine high-value-added engineering solutions that are created especially for the unique properties of composites. We are way beyond just replacing metals or wood. The composite industry is generating the shapes and structures of the Third Millennium””.

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