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Composites Industry News

News for November 2006


Gurit Bows Hit the Mark

3rd November 2006 0 comments

Two Olympic recurve bows, manufactured from Gurit materials, smashed world records at the recent Archery Championships in Hungary. One bow scored the highest number of points in 3D target shooting, speeding up to 232 ft/sec at only 42lbs. Another bow achieved an impressive speed of 242 ft/sec at 52lbs, making it the world’s fastest recurve bow produced to date. Both bows were designed by experienced Swiss craftsman Mr. Willi Heuberger and manufactured from Gurit’s carbon fibre pultrusions.

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Vistagy Supports Renault F1 Team in Formula One Title

4th November 2006 0 comments

Vistagy’s FiberSIM software has helped the Renault F1 Team design composite cars that won 2006 and 2005 FIA Formula One Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships

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Imhotep Release AtenPly Thermoplastic Prepreg Range

4th November 2006 0 comments

Imhotep has introduced AtenPly, a range of stock and bespoke continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite prepreg tapes. Atenply is made direct from fibre rovings and thermoplastic melt using proprietary technology developed by Imhotep, producing light weight, high-strength, well impregnated, smooth tape with unidirectional continuous fibre reinforcement. AtenPly can be made using standard continuous fibres, such as carbon, glass or aramid, with a variety of thermoplastic matrices, including polypropylene, polyethylene, PET, polyamides, PEEK and PPS as well as thermoplastic elastomers and biodegradable plastics such as polycaprolactone. The materials can incorporate additives for performance enhancement or improved aesthetics, and can be made in a range of widths, colours, and fibre volume fractions Imhotep say that licences to manufacture are also available.

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Composite Tooling for Boring Applications

4th November 2006 0 comments

Johnson Carbide Products participated in the development of a family of carbon fiber/epoxy composite boring tools that are producing improved accuracy, surface finish, tool life and productivity. Called the TruLine Tool family of composite fine boring tools, these cutting tools utilize a fabrication of composite carbon fibres that are epoxied to a stainless steel cover or sleeve that can be final machined with the necessary insert pockets, screw holes and wear pads. By using composite materials, the boring tools are lightweight but have very high strength with density, stiffness, coefficient of friction and damping characteristics that are significantly better than boring tools made from steel or carbide. Initial applications have been proven in the automotive industry where OEM manufacturers are using the TruLine boring tools for boring the camshaft bores in cylinder heads. According to Johnson, in some applications, the tools have doubled the number of parts that can be produced before inserts need to be changed, surface finish has been improved nearly eight times and workpiece accuracies in terms of tolerances and roundness have seen up to four times the improvement over conventional steel boring tools.

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High Modulus Technology in Award-winning Yachts

4th November 2006 0 comments

In a recent spate of industry awards, three boats that have benefited from High Modulus structural engineering and composite materials have scooped coveted prizes and nominations – the Seawind 1160, a 38ft sailing catamaran; Adele, a 174ft ketch, and Ad Lib, a 131ft power yacht.

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Hexion Specialty Chemicals Increases Price for Vinyl Ester Resins

4th November 2006 0 comments

The Composite Polymers business of Hexion Specialty Chemicals is making a price increase of $0.05 per pound for all Vinyl Ester resins. The increase is effective for all products shipped on / or after November 27, 2006

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MVP Expands RTM Focus through Purchase of Plastech

4th November 2006 0 comments

Magnum Venus Products has expanded their RTM equipment line and expertise with the purchase of Plastech Thermoset Tectonics. Though the RTM process has been around for many years, it has only been over the last few years that the true benefits of closed moulding have begun to emerge. In 2003, MVP introduced their PrecisionTECH RTM line of systems and technology. Plastech Thermoset Tectonics began manufacturing equipment for the composites industry in 1983. Seeing the changes in the industry, Plastech changed their focus to designing and producing the technologies, equipment and tooling necessary for the closed mould process. This led to the company, and its founder Alan Harper, being one of the leading specialists in providing efficient closed mould technology. Jim Hedger, Jr., President of Magnum Venus Products, had this to say about the purchase and focus on RTM: “I am very excited about this new opportunity for the company. MVP has always been committed to helping our customers produce a top quality product by providing them with the most innovative technology available, and for seeing where the future of the industry is going and bringing the necessary technology to market first. The purchase of Plastech is a natural partnership as MVP takes RTM technology to the next level.” “We are delighted to advance the closed mould technology with the dynamic systems provided by MVP’s recent introduction of Patriot technology. Such unique machinery improvements by MVP demonstrates real innovation which complements our desire to move closed mould technology to the highest level,” commented Alan Harper, founder of Plastech TT. He added, “Composite moulding companies throughout the world demand proven and affordable closed mould technology, and it is our joint desire to provide a full technology service including mould build training, added to advanced machinery design, which our partnership aims to bring to the industry.” In addition to merging the technology of Plastech with Magnum Venus Products’ existing RTM line, this merger also brings expertise and training in closed moulding applications, and MVP is looking forward to using the expertise that Alan Harper and his team at Plastech bring as they expand their PrecisionTECH RTM line into the world wide market.

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Pultruded Windows Beat Seaside Weathering Problems

4th November 2006 0 comments

New window technology is being pioneered at Whitehills Business Park in Blackpool to cope with salt laden air and the effects of expansion and contraction due to temperature variation. The architects, Croft Goode Ltd, who have offices nearby in Kirkham, in association with contractor RBL Construction both working for Errigal Developments, selected pultruded Samson windows from Octaveward in preference to aluminium or Upvc. Whitehills Business Park comprises a mixed development of light industrial units and offices designed for small businesses that are expanding. In addition to a high standard of construction and finish, the development includes ample access and parking and is conveniently located at the end of the M55. On a site of 8650 square metres, ten industrial units have been created in three blocks totalling 1500 square metres, along with 11 office units in seven blocks totalling 2400 square metres. Earlier phases of the development have been eagerly taken up. Despite being some distance from the sea, the air can still be salt laden. Anodised architectural aluminium frames are susceptible to long term damage affecting their appearance and performance when exposed in saline environments. This problem would not affect Upvc frames but on larger windows particularly, Upvc is subject to differential thermal expansion between the frames and surrounding materials. This creates a sealing difficulty and a lack of thermal rigidity. Samson windows from Octaveward provide a good all round answer. They are made from a pultruded thermoset plastic resin, with embedded glass fibre reinforcement, to ensure the profiles are strong, rigid and weather resistant surface. Factory finished in a colour to match the feature infill cladding panels, the units harmonise with the development. “”Reassuringly, from our perspective, the frames have a 35 year guarantee and the finish a 15 year guarantee,”” explained the architect.

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Alcan to acquire Penske

4th November 2006 0 comments

Alcan has agreed in principle to acquire the business and assets of Penske Composites, the manufacturer of reinforced structural urethane core material products for the marine and industrial markets. “”The addition of Penske Composites, LLC would strengthen Alcan’s portfolio of structural core materials by enhancing its product offering and providing customers with the broadest product range for core materials in the industry,”” said Georg Reif, President, Alcan Composites. “”This acquisition would also give Alcan further entry into developing markets, currently served by other Alcan Composites product lines in the display and sandwich construction industries,”” he added. Structural core materials are used in composite sandwich construction, to offer a balance of high performance and lightweight design properties. Penske Composites, LLC’s “”Xtreme”” heavy density fibre reinforced products are already recognized in the U.S. marine and industrial markets as structural core “”cut parts”” for transoms and stringer systems, and can be used as a core material in composite sandwich layers or as a self supporting system. Penske Composites’ recently introduced low density scrimmed and scored product will compliment Alcan’s existing AIREX, BALTEK and KAPEX lines of structural core materials to support the increasing global demand for core material products in the marine, mass transportation, wind-power generation and aerospace markets. Penske Composites, LLC is located in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. It recorded US$4.6 million in 2005 revenues and employs 36 people. “”We are pleased to have found a strategic buyer in Alcan,”” said Herman Novak, Executive Vice President, Penske Composites, LLC. “”I am convinced that Alcan’s marketing and sales organization will help the business to substantially improve its market position as the demand for core material products continues to grow,”” he added. The transaction is expected to be completed in early December 2006, subject to execution of a definitive purchase and sale agreement.

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Huntsman in Targeted Research Projects for Aerospace Applications

4th November 2006 0 comments

Huntsman is a partner in two new European part-funded Specific Targeted Research Projects for aeronautics and space applications as part of the 6th European Framework Program. These three-year programs are: PreCarBi (Pre-impregnated Carbon Binder yarn preform composites), which is a four million euros program led by Cranfield University and Toho Tenax and ABiTAS (Advanced Bonding Technologies for Aircraft Structures) a five million euros program led by Airbus Germany. Both are multipartner research programs with prime and tier 1 manufacturers participating, together with a wide variety of SMEs, research establishments and universities. The primary objectives of the PreCarBi project are to develop new material and a manufacturing process for advanced composites that merge the benefits of prepregging and liquid composite molding technologies using pre-impregnated binder yarns. Within this program, Huntsman will develop a new toughened resin system suitable for infusion and compatible with the polymer binder. In addition Huntsman will be actively involved with the scale-up and processing of the binder yarn developed by Toho Tenax Europe and in-depth characterisation of the resin and binder materials. The ABiTAS project addresses structural paste adhesive bonding, surface pre-treatments for titanium and CFRP, automation, and processing. Huntsman has a lead role within this project to manage a sub-group of the consortium in order to develop novel chemistries to be employed in structural paste adhesives. This is primarily targeted at cure on command or dual cure technologies and retention of hot/wet properties. Huntsman will also support the automation and fit-analysis modeling to provide gap adapted application of the paste adhesive. These key three-year research programs will utilize the resource and facilities of the Huntsman site in Basel, Switzerland..

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