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Composites Industry News

News for 19 December 2007


Crystic Matched-Performance Systems Help Launch Of New Luxury Yacht

19th December 2007 0 comments

The Crystic matched-performance marine products from Scott Bader Company Ltd have been exclusively specified by Alen Yachting of Istanbul for the production of their new Metaphor 68 luxury yacht. Their exciting and innovative prototype successfully combines Italian design elegance, developed by Victory Design, with precision engineering and exacting manufacturing standards. The craft specification covers an overall length of 20.5 metres (68ft), with 15.30 metres at the waterline, 6.21 metres beam and 1.1 metre draft. With their modern production facilities, Alen Yachts have also taken advantage of all the latest high technology marine composite products in the Scott Bader range which have been specifically developed for high quality fibreglass tooling and boat construction. The matched-performance range of Lloyds approved Crystic resins, skincoat, barriercoat, gelcoat, bonding paste and structural adhesive products are designed to provide the required level of finish and durability. Production of the prototype Metaphor 68 hull was done by hand lay-up. However, further production hulls will be manufactured by vacuum infusion methods, which was the production process already used for the production of the bulk heads and liners, which were then bonded into place with Crystic Crestomer 1152PA structural adhesive. The PVC foam was bonded with Crestomer 1196PA using a recommended vacuum bagging technique which maximises the adhesive penetration into the gaps in a cross-cut scrim-backed foam for maximum performance. The deck has been bonded to the hull using Crestomer 1181A. This method of production using Crestomer structural adhesives where possible ensures low exotherms and low shrink with better mechanical properties of the composite. At the same time, there were the added benefits of making production faster and easier as well as reducing overall boat weight. Unnecessary lamination and mechanical bolt fixings were eliminated, with even the engine beds being fixed with a Crestomer 1186PA adhesive. Behind the gelcoat is Crystic Crestacoat 5000PA, a proprietary barriercoat above the water line and VE 679PA, a VE/DCPD skincoat below the waterline, to eliminate print-through and protect from osmosis. Metyx Multiaxials were also used in preference to woven rovings to further minimise print through. The overall system has resulted in an outstanding surface finish of the deck and hull, with no evidence of the bulkhead being visible externally as vertical lines on the hull surface; this can be a problem area for some FRP boat builders who use the more traditional laminate ‘tie-in’ method for attaching bulkheads due to the localised laminate shrinkage. Mr Emre Sandan, The Assistant General Manager for Alen Yachts, who is a qualified Naval Architect and Marine Engineer said, “This is the best gelcoated vessel surface that Alen Yachts has produced. Using Scott Bader’s latest products and technical expertise in both FRP tooling and boat building has also enabled Alen Yachts to produce one of the best gelcoated surface finishes now possible in the boat industry. Mr Sandan went on to say “This is an excellent example of a real partnership approach between a boatyard, a distributor and a supplier. We have been delighted with the service and co-operation provided by Metyx Composites, who are Scott Bader’s exclusive distributor in Turkey, as well as getting excellent technical and commercial support for this project, provided locally from Scott Bader. Their products were chosen because they are very well known and have a long established brand name, with extensive experience in composite boat building, combining proven quality and product performance with reliable deliveries and realistic pricing. I am confident that Metyx Composites, along with Scott Bader’s products and technical service, will continue to play a major part in our future production plans”. The launch of the first Metaphor 68 is planned for March 2008, with a production of six craft in the first year followed by a further 12 in year two. A Metaphor 88 prototype will commence soon for a launch towards the end of 2008, with a Metaphor 108 also being developed by Victory Design. A new Alen 425 Tender boat is due to be launched March 2008, with a new Alen 575 Lobster craft also launched in August that year. The Alen 425 and Alen 325 craft will continue to remain in production at the rate of 20 units per year.

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Menzolit to Enter China

19th December 2007 0 comments

Menzolit, the sheet moulding and bulk moulding compound company, has decided to install a manufacturing plant for SMC and BMC in China. The facility is located in Jinshan in the greater Shanghai area. The production start is planned for the third quarter of 2008 to supply global customers of Menzolit as well as local tier1 suppliers, moulders and OEM´s. The new company will be managed by Thomas He. Menzolit is planning to offer the full product range and according to market demands develop specialities that can fit the demands of the Chinese market. The company already has operations in four European countries and partners in South America and South Korea.

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Wausaukee Composites Acquires Nero Plastics

19th December 2007 0 comments

Wausaukee Composites has acquired Nero Plastics, Inc. of Owosso, Michigan. Nero Plastics is a custom moulder of low and medium volume structural plastic and composite components. The Company provides product design, prototyping, tooling, and manufacturing solutions to its customers from a variety of moulding processes, including Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM), Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Moulding (VARTM), Sheet Moulding Compound (SMC), Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM), and Reaction Injection Moulding (RIM). Nero Plastics serves original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) in the heavy equipment, mining, heavy truck, mass transit, medical, and sporting goods industries. Nero Plastics is based in Owosso, Michigan, where it has approximately 180 employees in two facilities. Nero Plastics reported sales of $17.5 Million in 2006. Commenting on the acquisition, David Lisle, President and CEO of Wausaukee Composites, said, “We have developed great admiration and respect for Nero Plastics’ technical moulding competencies over the years, and we are fortunate to now have the opportunity to combine Nero’s strengths with our own in the marketplace. The combination of Wausaukee Composites and Nero Plastics will be highly complementary. Nero Plastics brings additional capacity with respect to our core composites moulding capabilities, and also provides additional competitive strength in some moulding processes where Wausaukee Composites has limited experience. This business combination will expand the array of comprehensive structural plastic moulding solutions that Wausaukee Composites provides to its Global Fortune 500 customer base.” Brad Faber, Chairman and Founder of Nero Plastics, will stay with the company until 2008, in order to ensure a smooth and seamless transition to new ownership. “Brad Faber built a well-admired company in Nero Plastics, and he has made tremendous contributions to the composites industry since he founded Nero in 1980. I am proud and honoured to accept the Nero torch from Brad, and we are looking forward to taking the company to new levels of success in the future,” said Lisle. Also related to this transaction, Kevin Hughes has been named Vice President, Wausaukee Composites – Owosso Division. This strategic acquisition will accelerate Wausaukee Composites’ growth in the North American structural plastics marketplace. Wausaukee Composites anticipates adding jobs at Nero’s Owosso facility over the coming years. “We are continuing to expand our manufacturing operations in North America, in order to meet increased customer demand in our low to medium-volume, highly-engineered, custom molded product segments,” said David Lisle.

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Progress Made in Boeing 787 Dreamliner Production

19th December 2007 0 comments

The Boeing production line is full for the all-new 787 Dreamliner, as work continues on the first flight-test airplane and two airplanes to be used for static and fatigue testing. This photo shows Airplane #1 in the third position, where final structure and systems installations are completed. Behind it, the static-test airplane is in the second position, where it will receive landing gear, engines, and any required interior installations. The fatigue airplane entered final body join Nov. 30.

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China Airlines Chooses Airbus A350XWB

19th December 2007 0 comments

China Airlines, Taiwan’s largest carrier, has signed a Letter of Intent with Airbus for the acquisition of 14 A350XWB-900 plus an additional six on option. The new generation medium capacity long-haul aircraft has been selected as part of their future fleet modernisation programme. China Airlines intends to start using the all-new A350XWB from 2015. The aircraft will be powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1883 engines, especially developed for the A350XWB. The A350 will primarily be deployed on the airline’s long-haul routes to Europe, Australia and the United States, enabling China Airlines to offer its passengers non-stop service on ultra long routes. Chairman of China Airlines, Ringo K .S. Chao, said the decision to select the A350XWB was taken after a long and thorough evaluation. “We are committed to procure the aircraft with the most modern technology and offering the highest cost efficiency for our future fleet requirements. This will allow us to offer our customers the most attractive product and to meet the ever-rising cost of fuel. The Airbus A350XWB fully meets our requirements”. “We are extremely pleased with China Airlines’ new vote of confidence in our future generation eco-efficient aircraft”, said John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer-Customers. “The A350XWB will enable China Airlines to meet the industry challenges of the future and to secure a strong position among the world’s top tier airlines”.

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SP Engineered Boat sets new 24-hour record

19th December 2007 0 comments

Hugo Boss, the Open 60 engineered and constructed with SP, the marine business of Gurit’s composite materials, has set a new record for monohulls up to 60 foot. Competing in the Barcelona World Race this impressive vessel travelled 500.01 nautical miles between 14.15 and 14.15 GMT from 6th–7th December 2007 at an average speed of 20.8 knots. Hugo Boss is currently in third place in the Barcelona World Race, a new two handed, non-stop round the world yacht race, covering 25,000 miles over three months. For the first time, this race will see the world’s best professional sailors from both solo and fully crewed disciplines coming together to compete against each other in teams of two in Open 60 boats. Hugo Boss was constructed in a female mould using SP’s SE70 prepreg. The product’s low cure characteristics reduce thermal movement during the cure cycle and therefore prevent distortion of the structure’s shape. By remaining true to the boat’s original geometry and design no filling or fairing was necessary and Hugo Boss has an almost flawless surface. The result is one of the lightest Open 60 structures ever built which has performed excellently on the race course. SP was part of a first class team of industry experts involved in the build of Hugo Boss, including French architects Finot-Conq, Jason Carrington as Project Manager and Neville Hutton as Boat Builder. Finot-Conq was responsible for the designs of the last four Vendee Globe winners. Jason Carrington has acquired a worldwide reputation for building some of the best offshore racing yachts and Neville Hutton’s yard has been at the cutting edge of composites manufacturing technology for many years. Hugo Boss is being skippered by Alex Thomson and co-skippered by Andrew Cape during the Barcelona World Race. Alex is a major talent in international yachting and has won various high profile races during his career. He holds the 24-hour solo monohull world speed record and will compete in the Vendée Globe in 2008.

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Latex Technology Changes Name to Piercan USA

19th December 2007 0 comments

Latex Technology, the moulder of custom elastomeric bladders and vacuum bags, now operates under the name of Piercan USA, Inc. The name change was made to better coordinate products and ISO certification with the parent company in France. Other than the upcoming ISO certification, the change will have little impact on the composite products line. Both divisions also make technical rubber products and high-reliability drybox gloves for the pharmaceutical and nuclear industries. Piercan USA will continue to make elastomeric bladders and vacuum bags for carbon bicycle parts, baseball bats, hockey sticks, golf heads and shafts, propeller blades, aerospace structures, expansion tank bladders, and bags for isostatic pressing of ceramics. Piercan USA uses a special formulation of natural rubber latex that has high temperature properties and is capable of several epoxy cure cycles. Piercan USA is located in San Marcos, CA.

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AOC to Make Price Increase for Asia

19th December 2007 0 comments

AOC will make a USD $0.10 per kg price increase for all products shipped to customers located in Asia, effective on and after Tuesday, January 1, 2008. According to AOC, new record high prices for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) as traded on the NYMEX occur frequently. WTI is approaching $100 per barrel in recent days, which is a 30 to 40% increase in pricing from what was seen in the summer months. In spite of record Natural Gas in storage, NG is following crude oil prices up at a time of year where prices should be falling. These critical feed stocks used to make the raw materials for Unsaturated Polyester Resin have risen based on unprecedented energy demand and the trend will continue as raw material increases lag crude oil price changes.

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Victrex Introduces New Carbon Fibre Grades

19th December 2007 0 comments

Victrex has launched Victrex PEEK 90HMF products, for complex geometries with thin cross sections or long flow lengths where higher strength in a static or dynamic system is required. The new product comes in two grades, Victrex PEEK 90HMF20 and Victrex PEEK 90HMF40, containing 20% and 40% respectively of carbon fibre filler. These new products are based on Victrex’s High Flow resin and use a unique technology that Victrex says ensures the new grades retain all of the inherent properties of Victrex PEEK, whilst adding stiffness, strength, toughness and durability. Victrex PEEK 90HMF compounds are designed to deliver high fatigue performance, strength, modulus, and toughness, while retaining the inherent properties of low creep, coefficient of thermal expansion and chemical resistance to aggressive environments of standard Victrex PEEK grades, and they are intended for applications in the aerospace and automotive industries, or industrial machinery equipment. “The launch of these new grades and compounds is a demonstration of how Victrex strives to address specific market demands,” said Mark Maddern, Global Product Manager at Victrex plc. “We identified a need for increased strength and fatigue performance at higher temperatures, and designed a solution accordingly. By applying a unique processing and compounding approach to our existing and industry-leading Victrex PEEK materials expertise, we have developed the Victrex PEEK 90HMF grades. This unique carbon fibre-based Victrex PEEK product has exceptional properties, delivering unrivalled stiffness, strength, toughness and most significantly, improved fatigue performance at high temperature.” Recommended moulding conditions for both of the new grades include: dry before use, 3h at 150ºC or 2h at 160ºC; cylinder nozzle temperature, 380ºC; tool temperature, 190ºC; injection speed: medium/high.

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Composites & Polycon Scheduled for January 2009

19th December 2007 0 comments

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) has said that the next Composites & Polycon conference and trade show will be held January 15-17, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. ACMA believes the winter timeframe and a new show format will build excitement for the industry event. “”We’re thrilled Composites & Polycon 2009 will be in Tampa,”” says John Tickle, ACMA President. “”Our last show in Tampa was one of our most successful ever and I’m confident that the new winter timeframe will mean even better business opportunities for our members and exhibitors.”” “”In choosing the dates and location for Composites & Polycon 2009, we were responding to member and exhibitor feedback,”” says Jack Simmons, Chairman of ACMA’s Conference Committee. “”Tampa has a great track record with ACMA, we have a high concentration of members east of the Mississippi, and everyone loves warm weather in January.”” ACMA is hard at work planning exhibit space and organizing technical and educational sessions for the event, and also announced other future show dates: Composites & Polycon 2010, February 9-11, 2010, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA Composites & Polycon 2011, February 2-4, 2011, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA

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