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Composites Industry News

News for 15 July 2007


Brammo Launches Composite Production Electric Motorcycle

15th July 2007 0 comments

Brammo Motorsports has launched the Enertia, said to be the world’s first production battery powered plug-in electric motorcycle. The Enertia utilizes a carbon fibre chassis producing an ultra strong, light-weight vehicle platform of just 275 lbs. The chassis integrates six lithium-phosphate batteries from supplier Valence Technology that together produce the power to propel the Enertia to a top speed of over 50 mph. The Enertia’s driving of 45 miles significantly exceeds the average daily commute for the average U.S. consumer of 29 miles. Battery charge time is 3 hours to full re-charge. “We believe consumers are eager to adopt vehicles that have a fraction of the carbon footprint of a today’s cars”, says Craig Bramscher, Chairman & CEO of Brammo Motorsports, “Our Enertia electric motorcycle empowers people to make this choice today.” Brian Wismann, Brammo Director of Design, “It is extremely satisfying to design a vehicle that people can both feel good about using and appreciate the way it looks.”

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IPTRADE Launches Commercially Available Smart Composite Structure

15th July 2007 0 comments

IPTRADE has completed the development phase of first commercially available smart composite structure. The design and manufacturing effort for the patents pending smart composite lasted for 18 months and was successfully completed with the help of their exclusive manufacturing partner, ARC Technologies. The smart composite structure incorporates multiple layers of piezoceramic (PZT) wafers, enabling it to be at once a high-fidelity structural strain sensor and a high precision strain actuator. According to IPTRADE, key technological breakthroughs include full compatibility with commonly accepted manufacturing practices for glass/epoxy and graphite/epoxy composites. The primary uses of the smart composite are expected to be non-destructive testing (NDT) and structural health monitoring, as well as precision control of elastic vibration.

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Airtech Europe Inaugurates Its New Office Building in Luxembourg

15th July 2007 0 comments

Airtech Europe has added a 1000 square metre administration building to its Luxembourg complex, with a further 6000 square metre extension planned for 2009. Jeannot Krécké (Ministre de l’Economie Grand Duché de Luxembourg), William Dahlgren (CEO and creator of Airtech Advanced Materials Group), Jeff Dahlgren (President of Airtech Advanced Materials Group), Dennis Waterkotte (Executive Vice-President of Airtech Advanced Materials Group) and Wolfgang Stratmann (General Manager of Airtech Europe SA) were proud to inaugurate the new administration building of Airtech Europe in Differdange in front of about 80 distributors, managers and regional politicians. “”We are very proud of such a growth in our domain. When I began to work in the aeronautics 30 years ago, we did not speak about composite materials yet and we were far from imagining itself “” said Mr Stratmann, General Manager of Airtech Europe S.A.

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SAMPE’s 2007-2008 President Elected

15th July 2007 0 comments

SAMPE has elected Bob Griffiths, Consultant and Director of ERG in the UK, as its 2007/08 President, the first time that a non-US citizen has been elected to this position. “”It is an honour to be elected into such an important and influential job. I am looking forward to leading SAMPE on its new international endeavours. The composites industry is spreading around the globe and SAMPE is changing to address the needs of SAMPE’s growing international membership,”” Griffiths said. An active member of SAMPE for 30 years, Bob previously served as SAMPE’s Executive Vice President and prior to that he was President of SAMPE Europe from 2000-2002.

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SGL Group and Benteler to Set Up Joint Venture

15th July 2007 0 comments

The SGL Group and Benteler Automobiltechnik intend to set up a joint venture for the development, manufacturing, and marketing of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components for the automotive industry. The two companies want to participate with 50% each and will contribute their specific expertise with regard to the product, its manufacturing, and marketing. The joint venture, named Benteler-SGL-Automotive Composite GmbH and based in Paderborn, will focus on developing structural components such as B-columns, crash boxes, bumpers, and axles. In a second step, the joint venture medium term wants to start up series production of these products for the automotive industry. The SGL Group brings its experience in developing and manufacturing carbon fibres and will supply carbon fibre composites exclusively to the joint venture. Benteler Automobiltechnik inserts its product development and process skills in series production as well as its experience on the automotive market. The intent is therefore to provide automobile manufacturers with unique carbon fibre composites and lightweight solutions based on carbon fibres and metal hybrids.

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ACMA and CM Magazine Seek 2007 E&I Award Nominations

15th July 2007 0 comments

Composites Manufacturing Magazine (CM), the official magazine of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is now accepting entries for the 2007 Excellence & Innovation Awards (E&I), partly sponsored by NetComposites. ACMA and CM recognize outstanding achievement in the composites industry through the E&I Awards program. Nomination forms can be found with the recently mailed June issue of CM or downloaded from the link below. Winners will be featured in the November/December issue of CM, and each winner will receive an award, a featured spot on the CM Magazine website, and a press release to distribute to local media and industry trade press. Deadline for nomination submission is August 17, 2007. The program includes seven categories: ▪ Innovation in Manufacturing Process, Sponsored by AOC ▪ Excellence as a Manufacturing Employee, Sponsored by Arkema ▪ Innovation in Composites Engineering, Sponsored by Ashland ▪ Excellence in Community Stewardship, Sponsored by Composites One ▪ Excellence in Environmental, Health, & Safety Practices, Sponsored by NetComposites ▪ Excellence as a Production Supervisor, Sponsored by Norac ▪ Excellence in Plant or Project Management, Sponsored by PLA This program is an excellent opportunity to recognize a company, colleagues, employees, supervisors, or others for their outstanding achievements and contributions. Superb manufacturing employees, those who go above and beyond expectations, and are on the front lines of keeping production going, deserve to be recognized, which is why David Louthian of Appalachian Plastics won an E&I award in 2006. Allen DeBusk, Appalachian Plastics general manager notes “”He has been essential to the growth of our company for the past 22 years, and is certainly a strong and valuable asset to Appalachian Plastics.”” Louthian exceeds expectations by providing strong leadership and unwavering dependability, continually exhibiting his excellence as a manufacturing employee. Any company and/or individual involved in the composites industry can be nominated.

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AAR to Provide Composite Structures for F-22 Raptor

15th July 2007 0 comments

Lockheed Martin has selected AAR Composites to fabricate carbon composites for the primary structure of the F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft. AAR Composites will build 30 parts for each of 60 aircraft in support of the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor program led by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Pratt & Whitney. AAR Composites has been supporting the F-22 Raptor program with advanced composite structures since 1995. Under several consecutive contracts, AAR Composites has supplied and continues to supply hand lay-up and Resin Transfer Molded (RTM) structures for the Raptors countermeasure systems. This new award is for parts that become part of the aircraft’s primary structure. “This award is the culmination of a year’s worth of work acquiring the right technologies and, more importantly, adding the right talent to our business so we can perform at the highest level”, according to Mike Pentedemos, AAR Composites’ Vice President of Business Development. Pentedemos went on to say, “we intend to support the F-22 Raptor program for many more years and are looking forward to additional contracts with Lockheed Martin in the future”.

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EADS Socata Delivers Components for the First Airbus A400M

15th July 2007 0 comments

EADS Socata has delivered its sub-assemblies for the first Airbus A400M to representatives of the industrial partners of Airbus Military, EADS CASA and Airbus France. EADS Socata was selected by EADS CASA in 2003 as Component Design & Build Team for the Airbus A400M sponsons, the main landing-gear fairings, and by Airbus France in 2005 as subcontractor with overall responsibility for design and manufacture of the nose landing-gear doors. EADS Socata has therefore been involved in this European program from the preliminary study phase. The sponsons are two 14-metre (45 ft) fairings on either side of the fuselage housing the main landing gear of six sturdy wheels fitted with low-pressure tyres specially designed for operating on short and rudimentary runways. Designed and produced by EADS Socata, they are of mixed construction, a metal frame covered with composite (hybrid glass/carbon & carbon) panels on the fore and aft parts, to both limit the weight of the structure and make it able to withstand the impact of projectiles thrown up from unmetalled runways. In order to comply with new safety regulations in the event of a burst tyre, the central section has been redesigned with metal panels by EADS Socata. Each sponson weighs around 900 kg (1,986 lbs). They are delivered to EADS CASA fully equipped with electric, hydraulic and fuel circuits installed. The four nose landing-gear doors are made of composite material (sandwich carbon fibre). They incorporate a hinging system developed by the design office which allows weight reduction without lessening performance. Each door weighs 90 kg (199 lbs). They are delivered to Airbus France at its St Nazaire factory. “We are particularly proud today to be delivering on schedule these components for the A400M and thus contribute to this key European aerospace industry program. This is an excellent demonstration of our expertise in the field of large-sized fairing panels,” said Jean-Michel Léonard, Chairman and CEO of EADS Socata. The military cargo aircraft four-engine turboprop jet Airbus A400M is intended for the transport of military troops and vehicles, for medical evacuation operations, and flight refuelling. Its first flight is planned for the beginning of 2008 and 192 firm orders have been placed to date, from the seven founding member states of the central procurement agency OCCAR – Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, UK – plus South Africa and Malaysia.

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UQM Technologies Propulsion System to Power Hybrid Composite Bus

15th July 2007 0 comments

UQM Technologies’ newly introduced150 kW permanent magnet propulsion motor will power a fuel cell hybrid electric bus being developed with an all composite body. The vehicle is being developed by Mobile Energy Solutions, LLC, Golden, Colorado, with funding under the Federal Transit Administration’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program. The 35 foot long bus features a proprietary all composite body manufactured by Martin Marietta Composites and two 16 kW automotive fuel cells from Hydrogenics Inc. The batteries, which are only six inches tall, are incorporated in the floor enabling a low floor design, which in combination with the absence of an engine compartment, allows passenger seating for 37 people, equal to that of a conventional 40 foot bus. “Unlike other fuel cell bus programs that are placing large fuel cells in conventional transit buses, we are developing a composite body bus that has been specifically designed for these advanced technologies. By doing so, we have been able to reduce the weight of the vehicle, dramatically improving passenger carrying capability and roughly tripling the fuel mileage compared to conventional buses of similar size”, said Dale Hill, Chief Executive Officer of Mobile Energy Solutions. The bus has been designed to accept auxiliary power units other than fuel cells such as an internal combustion engine generator fueled by hydrogen, propane, compressed natural gas or bio-diesel

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Turane Resins for Solar Powered Race Vehicle

15th July 2007 0 comments

As defending champions looking for a fourth successive victory in the 2007 World Solar Challenge, the team of 11 students from the Delft University of Technology turned to DSM Composite Resins as materials sponsor. DSM has provided materials, support and advice in the design and production of a vehicle that could endure the temperature extremes of the trans-Australian race – powered only by energy from the sun. Weighing in at barely 200 kilograms, Nuna4 utilizes cutting edge aerospace and Formula1 technology in producing a car that is stronger, lighter and safer than its predecessors. For this year’s race, entry criteria were made stricter to ensure that the vehicles were not only safer but also more recognizable as cars, with roll bars, upright seating and a maximum surface area of 6 m² for solar cells. DSM met the Delft Nuon Solar Team’s advanced composite needs with turane resin technology. Turane stands for thermosetting urethanes and is a new family of thermoset materials. According to DSM, Turane resins have the structural performance of epoxy resins but with faster processing characteristics. Vacuum infusion was used to produce the two halves of the body shell and wheel casings, with turane resins impregnating a reinforcement pack that incorporated woven carbon fibre. The cure chemistry of turane resins gives a variable cure profile that makes it suitable for fully controllable vacuum resin infusion. The ninth Panasonic World Solar Challenge will begin on 21 October 2007 in subtropical Darwin in northern Australia and is scheduled to finish on or around 26 October in Adelaide. The World Solar Challenge is held every two years with around 40 entrants from teams representing more than 30 countries, racing down the trans-continental Stuart Highway and reaching speeds in excess of 100kmph. Taking it in shifts to drive Nuna4, the Delft Nuon Solar Team will be competing under extreme weather conditions, having to negotiate between other road traffic and the odd kangaroo. Competition gets tougher every time and the vehicles get more sophisticated. Nevertheless, the Nuon team, with all the expertise and technology that has gone into their challenge, are confident of a fourth successive victory.

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