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Composites Industry News

News for 7 October 2007


Dedienne Plasturgie Licence RocTool Cage System

7th October 2007 0 comments

Dedienne Plasturgie has signed a licence agreement for RocTool’s Cage System induction moulding technology.

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Olympus NDT Introduces the BondMaster 1000e+ Composite Inspection Instrument

7th October 2007 0 comments

Olympus NDT has introduced the Olympus BondMaster 1000e+ composite inspection instrument, designed to detect internal defects or delaminations in composite structures used for aerospace, marine, automotive, or manufacturing applications. Olympus says that the major benefit of this latest generation of bond testing equipment is its strong data processing capabilities resulting in a more than ten-fold increase in inspection speed over earlier models. The BondMaster 1000e+ is a multimode instrument offering sonic pitch-catch, mechanical impedance analysis (MIA), and resonance technologies. It includes options for color and monochrome LCD or electroluminescent (EL) display. Packaged in a rugged and durable 1000 Series case, the BondMaster 1000e+ is field-ready for the most demanding applications.

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Hardwire Finalises Agreements with DSM and FIDIA

7th October 2007 0 comments

DSM Dyneema will support the commercialization of Hardwire’s advanced armour products and FIDIA will distribute Hardwire products to Italy and the surrounding regions. The multiyear agreement with DSM Dyneema, finalized in August, will allow for close cooperation in the further development and commercialization of advanced armour based on Dyneema UD products. These products are currently utilized in Hardwire’s HD vehicle armour solutions. “This is an important step forward for Hardwire in commercializing and protecting the advanced armour technologies that Hardwire has developed over the last three years,” said George Tunis, CEO of Hardwire. “We have been through extensive testing, including the Army’s Long Term Armor Strategy (LTAS) requirements for advanced armour solutions for application on the tactical wheeled vehicle fleet, and continue to develop robust and proven solutions against emerging threats, such as the newer mine threats and EFPs (explosively formed projectiles). Hardwire’s advanced armour (Hardwire HD) is available today to the OEM truck manufacturer’s for testing and evaluation, and in production quantities.” David Cordova, Vice President New Business Development Life Protection Americas – DSM Dyneema LLC, said “”We congratulate Hardwire on their recent breakthrough success. We are glad that DSM Dyneema has been able to contribute by fostering the light armour solution with Dyneema HB26, our state-of-the-art vehicle protection grade. DSM Dyneema and Hardwire LLC have strong synergies in innovation and the drive to meet customer needs.” Hardwire and DSM Dyneema will be demonstrating the Hardwire HD Armor at the 2007 AUSA Conference in Exhibition, to be held Oct. 8-10 in Washington, DC. FIDIA is an Italian engineering company specialized in consulting and distributing innovative and advanced technological materials and solutions for the retrofit, restoration, protection and conservation of historic buildings, civil engineering structures and infrastructures. The agreement enables FIDIA to distribute Hardwire products to Italy and the surrounding regions. The products will be used to support European companies in their strengthening efforts of historic structures. This is Hardwire’s first exclusive stocking point agreement for distribution in Europe. “”We were quite impressed with the innovative work that has been performed by FIDIA in Italy,” stated John Hammond, Hardwire’s Vice President for Business Development. “Hardwire has been working with the principals for some time, making this a logical fit for our rapidly-growing business in both strengthening and security applications. Further, we expect this relationship to benefit contractors with expanded solutions.”

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LM Glasfiber to Open New Facility in Little Rock, Arkansas

7th October 2007 0 comments

LM Glasfiber plans to open a new facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, scheduled to begin operations in the first quarter of 2008 and to employ over 1,000 people within five years. “The Little Rock plant is key to enabling us to serve our growing portfolio of customers in North America”, says LM Glasfiber CEO Roland M. Sundén. “The facility will help secure our customers’ long term blade supply thereby enabling their ambitious growth strategies while also increasing the robustness and visibility of LM Glasfiber’s North American sales.” “We couldn’t be happier with the location” adds Roland M. Sundén. “Not only is the site ideally located to serve some of the central US demand for wind development, but Arkansas was able to accommodate our aggressive ramp up schedule and we have every confidence they will exceed our stated goals. The site itself offers excellent logistical options, whether by road, rail, air or marine. And when we considered the kind of amenities that are conducive for LM Glasfiber to attract and retain the people and talent we need, Little Rock was a natural choice for us.” “LM Glasfiber adds another industry-leading company to Arkansas, and specifically to Little Rock,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “Not only does LM Glasfiber offer a global presence, but it will supply skilled and technical jobs to our citizens. LM Glasfiber also elevates Arkansas’s presence among the growing state and national interest in the renewable energy industry. This development is another step forward for our state’s economy in today’s global marketplace.” LM Glasfiber expects to sign the agreement with the State of Arkansas and the city of Little Rock in the immediate future. The Little Rock plant will be LM Glasfiber’s third North American production facility; effectively doubling the capacity of the existing factories in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Gaspé, Quebec. This latest capacity expansion reflects an overall strong market demand coupled with optimism for continued stability in the US market. The US is currently the largest market for new wind projects and the second globally in existing wind project installations.

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M.C. Gill Enters Into Long-Term Supply Agreement with Boeing

7th October 2007 0 comments

M.C. Gill Corporation has reached a long-term supply agreement with Boeing Gillcore HK Honeycomb core. Under the 5 year contract, M.C. Gill Corporation will supply honeycomb core to Boeing Commercial Airplanes – Interior Responsibility Center (IRC) for interior components on the 787 Dreamliner. These components include stowage bins, class dividers, partitions, and crew rests. Gillcore HK is a Kevlar N636 reinforced honeycomb core which is qualified to the Boeing BMS 8-124 material specification. M.C. Gill says that it offers significant weight savings over Nomex honeycomb core and has contributed to the overall weight reduction effort on the 787 aircraft. M.C. Gill Corporation also has a long-standing supply contract with the Boeing IRC for Gillcore HD Nomex honeycomb core for existing 737, 747, 767 and 777 aircraft programs. Jeremy Hale, Regional Sales Manager for the M.C. Gill Corporation, has worked closely with Boeing for the last few years to develop and qualify this product. “We have made the commitment to grow our business by developing new and innovative products to support our key customers. Gillcore HK Kevlar N636 honeycomb core is a key example of our ability to rapidly innovate and qualify materials to meet our customers ever evolving demands for lightweight composite materials. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Boeing Commercial Airplanes and supporting the 787 aircraft program.”

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Zoltek Makes Strategic Acquisition in Mexico

7th October 2007 0 comments

Zoltek has purchased the Guadalajara, Mexico-based Crysel acrylic fiber manufacturing assets of Cydsa, a large publicly traded Mexican chemical and industrial company. Zoltek plans to retool and modify the newly acquired facility to supply Zoltek’s North American operations with low-cost precursor, the principal raw material used in manufacturing carbon fibres. Zoltek expects the facility will serve as a site for additional carbon fibre production lines supporting Zoltek’s strategic goal of achieving $500 million in annual sales of its high-performance commercial grade carbon fibres by fiscal year 2011. Zoltek will invest approximately $100 million to purchase the facility, to retool and modify the plant to produce acrylic precursor and to install the initial carbon fibre manufacturing facility. The Company is using a portion of the proceeds of its August 2007 secondary common stock offering, along with cash from operations, to fund the investments in the newly acquired plant. Zoltek expects that precursor production will begin by the end of fiscal 2008. “”The new facility in Guadalajara represents the fastest and lowest cost alternative to increasing our precursor capacity and is a key building block in ramping up carbon fibers production in North America over the next several years,”” said Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “”Instead of having to ship precursor material from our plant in Hungary to our facilities in Texas and Missouri, we will be able to truck this material overland from Guadalajara. Similarly, we anticipate significant cost savings when we produce carbon fibres at the Mexican facility. Technical personnel from that plant have been collaborating with Zoltek production and engineering teams for the past few months to get a head start on the retooling and modifications. Based on that collaboration and our experience with a very similar conversion of our Hungarian facilities, we do not anticipate major difficulties in enabling the plant to manufacture precursor.”” Cydsa’s acrylic fibre manufacturing facilities in Guadalajara have been idled since January 2006 due to an oversupply of acrylic fibres for the global textile market. Zoltek’s plan is to initially activate 20,000 tons of annual precursor production and at the same time install 2,250 tons of annual rated carbon fibres capacity at this facility. Zoltek expects that the Mexican facility ultimately will support annual production of 60,000 tons of precursor material, which, in turn, will support production of more than 27,000 metric tons of carbon fibers — or the equivalent of over $600 million in carbon fibre sales at today’s price level for high-performance commercial carbon fibres. With Zoltek’s current expansion project in Hungary, scheduled for completion by the end of calendar year 2007, and the completion of the initial phase of the Mexican expansion, Zoltek estimates it will have an annual capacity to produce 40,000 tons of precursor, 13,050 tons of carbon fibre and 4,500 tons of oxidized acrylic fibres.

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SGL Plans to Triple Carbon Fibre Capacities

7th October 2007 0 comments

The SGL Group plans to triple its carbon fibre production capacity to as much as 12,000 metric tons by 2012, with facilities at Inverness, Evanston and Meitingen. In addition to the announced expansion of the Inverness location (Scotland) to an annual production of approximately 4,000 metric tons by the end of 2008, there are also plans to expand the Evanston location (Wyoming/USA) and to establish a new carbon fibre production site at Meitingen (Germany) with similar production capacities. The Group intends to invest a total of around €300 million in these measures over the coming five years. For the Carbon Fibers & Composites (CFC) business unit, SGL Group plans to increase sales in the four business lines Carbon Fibers, Composite Materials, Composite Components and Brake Disks by considerably more than 15% per annum. Against the 2006 figures, total sales of SGL Group should increase by 40% to 50% by 2011.

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Knight & Carver to Provide 60 Replacement Blades for Storm Lake, Iowa

7th October 2007 0 comments

Knight & Carver Wind Group has reached agreement with AES Wind Generation to manufacture a total of 60 wind blades for the company’s wind-power facility in Storm Lake, Iowa. Under terms of the contract, the 25-meter blades will be built at Knight & Carver’s newly-opened facility in Howard, South Dakota. Blade design and pre-production is set to begin immediately, with initial deliveries slated for January 2008. The blades will serve as replacements for Zond 750 blades. “This marks the beginning of what we believe will be a long-lasting relationship between our two companies,” said Gary Kanaby, Knight & Carver’s Director of Business Development. “We look forward to fulfilling the first phase of this agreement.” The AES wind farm in Storm Lake, Iowa is located about 250 miles from Knight & Carver’s facility in South Dakota’s southeastern region. Opened in 1999, Storm Lake Wind Power Facility ranks as one of the world’s largest wind farms with more than 106 turbines covering four counties in Iowa.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Receives Scholarship

7th October 2007 0 comments

The paper “Hybrid Pultruded Plank with a Concrete Compression Flange for Pedestrian Bridges” garnered University of Wisconsin-Madison student Bryan V. Bindrich the prestigious 2007 Gary B. Multanen/Composites Manufacturing magazine scholarship. “Both the quality of his paper and the thoroughness of his research and testing were quite remarkable for an undergraduate student,” said Larry Cox, Associate Director, Education and Technical Services, who was one of three judges for this annual scholarship program. “Bindrich’s research demonstrates that hybrid panels composed of commercially available pultruded plank and normal weight concrete produced results similar to that of traditional timber decking. With further research to improve plank design and to prove increased lifespan over traditional materials, the durable hybrid panel could become a viable alternative to building lightweight vehicle and pedestrian bridges.” Also serving as judges for this scholarship were James G. Vaughan, Ph.D., F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean and Director of the Composite Materials Research Group (CMRG) at the University of Mississippi’s School of Engineering, and Ellen Lackey, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Mississippi. Bindrich completed his paper just prior to graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison this past spring. He currently is a full-time graduate student at the University of Texas-Austin. The scholarship is named after Gary Multanen, a two-time past president and founding father of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA). Composites Manufacturing is one of two magazines published by the ACMA. Bindrich’s research is featured in the October issue of CM, which will be distributed at Composites & Polycon 2007 and he will also provide a poster session of his research at the show. He also will receive a $1,000 check presented by ACMA’s board of directors.

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