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Composites Industry News

News for 24 October 2007


Dieffenbacher Highlights DuroVision Project at K-2007

24th October 2007 0 comments

At K 2007, Dieffenbacher will be presenting the DuroVision development project sponsored by the bmb+f- (German Federal Ministry for Education and Research). The partners in this are the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, RESPECTA Maschinenbau GmbH, Projektträger Jülich (PTJ), M-Base Engineering + Software GmbH, BYK Chemie GmbH, Reichhold, POLYTEC Composites Germany GmbH and Johns Manville. The objective is to manufacture components from fiber-reinforced thermosetting plastics in the direct process. Reproducible manufacturing of compounds and components in one process step represents significant progress in development that makes using this material more attractive and increases the range of applications. DuroVision has now achieved material characteristic values that make it suitable for conventional SMC applications. Above all, it has achieved quality values corresponding to the requirements for Class A surfaces. Using combined extrusion and pressing systems for the LFT-D-ILC direct process, it is possible to process rovings and plastics directly and to produce lightweight components for the automotive components industry. Crash-resistant lightweight structural components with a cosmetic surface can be manufactured using advanced and ground-breaking “”tailored LFT-D”” technology, without incurring the high costs of the semifinished product stage. The rear door of the new smart fortwo is a component with localized reinforcements for the best possible structural properties that is manufactured using this process. The special thing about this cosmetic component is that it does not have to be painted. The Dieffenbacher extruder system permits in-line blending of a paint batch. Dieffenbacher will be presenting its products and services at the K 2007 in Düsseldorf from 24 to 31.10.2007 in Hall 14, Stand 14A04.

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BYK with New Solutions at K 2007

24th October 2007 0 comments

At the K-fair in Düsseldorf from October 24 – 31, BYK will be presenting new solutions for the plastics industry in hall 5, booth 5J42. Odour and emissions (VOCs) of polyolefin compounds are often a concern, particularly for applications in automotive interiors. The origin of these emissions is often small amounts of volatile components that are formed during the processing of thermoplastics. To significantly reduce VOC levels and odor, BYK has developed a new type of stripping agent: BYK-P 4200. BYK-P 4200 is a granulate material, which is simply added in the compounding step (extruder). No further processing step is required. The second highlight is BYK-P 4101: It is a polymeric process additive for improving the processing characteristics and the physical properties of filled thermoplastic compounds. The additive interacts strongly at the particle–matrix interface. BYK says that this particular interaction leads to overall improved processing conditions such as better melt flow, while at the same time important physical properties such as tensile strength, E-modulus, HDT and impact resistance are maintained or even improved. BYK-P 4101 is supplied as a powder.

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Nanocyl Presents Broad Product Range at K2007

24th October 2007 0 comments

Nanocyl, the Belgium-based producer of carbon nanotubes, will present a wide range of products and practical applications for carbon nanotubes at K2007. Nanocyl will attend K2007 through its German distribution partner Velox, the specialised raw materials distribution and sales company. Nanocyl and Velox will show various product applications of the Nanocyl carbon nanotubes. Nanocyl products are used as conductive additives for Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) control in plastics for automotive fuel systems, electronic devices processing and handling such as integrated circuit (IC) and hard disk drive trays. Other applications include conductive plastics for electrostatic painting and reinforcement of technical rubbers. Different clients of Nanocyl, which have developed new products based on Nanocyl’s carbon nanotubes, will showcase them as well. Carbon nanotubes of Nanocyl not only improve electrical conductivity, but also increase mechanical and thermal properties. Furthermore, Nanocyl continuously develops new, value-added products as the pre-dispersed carbon nanotube-based solution Plasticyltm. During K2007, at the Leistritz booth, Nanocyl will give demonstrations on a daily basis, showing there knowhow on compounding nanotubes with different polymers. All these applications will be showcased in Hall 6 at booth 6A23

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New HH-LED+ Spot Curing System Offers Cool, Consistent, Low Cost UV Curing

24th October 2007 0 comments

Dymax has introduced a new hand-held LED curing system to its complete line of UV curing spots lamps, floods lamps, conveyors, and radiometers. The HH-LED+ uses LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) to generate both UV and visible light (375-415 nm) to provide cool, consistent, low cost UV curing, according to Dymax. They say that the HHLED+ costs 75 to 85% less than higher intensity UV spot lamps and there are no expensive bulbs to replace. The HH-LED+ does not emit IR or other unused wavelengths and, therefore, provides much cooler UV cures than traditional spot lamps. More consistent cures are possible since there is virtually no reduction in intensity for over 5,000 hours. Instant on/off and an integral timer features make the HH-LED+ a very economical and process friendly UV curing system.

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TPI Composites Raises $22M in Growth Equity Financing

24th October 2007 0 comments

TPI Composites has closed $22 million in equity financing from new and existing investors. NGP Energy Technology Partners led the investment round and was joined by Angeleno Group and return investor, Landmark Growth Capital Partners. “”We are very pleased to welcome NGP Energy Technology Partners and Angeleno Group as new investors in TPI. We believe the energy experience of NGP and Angeleno Group, combined with the valued perspective of our existing investor, Landmark Growth Capital Partners, will serve TPI well at this important time in the life of our company,”” stated TPI President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Lockard. “”We expect our wind business to continue its dramatic growth in North America and China over the next couple of years. We are gaining significant traction in our military and transportation businesses as well. Each of our markets will benefit from the Series A growth capital.”” “”TPI has made great strides since we teamed up with management to acquire the company in 2004,”” said Paul Giovacchini, TPI Chairman and Principal of Landmark Partners. “”We look forward to working with NGP Energy Technology Partners and Angeleno Group to assist the management team at TPI in furthering the growth of this great company.”” “”TPI is an exciting company with a strong management team and a proven ability to produce high-quality, large-scale composite structures in volume,”” said Philip Deutch, Managing Partner of NGP Energy Technology Partners. “”TPI’s reputation in the marketplace, combined with its blue chip customer base and compelling business model make it an attractive investment for NGP Energy Technology Partners.”” Daniel Weiss, a Managing Partner of Angeleno Group added, “”TPI has a competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate. Its people and their innovative spirit combined with advance technology and world-class factories will allow TPI to become a significant force in the manufacture of composite products.”” TPI Composites, Inc., headquartered in Warren, Rhode Island, is a manufacturer of large-scale composite structures for the wind energy, transportation, and military vehicle markets. TPI operates factories in Warren, Rhode Island; Springfield, Ohio; Juarez, Mexico; and Taicang, China.

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KMT Robotic Solutions Shows New RoboTrim RT-1900 Routing System

24th October 2007 0 comments

KMT Robotic Solutions showed its new RoboTrim RT-1900 robotic router trimming system at the ACMA Composites and Polycon Show. “The RT-1900 is our largest standard machine yet for high throughput automated trimming of plastics and composites,” said Routing Systems Sales Manager Paul Schuch. “It compliments our other standard trimming solutions.” The RT-1900 standard model features an inverted, rail-mounted KMT AccuTrim R-110 robot inside a steel enclosure with side access door and safety interlocks. The rail provides the robot with the ability to move up to 4.5 meters. The system’s two-sided 19-foot rotating servo table can support up to 700 pounds on each side and accommodate part sizes up to 13 feet long and 5 feet wide. The two position table allows for higher throughput by giving operators the ability to load or unload parts on the outside of the cell while the robot is trimming on the inside. The RT-1900’s ergonomic design keeps the Cycle Start, Emergency Stop and other operator controls within easy reach, while the system’s light curtains and other standard safety features keep the operator out of harm’s way. The RT-1900 system can be customized to meet manufacturer’s unique needs. A variety of spindle sizes (up to 10hp) and options (automatic tool change, single and double-ended) are available to ensure the desired cut quality and cycle time. KMT’s RouterVac vacuum system hold parts securely to the fixture and removes chips from the trimming area. Optional software packages like KMT’s System Calibration Tools enable users to quickly and accurately achieve process repeatability, while KMT/FANUC TrimPro software allows users to program the robots while the system is in production and optimize cycle time by creating simulated work cells. Customers can also take advantage of KMT’s programming assistance, training classes and in-house fixture department.

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ACG Official Supplier for Ericsson in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09

24th October 2007 0 comments

ACG will become Official Supplier of Composite Material to The Ericsson Racing Team in the run-up to the Volvo Ocean Race, which is scheduled to start in Alicante, Spain October 2008. While it may seem like early days, this is actually far from the truth. Ericsson Racing Team recently acquired the winning yacht from the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, ABN AMRO One (ABN 1) for preparation purposes. It is currently being used to put the team through its paces for training and speed tests. ABN 1 also used ACG’s VTM260 series prepregs and VTA260 film adhesive. The Ericsson Racing Team is using the services of Killian Bushe as construction manager – the same person who headed the team that built ABN 1. Ericsson Racing Team commenced building its two new VO 70 yachts this Spring, just 200 meters from Ericsson’s corporate headquarters outside Stockholm, thus confirming the company’s desire to share its race campaign with its staff, partners and customers. The first step was to build the female mould that would be used to form the composite carbon-fibre hull. This stage, which required great precision and attention to detail, was concluded in the Spring. Killian Bushe is quoted as saying, “The build site is state-of-the-art. Since November, we have worked hard at putting the right team in place and getting all the necessary tools ready. This includes the two ovens – one of them as big as the boat (25 meters) – and a smaller one for all the components. It feels good to get started on the construction; we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

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Syrgis Performance Products Launches New Company

24th October 2007 0 comments

Following its recent purchase of Norac, Syrgis Performance Products has renamedthe Norac organic peroxides business units to Syrgis Performance Initiators. “Syrgis Performance Initiators is a new identity, but fundamentally the company maintains its entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to making high-quality products, and exceptional customer service,” said Syrgis Performance Products CEO Andy Harris. “This newest member to the family will operate with a high degree of autonomy that lets the company build on its strengths, yet take advantage of the financial, operational and marketing support under the Syrgis group umbrella — adding more breadth and depth to do more for our customers.” In addition to manufacturing and distribution facilities in Sweden and Helena, Ark., Syrgis acquires the considerable technical, sales, and manufacturing staff, support and services with the purchase. The acquisition of this organic peroxides line also brings an extensive distribution network in the United States with leading companies like Composites One, North American Composites, and Ashland Distribution. The manufacturing and distribution operations in Sweden are also world class and complement the growing market in Europe and the Middle East. “We are pleased to be operating under the common Syrgis name with a singular global focus on providing the best value, initiator solutions for our customers around the world,” said Benny Fahrman, managing director in Europe, Syrgis Performance Initiators AB. “Since 1953, businesses have relied on Norac’s organic peroxide products to meet their needs within the plastics and reinforced thermoset composites markets,” said Douglas Hubbard, business manager for North America, Syrgis Performance Initiators. “The creation of the new company only stands to strengthen the foundation on which we’ve built our success in the industry. It may be a new global name, but it’s the same products, familiar faces and great customer service — all with keeping an eye to the future.”

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Hexcel to Build Prepreg Facility in China

24th October 2007 0 comments

Hexcel Corporation, in conjunction with Tianjin Xeda Administrative Committee, has provided further details of its plans to build a new prepreg plant in China. The new facility is intended to meet the strong demand for composites used in wind turbines. China is experiencing major growth in its wind energy market and the country plans to double the amount of energy it obtains from renewable sources by 2020; a strategy that will require a major increase in the number of wind power plants in the country. With the support of Xeda, Hexcel has secured a total floor area of 30 000m2 site in Tianjin, close to the facilities of major wind power customers. The plant building area will occupy approximately 8,000m2 and manufacture HexPly epoxy resin prepregs, primarily for wind energy and industrial applications. Production at the new facility will commence in summer 2008. Mr Guoqing Zhang, Chief of Xiqing District said: “The Xiqing Economic Development Area (XEDA), a leading international industrial park in Tianjin, is very proud to welcome Hexcel as a new member of its family. This new partnership rewards XEDA’s continuing strategy in expanding the zone support for alternative energies of the future. Once more, XEDA, with its safe, friendly, time-tested infrastructure, transparent business environment and processional services, provided a win-win solution to share a stronger future for all stakeholders, solidifying its position as a leading destination for the international manufacturing community.” David E. Berges, Hexcel Chairman and CEO commented: “Hexcel was a major force in introducing prepreg to the wind energy industry over a decade ago, working in partnership with blade manufacturers in Europe. We are very proud to be building on our experience by setting up this new facility in Tianjin and we thank Xeda for their support.”

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Lockheed Martin Awarded Phase II Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft Contract

24th October 2007 0 comments

The United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has authorized Lockheed Martin to proceed to Phase II of the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) Flight Demonstration contract. “”This contract represents an important first step to advance composite usage on next-generation tactical air mobility transports,”” said Frank Cappuccio, executive vice president and general manager, Advanced Development Programs (the Skunk Works), Lockheed Martin. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will build and flight-demonstrate an X-Plane type aircraft with emphasis on innovative structural configurations and concepts to include advanced prototyping and composite technologies. Its solution involves replacement of the mid/aft fuselage and empennage of a Dornier 328J aircraft with advanced composites within the required 12-month schedule. “”With ACCA we are attempting to reinvent the manufacturing paradigm through the strategic use of composite manufacturing technologies,”” said Frank Mauro, vice president, Advanced Systems Development, Advanced Development Programs (the Skunk Works(R)), Lockheed Martin. “”This is an important opportunity to forever change the way composites are used in aircraft manufacturing, leading to lighter, less expensive, more durable aircraft that are easier to maintain.”” Lockheed Martin’s integration of advanced composites on the ACCA flight demonstrator will enable a reduction of 80-90 percent in parts count and a dramatic reduction in corrosion and fatigue issues compared to conventional aircraft manufacturing approaches. Planned growth provisions will allow it to be used well into the future as a technology workhorse for additional air mobility advanced transport experiments. Further, ACCA will provide production traceability allowing the key technologies to be applicable to a broad spectrum of next generation aircraft including long range strike, unmanned systems and future air mobility transports. ACCA is a capstone demonstration of several technologies developed under recent Department of Defense Contracted Research and Development (CRAD) programs, particularly the Composite Affordability Initiative. “”AFRL is excited to authorize Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works to proceed with their highly innovative demonstration program,”” said Barth Shenk, AFRL program manager. AFRL is currently investigating opportunities for Aurora Flight Sciences to collaborate with Lockheed Martin and AFRL in the demonstration of additional technologies and capabilities for future transport structures.

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