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Composites Industry News

News for January 2008


Greencore to Get Funding from Ontario BioAuto Council

7th January 2008 0 comments

GreenCore Composites Inc., a natural-fibre composite company spun off from University of Toronto research, has received an investment of $755,000. The funding comes from the Ontario BioAuto Council Commercialization Fund, an organization that targets commercialization and market development of biomaterials for Ontario’s automotive sector. GreenCore, a company that both started up and spun off through the university’s commercialization arm, the Innovations Group, was begun by U of T forestry and applied chemistry professor Mohini Sain. The company has developed proprietary technologies to manufacture natural fibre-reinforced composites for use in products such as auto parts. One technology in particular, Green Inside pellets, caught the eye of the Ontario Bio-Council. By replacing petroleum-based materials with sustainable natural fibres, Green Inside compounds can more than double the strength of the base polymer while offering added environmental benefits. “Green Inside™ made our decision to invest very easy,” said Dr. Bernard West, chair of the Ontario BioAuto Council. “We are excited to support the commercialization of this world class technology in an Ontario enterprise.” “GreenCore Composites has been working aggressively to commercialize this technology as we see immediate opportunity for our novel composites in Ontario’s industrial sectors – most notably the automotive sector,” said Geoff Clarke, president and CEO of GreenCore Composites. “The investment from the BioAuto council will go a long way to accelerating our product development and refining our production processes”. The Ontario BioAuto Council is a not-for profit organization working to link auto-parts manufacturers, automotive assemblers and the chemical and plastics industry with agricultural and forestry companies to produce materials and chemicals from biological feedstocks. Biomaterials are experiencing strong growth around the globe, charged in part by environmental concerns as well as the shift in petroleum prices. The resulting market for materials derived from biological feedstocks is estimated to reach $50 billion by 2015.

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Emirates Awards US$8.8m Dollar Contract to Dubai-Based Spatial Composites

7th January 2008 0 comments

Emirates, the international airline of the United Arab Emirates, has awarded a US $8.8m dollar contract to Spatial Composite Solutions, the Dubai-based manufacturer of crew training equipment for the civil aviation and aerospace industries. Under the contract, one of the largest-ever awarded for a Cabin Service Trainer (CST) installation, Spatial will design a total of 13 CSTs with Emirates’ specifications for various Airbus and Boeing configurations – including the new Airbus A380 superjumbo; and install these at the new Emirates Aviation Crew Training College in Garhoud, Dubai. Terry Daly, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President for Service Delivery said, “High quality service has become an Emirates trademark, because we invest in high quality training facilities for our crew. We are delighted to partner with Spatial Composite Solutions in developing the latest Cabin Service Trainers. These are state-of-the-art and will provide our growing team of cabin staff with the best environment in which to hone their service skills. We look forward to receiving our brand new CSTs, including our first A380 CST, in the next few months.” The CST designs have been completed, manufacturing is currently under way, and installation has begun. This includes Emirates’ first A380 CST which is scheduled to be complete in time for training operations to commence in early 2008. “We are greatly encouraged by the confidence Emirates has vested in Spatial,” said Joe Mckeever, Chief Executive Officer, Spatial Composite Solutions. “It is very heartening that one of Dubai’s most successful international companies has elected to support a home-grown Dubai company, and we are determined to repay that confidence.”

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Aerospace Applications Supported with New Water Based Release Agent

7th January 2008 0 comments

Aerospace applications are being targeted for Mold Release Coating 7569, a new, water based mould release agent formulated for composite parts now available from Huron Technologies. This product has been specifically tested and validated for use in holding aerospace components. According to Huron, Release Coating 7569 gives excellent performance in manufacturing aerospace components including external panels and structural components. This release agent works with pre-impregnated epoxy carbon fibre technology used in state of the art aerospace manufacturing, with a smooth, uniform appearance over the entire surface area and low build up on the mould. Release Coating 7569 is a water-thin liquid and can be applied by spraying or wiping.

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Ultra-Red Fluorescing Technology Enables Accurate Bond-Line Inspection

7th January 2008 0 comments

Dymax has introduced Ultra-Red fluorescing adhesives which fluoresce bright red under UV light, providing a vivid contrast that permits accurate bond-line inspection. The red fluorescence does not absorb the same light energy wavelengths as those used to cure the adhesive, resulting in faster and deeper cures when compared with the same adhesives containing blue fluorescence. Dymax Ultra-Red fluorescing technology can be used by manufacturers for product authentication. By virtue of its patented technology, the red-fluorescing compound is exclusive to DYMAX for use in radiation-cured adhesives and coatings.

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EADS and Airbus Select Preferred Bidders for Site Divestments

7th January 2008 0 comments

EADS and Airbus have selected Latécoère in France, GKN in the UK, and MT Aerospace in Germany as preferred bidders for the sites of Méaulte and Saint Nazaire Ville in France, the Filton wing component and sub-assembly manufacturing facility in the UK, and Nordenham, Varel and Augsburg in Germany. The EADS Board of Directors has authorized the management of EADS and Airbus to enter into negotiations with the preferred bidders on remaining issues and the required final due diligence, with the target to achieve a final agreement as soon as possible. Substantial progress on the share purchase agreement is expected in the first quarter of 2008. The EADS Board sees this decision as a clear commitment of the management to the Power8 targets. The partner selection for Filton will allow for an outright sale of the manufacturing part of the site to GKN. For the French and German sites, the agreement with Latécoère and MT Aerospace will take the form of joint ventures, in which Airbus will retain a substantial minority shareholding. Airbus has the option to withdraw completely after three years. The merit of the joint venture structure is to empower Airbus to closely monitor the transition during the period of A350 XWB development and convergence of definition, while reducing substantially EADS’ cash outlays. Under the joint venture agreements, Airbus does not intend to interfere in the majority shareholder’s management of each plant. The Airbus plants targeted for divestment employ a total of 7,400 employees, and represents € 1.4 billion of Airbus’ cost base in 2007. EADS Defence & Security’s plant in Augsburg employs 2,000 employees and represents around € 450 million of its cost base in 2007. About 70 percent of the Augsburg plant’s revenues come from Airbus. “”The ongoing divestment of sites and the building of a network of partners for Airbus allows EADS to focus its resources on core activities. It is a way to optimise Airbus’ industrial set-up in the frame of the extended enterprise. At the same time, it helps EADS to reduce financing needs in a period strained by conjunction of costly programmes and weak dollar uncertainty,”” said EADS CEO, Louis Gallois. “This decision is an important milestone for Airbus’ new strategy and Power 8 programme. We will work to progress and conclude the negotiations as swiftly as possible. At the same time, we can now begin to establish long-term partnerships with three first tier suppliers for the A350 XWB, who will share workload, investment, risk and future benefits with us. The bidders will now be invited to the A350 XWB development plateau,”” said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. “This process will generate strong tier one partners for Airbus, and will allow the sites to further develop and acquire the required technologies to remain competitive in the future.” The transactions are expected to be closed in summer 2008, when the sites are effectively transferred to the new owners. Meanwhile, these sites will continue to produce their parts for the existing Airbus products (A320 Family, A330/A340 Family, and A380) for which Airbus has an order book of some 3,000 aircraft. A350 XWB work packages will now be allocated to the future tier one partners in Filton, Meaulte and St Nazaire, as well as Nordenham, Varel and Augsburg. The pace and schedule of final negotiations with the preferred bidders at this stage is consistent with the ongoing A350 XWB development timeline. The site divestment process for Laupheim continues in parallel.

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Online Training Success for Composites Firm

7th January 2008 0 comments

Broadwater Mouldings, near Eye in Suffolk, has become the first UK composites company to take part in a major new online training initiative for the industry. Three Broadwater Mouldings employees have been awarded a Vocational Qualification in Composites Hand Wet Lay Up after successfully completing the web-based training course developed by Polymer Sector Developments (PSD). Wayne Yallop, Matthew Williams and Carl Reddington undertook the training as part of Broadwater Mouldings’ commitment to help staff strengthen their knowledge and skills, and to promote best working practices. Polymer Sector Developments (PSD) is the employer group formed with funding from the East Midlands Development Agency to promote and develop better training facilities for the polymer industry. The E-learning programmes enable polymer companies throughout the UK to access cost-effective online training for employees. Ten courses are currently in development covering composites, sign making, extrusion and blow moulding. The PSD courses provide graphically-rich learning, available on-line at any time and separated into a number of individual modules that cover the same elements as those included in a standard National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). On completion of each module, candidates take a short multiple-choice test, which when passed, allows them to apply for a final on-line end of course test. Successful candidates receive a Vocational Qualification and can then gain a full NVQ by completing the practical elements of the qualification. The three Broadwater Mouldings’ employees took part in the piloting of the E-learning facilities. For Wayne Yallop, a Team Leader in the Moulding Shop, the course has helped to underpin his practical experience and provided guidance for his role in training new members of staff. Project Engineer Carl Reddington has gained a better understanding of wet composites processes, which enables him to identify a suitable manufacturing solution in the early design to manufacture process, while Matthew Williams, Process Control Manager whose background is in the automotive industry, has been able to increase his knowledge of composite technologies and the wet lay up process. Broadwater Mouldings, part of the Betts Group, a long established and privately owned company based in Framlingham, Suffolk, manufactures high quality glass fibre reinforced plastic mouldings for a wide range of market sectors from automotive and medical to leisure and public transport. The company also designs and manufactures specialist Safeglide Spiral Chutes, an innovative materials handling product that has enjoyed worldwide success. Broadwater employs 70 people at its 75,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility at Horham, near Eye, Diss. “Training is an important part of our company strategy and E-learning has proved to be a very effective way of helping our employees to gain qualifications certified by an accredited awarding body which they can immediately use to help them in their daily activities,” explains Matthew Herbert, Managing Director of Broadwater Mouldings. “We are delighted to support and help to develop this important initiative from PSD, which demonstrates our ambition to encourage employee development by raising the level of understanding of our industry processes.” The content for the PSD composites courses has been developed in association with Composites UK (formerly the Composites Processing Association). “The PSD courses provide a valid qualification for the composites sector, which we fully support and endorse,” comments Chris Little Education Director of Composites UK. “We congratulate Broadwater Mouldings and its employees on their achievements.”

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Boeing Finalizes 787 Orders with Vietnam Airlines and British Airways

7th January 2008 0 comments

Vietnam Airlines and Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Co. (VALC) have finalized an order for a total of 12 Boeing 787-8s, whilst British Airways has finalized an order for eight Boeing 787-8s and 16 787-9s, The combined Vietnam order pushes 787 order totals to 802. Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive, said, “”The 787 is a fantastic aircraft and will be a welcome addition to our fleet. It will provide major environmental improvements in terms of global emissions, local air quality and noise. “”With lower operating costs and the range to fly to all our destinations, it will give us more flexibility when planning our route network and we are confident that our customers will enjoy flying on the aircraft,”” Walsh said. British Airways first announced its selection of the 787 Dreamliner as a key element of its long-haul fleet renewal last September. The carrier also announced in September that it will power its 787s with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000. “”This order is a vote of confidence from one of the world’s leading global network carriers in the 787’s unprecedented performance,”” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Europe, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “”No other airplane in its category offers British Airways the superior efficiency, economics and passenger comfort while also fitting so easily into its medium- and long-haul twin-aisle fleet.””

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Euroresins New Corporate Identity Reflects Pan-European Status

7th January 2008 0 comments

Euroresins, the distribution business of DSM Composite Resins, has made the transition to a single pan-European company. The company has a new corporate identity and an integrated organizational structure, to reinforcing its position as the largest cross-border FRP network and portfolio supplier in Europe. “Our new corporate image and slogan represents our unique value proposition and commitment to our customers” says Mel Foster, Business Manager Trade Products. “Euroresins supports the composites industry by supplying the best products and the most innovative solutions, all within a one-stop-shop service concept. We also share our knowledge by offering products that optimally meet customers’ processing requirements: faster, lighter, stronger. Euroresins is more than just a portfolio seller, for example we also advise customers on health, safety and regulatory issues like REACH. Now, by combining the innovative solutions, best practices and efficiencies of each of our local Euroresins companies into a single integrated organization, we can substantially improve our service and connect with our expanding customer base in ways not possible before.”

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Calcarb Makes Progress Toward and Expanded Manufacturing

7th January 2008 0 comments

Construction on the new Calcarb global headquarters and expanded manufacturing plant is well underway and on schedule for completion by mid 2008. Calcarb is the Bellshill, Scotland-based manufacturer and international supplier of premium high purity Carbon Bonded Carbon Fibre (CBCF) based rigid insulation and precursor materials, and the purpose-built facility represents a £12.5M/$25M investment that will include state-of-the-art equipment and a threefold increase in production capacity. Calcarb is adding new leading edge Ultra High Firing Furnaces capable of processing to 2400°C, new Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) furnaces for coating and densification, and new CNC Machines. Expected advantages to customers include improved materials flow, improved production efficiencies, and reduced lead times. Calcarb expects the new facility to be fully operational by late summer 2008. Meanwhile, production will continue at the Bellshill site. The 70,000 square foot facility is housed on 5.35 acres in Eurocentral, central Scotland’s newest business park in Lanarkshire, strategically located on Scotland’s largest highway corridor linking Glasgow and Edinburgh. “We are delighted to be getting ever closer to moving to a customized, state-of-the-art factory with expanded capacity and additional room to grow,” notes Hugh McLeod, Calcarb’s Managing Director. “Eurocentral is an ideal location, because it is in a thriving industrial area, and gives us a higher profile and excellent transport links. In return, we expect our investment in technology, combined with our proven expertise, to lead to job creation in Lanarkshire.” Calcarb produces a comprehensive range of low and medium density carbon-based products. All materials are made from a Rayon fibre under the company’s ISO 9001:2000 quality management system, which ensures full traceability of all manufactured parts.

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New Report on FRP Reinforcement for Concrete Structures

8th January 2008 0 comments

An American Concrete Institute (ACI report on fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement for concrete structures could help broaden markets for composites use. The new publication, ACI 440-R-07: Report on Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Reinforcement for Concrete Structures, is written and published by the ACI Committee 440, Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Reinforcement. The report summarizes current knowledge about internal FRP reinforcement (rebar), externally bonded FRP reinforcement for strengthening, pre-stressed FRP reinforcement (tendons), and test methods for FRP materials and products. The report provides an overview of design guidelines for FRP products and their application to concrete and masonry structures. “This document is a great tool for the composites industry when meeting new customers not familiar with FRP composites,” said John Busel, ACMA’s Director of Composites Growth Initiative, and Chairman of the ACI Committee 440. “Customers will appreciate the fact that if composites are accepted in the concrete industry, then they must be good materials to consider in any new job.” Applications of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites as reinforcement for concrete structures have been growing rapidly in recent years. In addition to the material properties of the constituent materials (that is, resins and fibres) and products, current knowledge of FRP applications, such as internal reinforcement including pre-stressing, external strengthening of concrete and masonry structures, and structural systems, is discussed in detail. The publication also addresses durability issues and the effects of extreme events, such as fire and blast. This publication is available from NetComposites’ bookstore at the link below:

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