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Composites Industry News

News for March 2008


AAR Expands Its Composites Business

4th March 2008 0 comments

AAR is significantly expanding its composites manufacturing operations with the lease of a 90,000 square-foot facility located at the McClellan Business Park, formerly McClellan Air Force Base, in Sacramento, California. AAR will occupy the portion of the McClellan facility formerly used by the U.S. Air Force for manufacturing composite replacement aircraft parts. The expansion provides more than four times the Company’s current composites manufacturing capability through additional equipment and added capacity at the facility. “Increasingly, the aircraft community is using a higher percentage of composite content in the manufacturing process as it seeks to take advantage of the material’s improved strength and lighter weight,” said David P. Storch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AAR CORP. “We’re expanding our composites manufacturing capacity to capitalize on this trend and keep pace with our customers’ changing requirements.”

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A New Brand in the Italian Market

4th March 2008 0 comments

At Seatec 2008 the Mugnaini Group Friday officially launched the MG Systems brand to the market. MG Systems is based on Mugnaini’s 30 years experience in the composite industry, and aims to have high quality products, fast production times and good prices. MG Systems presented a number of products and solutions on its stand, including epoxy resins, adhesives, reinforcements, core materials, fillers and consumables.

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Anaglyph Release V3.3 of Laminate Tools

4th March 2008 0 comments

The latest version 3.3 adds numerous user-driven features that enhance design, post-processing and manufacture. Layup design enhancements include layer highlight options, changes log and third party application compatibility. Post-processing enhancements offer new failure criteria calculations and manufacturing is improved via the new PlyMatch interface. Laminate Tools addresses the Design-Analysis-Check-Manufacture process of structural design, focusing on the composite material features. It is a tool that complements existing CAD systems and/or FEA environments, with native support for Nastran and Ansys.

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JEC End-Users Forums at the 2008 JEC Composites Show

4th March 2008 0 comments

6 End-users Forums will take place at the Paris JEC Composites Show, on April 1-2-3, 2008. Last year, the six forums (Marine, Aeronautics, Automotive, Land Transportation, Construction and Biocomposites) welcomed more than 1,550 international qualified participants (46.5% were end-users). This success prompted JEC to plan six new forums this year: • Marine: “Resins with enhanced performance” • Natural Fibres: “Composites & natural fibres: real opportunities” • Automotive: “Composite penetration and process improvements” • New in 2008 : Environment & Recycling: “The composite contribution” • Aeronautics: “Composite continuous progress in aeronautics” • Building/Construction: “Lifetime and recycling for composites in construction” Marine: Resins with Enhanced Performance 1/ A new programmable paste rheology concept for marine applications 2/ Polymer coating technologies for improved crack resistance and blush-resistant applications 3/ Description of a methodology to reach good surface quality in vacuum infusion for marine applications 4/ Reactive co-promoters for unsaturated polyester resins used in the marine industry 5/ Using peroxides to optimize process control for styrene emissions Natural Fibres: Composites & Natural Fibres: Real Opportunities 1/ Flax and hemp: vegetal fibres for the industry 2/ Development of new flax-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic materials in plastics processing 3/ Mechanical performance of natural fibre versus E-glass chopped-strand mat for resin-infused composite 4/ Applications of natural coir fibre 5/ Development of a race bike using flax fibre and carbon fibre Automotive: Composite Penetration and Process Improvements 1/ Simulation of fibre reinforced composites (FRC) using finite element software 2/ New porous thermoplastic composite technologies for the automotive industry 3/ PUR solutions for structural parts with different reinforcement materials 4/ Renault F1 Team: an inside look at reducing composite cycle times and errors by automating analysis data transfer 5/ Thermal expansion of Sheet Moulding Compound (SMC) materials 6/ Smart Fortwo tailgate: first serial application of E-LFT technology Environment & Recycling: The Composite Contribution 1/ Unsaturated polyester resin based on bio-renewable resources 2/ Simply green 3/ Environmental benefits of using Advantex® glass fibres as reinforcements in composite materials 4/ Sustainability and CO2 emissions in composites 5/ New technology for the recovery of thermoplastic materials reinforced with natural, glass or carbon fibres 6/ Recycling of CFRP’s by pyrolysis – process optimisation and potential Aeronautics: Composite Continuous Progress in Aeronautics 1/ An industrial solution for studying complex failures of composite structures 2/ Micromechanics of failure 3/ Using 3D software to compress development cycles for composite parts through concurrent engineering 4/ A numerical solution tool that supports the complete development of autoclave parts 5/ Feasibility study of a semi-automated out-of-autoclave process 6/ Completely automated production of components in the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process Building/Construction: Lifetime and Recycling for Composites in Construction 1/ Corrosion control for composites in construction 2/ Lifetime prediction of reinforced and multilayer polymers 3/ Thermoplastic pultrusion for the building industry 4/ New technology for improving processing and properties of cellulose-fibre composites 5/ Recycled SMC composite moulded panels for the construction of swimming pools 6/ Hemp lime concrete: an opportunity for sustainable construction and market 7/ Global approach for the design of “lime and shine” concrete

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New locations in Portugal and China for Saertex

4th March 2008 0 comments

Saertex, the German manufacturer of technical textiles (non crimp fabrics), plans to invest 15 million Euros in 2008 to expand its global footprint. On 01 February a new manufacturing facility was opened in the Portuguese city of Porto. The plant has an area of 2,400 sqm and will initially manufacture approximately 2,000 tonnes of technical reinforcements for clients on the Iberian peninsular. Saertex says that the new location means greatly improved customer service due to market proximity. Most of the clients of the new facility are in the wind energy industry, which is expanding significantly. Saertex is also currently building a new facility in China, one of the world’s fastest growing markets, to supply the wind energy and shipbuilding industries. The 4 million Euro plant in Dongying, approximately 400 kms south east of Peking, will begin production in mid-2008. Further investment is planned – especially in the booming aviation and wind energy industries.

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LM Glasfiber Manufactures First Blade Set In Little Rock, Arkansas

4th March 2008 0 comments

Since breaking ground last October at its new plant in the Port of Little Rock, LM Glasfiber has wasted no time ramping up to meet its customer’s global demand for blades. While the new plant is being constructed LM Glasfiber already has more than 190 employees working at the Scott Hamilton plant in Little Rock. The Scott Hamilton plant is a production facility that has been rapidly deployed to accelerate the ramp-up and provide on-site training to new employees. Here and also at LM Glasfiber’s other U.S. plant in Grand Forks, North Dakota employees are trained to ensure that new blades meet LM Glasfiber’s global quality standards. Earlier this year, 100 LM Glasfiber employees were presented with Arkansas Career Readiness Certificates signed by Governor Beebe. This expertise and hard work recently resulted in the completion of three LM 40.3 m blades, a milestone for LM Glasfiber in Little Rock. The blades are the first to be supplied to Acciona Windpower from LM Glasfiber in Little Rock.

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AGY Expands Composite Armour Portfolio

4th March 2008 0 comments

To meet the demand for materials that provide increased performance and lighter weight, AGY has introduced two new glass fibres, Featherlight and Quicksilver. These fibre, together with AGY’s existing S-2 Glass, create a portfolio of protection against a range of threats. According to Drew Walker, AGY Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “Composites have become a key component in the battle to keep military vehicles such as MRAP and HUMVEE from becoming hugely overweight.” The new Featherlight glass fibres are engineered to deliver ultra high performance against severe threat levels. The advanced Featherlight fibres provide an increase in protection of 5 to 10% over standard S-2 Glass fibre composite armour. The new Quicksilver glass fibres enable significantly stronger, stiffer and lighter composite parts than traditional E-glass reinforcements. They are designed to be a cost-effective solution where weight is deemed to be less of a concern.

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SAMPE Announces 2008 Class of Fellows

4th March 2008 0 comments

The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) has announced that five industry leaders will be honoured with the designation of Fellow of the Society. The SAMPE Fellow Award recognizes SAMPE members for their distinguished, lifelong contributions in the fields of materials and processes. Since its inception in 1982, only 114 distinguished individuals have been designated as a SAMPE Fellow. The 2008 honorees are: Dr. Klaus Drechsler, University of Stuttgart, Germany Dr. Clem Hiel, Composite Support and Solutions, Inc., USA Mr. Clark Johnson, Boeing (retired), USA Dr. James Leslie, ACPT Inc., USA Dr. Toshio Tanimoto, Shonan Institute of Technology, Japan SAMPE Fellows are members of a forum that provides technical and professional leadership to the Society. To provide access to this wealth of knowledge, SAMPE is presenting, for the second year in a row, a special New Fellows Panel, at the SAMPE ’08 conference. The New Fellows Panel will feature this year’s newly inducted SAMPE Fellows. The 2008 SAMPE Fellows will be honored at a special evening reception and banquet during the SAMPE ’08 Conference and Exhibition in Long Beach, California, May 18-22, 2008.

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Nacre-Like Structure from Reinforced Polymers

4th March 2008 0 comments

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new nacre-like composite that is twice the strength of naturally-occuring nacre. Stronger ceramic platelets combined with ductile biopolymer Chitosan have created composites capable of withstanding a deformation of 25% before rupturing. Their results have been published in the scientific journal ‘Science’. Nacre, or mother-of-pearl, is one of nature’s outstanding examples of a durable brick and mortar structure. Made of stiff, inorganic aragonite platelets and ductile biopolymers, the material combines toughness with a surprisingly high degree of strength. Now ETH Zurich researchers led by Ludwig Gauckler, Profes-sor of Non-Metallic Materials in the Department of Materials, have shown that ceramic alumina platelets and biopolymer Chitosan can be assembled layer-by-layer to form thin foils of a composite material exhibiting a nacre-like structure. The use of stronger ceramic platelets in combination with the ductile biopolymer, Chitosan, resulted in composites with strength twice that of natural nacre, and with a deformation of 25 percent before rupturing. Natural nacre, in comparison, deforms only one to two percent before reaching breaking point. Because it is not yet possible to obtain defect-free structures of such high platelet content as nacre, the stiffness of the new composite is five to seven times less than that of its natural counterpart. However, the new composite retains most of the ductility of polymer matrix composites, materials which can be used at high temperatures and are stronger, lighter and more resistant to corrosion. Conventional thin foils of other materials such as metals, polymers or fiber-reinforced composites may be up to one order of magnitude stronger and stiffer, but few materials reach the same combination of strength and ductibility per unit weight as the new nacre-like foils developed by the ETH Zurich team. Development of the new nacre-like composite has opened the door to further research, such as manufacturing the foils at high speed. The ETH Zurich researchers are as well exploring the use of different “”glues”” and platelets of dif-ferent geometry in order to improve the composite’s mechanical properties. Also under study is the optimization of the platelet-glue interface. This research is currently being carried out in collaboration with Professor J. Woltersdorf and Dr. E. Pippel at the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics in Halle, Germany and the polymer groups at ETH Zurich. ETH Zurich’s research establishes concepts for tailoring the mechanical properties of composite materials. The combination of nature’s smart structural design with the enhanced properties of artificial building blocks should make possible the creation of more composites with similar combinations of mechanical properties. Future research will address achieving ever-thinner polymer layers and ceramic platelets while maintaining the integrity of the mechanical concept of nacre, as well as researching whether the polymer layer can approach atomic thickness yet keep the nacre-like behaviour of the composite

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SABIC Innovative Plastics Begins Producing Long Glass Fibre-Reinforced Composites in Korea

4th March 2008 0 comments

SABIC Innovative Plastics is opening a major production line at its Chung-Ju, Korea facility. The new line will produce LNP Verton long glass fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites, which are widely used across the burgeoning automotive, telecommunications, and appliance industries in Asia. The company’s continued investment in new production facilities such as the LNP Verton composite line is designed to provide customers with a local source of innovative product solutions and technological expertise. By providing customers with local production and resources, SABIC Innovative Plastics aims to reduce delivery times for LNP Verton composite grades. “We are demonstrating our ongoing commitment to faster and more responsive customer service by investing in this new production line,” said Alan Leung, Pacific president for SABIC Innovative Plastics. “It will enable us to quickly supply manufacturers and moulders in Korea and Asia with our popular LNP Verton composites. These high-performance materials are in great demand as superior replacements for metal and short-fibre-reinforced plastics. We believe easier access can help customers develop and market innovative applications for greater business success.” The LNP Verton production line, which will begin operating this month, will run 20 grades of the composites in a variety of resin systems including polypropylene, polyamide and PPA. The new line significantly expands the Chung-Ju facility, which was opened in 1989. The Chung-Ju plant houses a 40,000-ton high-tech manufacturing system, material properties testing equipment, and colour-matching equipment to meet customer requirements.

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