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Composites Industry News

News for September 2008


Safstrip Engineering Design Software Available Free

3rd September 2008 0 comments

Strongwell Corporation, in conjunction with the University of Miami’s Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department, has published engineering design software for its carbon and glass fibre concrete structural rehabilitation product named Safstrip. This free Safstrip design software is available on the Strongwell website. Pultruded Safstrip Strengthening Strips are attached to deteriorating concrete structures using mechanical fasteners rather than adhesives, also known as the Mechanically Fastened Fibre Reinforced Polymer (MF-FRP) process. Safstrip was originally developed by Strongwell and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Civil Engineering Department. The project was managed by Professor Larry Bank and was partially funded by the U.S. Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The goal of the army’s program was to develop a concrete strengthening product that did not require extensive technical training, was not subject to weather conditions, and could be installed with simple hand tools. The army visualized a need to quickly and efficiently repair damaged bridges in battlefield areas so that artillery, armoured tanks and armoured personnel carriers could reach their target destinations without making time consuming detours. This military repair concept has been commercialized by Strongwell for use in rehabilitating vehicular bridge girders, decks, and abutment walls. Safstrip has been installed on concrete bridges in Alabama, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Alabama A&M University used Safstrip to repair two concrete bridges in northern Alabama. Professor Larry Bank of the University of Wisconsin was involved in a bridge rehabilitation project in Wisconsin. Professor Tony Nanni of the University of Miami was involved in rehabilitating five bridges in rural Missouri while a professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. Professor Nanni and his team are also responsible for creating the new Safstrip engineering design software which is now on the Strongwell website.

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Boeing Next-Generation 737 Carbon Brakes Earn FAA Certification

3rd September 2008 0 comments

Boeing earned certification last week from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for its new carbon brakes designed for the Next-Generation 737. The brakes, supplied by Messier-Bugatti, also entered service last week when Boeing delivered a Next-Generation 737-700 to Delta Air Lines — the first of 10 737-700s the airline will receive over the next several years. Carbon brakes weigh 700 pounds (320 kg) less than high-capacity steel brakes for Next-Generation 737-700, -800 and -900ER (Extended Range) airplanes; and 550 pounds (250 kg) less than standard-capacity steel brakes for Next-Generation 737-600s and -700s. Reduced weight contributes to reductions in associated fuel burn and CO2 emissions depending on airline operations. Delta Air Lines is coupling lighter-weight carbon brakes with drag- and emissions-reducing Blended Winglets (wing tip extensions) to improve operating and fuel efficiency simultaneously on its Next-Generation 737s. Delta’s stated goal is to have greater flexibility to serve more markets with existing aircraft, further enhancing the largest international expansion in Delta’s history.

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First Major GRP Road Bridge on the European Continent

3rd September 2008 0 comments

An innovative GRP bridge has been constructed over the new German B3 Highway at Friedberg near Frankfurt. The bridge is a lightweight structure that was assembled close to the highway and then lifted into position with the minimum of disruption to road traffic. The 27-metre long bridge comprises two steel beams covered by an innovative multi-cellular GRP deck made of ASSET profiles from GRP profiles manufacturer Fiberline Composites. According to Stefan Hodes, press spokesman of the Hessen State Highways Agency, rapid installation and low maintenance costs were the key reasons for adopting the new technology. “In densely populated areas, conventional bridge building projects very quickly result in long queues of vehicles. This is a key argument favouring the use of GRP bridges as they can be installed in just a couple of hours and also have the advantage of being resistant to corrosion,” says Stefan Hodes. Around 70% of German’s road bridges are made of concrete and more that 40 years old. They impose an increasingly heavy burden on the road maintenance budget. The new GRP bridge is resistant to road salt and frost, which makes it a future-proofed alternative, says Stefan Hodes. Another advantage is low weight, which means that bridges can be pre-assembled or prefabricated in much longer lengths than corresponding steel or concrete structures. While GRP by itself can be used for footbridges and cycle bridges, GRP bridges for carrying heavy traffic are subject to span limitations. To achieve the necessary load-carrying capacity, either carbon composite, which is still very expensive, or a combination of GRP and steel can be used. “Fiberline bridge deck profiles bonded onto steel beams offer a solution that comes closer to conventional solutions in terms of price,” says Professor Jan Knippers of the University of Stuttgart in Germany, who designed the Friedberg bridge. “Corrosion resistance and rapid installation are probably the key arguments. But our hybrid solution of steel covered by GRP bridge deck profiles is now a close competitor on price,” explains Jan Knippers. The ASSET profile is the result of years of research and development in a project partially funded by the EU and costing EUR 4 million. ASSET is an acronym for Advanced Structural SystEms for Tomorrow’s Infrastructure, and one of the project’s aims is to find new and more durable construction materials for road bridges. The first result of this project was Europe’s first GRP road bridge, which opened to traffic in Oxfordshire in the UK in 2002. In addition to Fiberline Composites, other members of the ASSET project have included SKANSKA and the British engineering company Mouchel. In 2006 the UK Highways Agency installed the Mount Pleasant Bridge over the M6 in Lancashire. The Mount Pleasant Bridge won the prestigious National Institution of Highways and Transportation award for 2007.

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Composites Europe strengthens CRP and Biomaterials Sectors

3rd September 2008 0 comments

After being staged in Stuttgart last year, a significantly larger Composites Europe now returns to Essen for its third edition.

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New ACG-Clad Luxury Sports Car Unveiled at British International Motor Show

3rd September 2008 0 comments

The IFR Automotive ‘Aspid’ sports car, which made its debut at the British International Motor Show in London on the 22nd July 2008, has made extensive use of Advanced Composites Group’s BPS240 Body Panel System and MTM57 component prepregs.

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Applied NanoWorks MCP Technology Platform Now Available

5th September 2008 0 comments

Applied NanoWorks, an inorganic materials development company, announces the availability of MCP Technology for research and development, joint development agreements and material manufacturing applications. The MCP Technology patent-pending process creates new inorganic molecules for custom applications in organic material systems. The flexibility and organic compatibility of the designed molecules are enabled through ligand attachment sites and nano-particle growth capabilities. Applications currently in development through the Molecular Control Platform (MCP) include an adhesion promoter for improvement of adhesion strength in composites. “Our MCP Technology platform has the capability to deliver thousands of completely new inorganic molecules from one cost-effective manufacturing process,” said Dr. Kyle Litz, ANW’s Chief Technology Officer. “With it we have the tool to solve many material system application problems that before were extremely cumbersome or unattainable.”

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DSM Composite Resins Behind Team In Zero Emission Race

5th September 2008 0 comments

Students at the Delft University of Technology reached the first place in the world’s premiere hydrogen-powered race on August 23 in Rotterdam. As a sponsor, DSM Composite Resins supported the team with advice and material. The bodywork of the vehicle was almost completely shaped from Turane resins – one of the latest innovations of DSM Composite Resins. These ‘thermoset urethane’ resins are designed to combine the best qualities of epoxies and polyester urethane in a single material. Formula Zero is the first race competition worldwide that produces pure water as sole emission. The initiative originated to present hydrogen as alternative fuel in an appealing way. Student teams of six leading technical universities in the world have developed their own special vehicles for this contest. The bodywork of the very advanced kart of the Dutch team “Greenchoice-Forze” of the Delft University of Technology is built from DSM materials. Turane resins are used for the body, air channels, floor plate, absorption bumpers and parts of the dash board. The exterior of the vehicle is reinforced with Dyneema, which is DSM’s high performance polyethylene fibre. Edgar van Os, Greenchoice Forze’s team leader: “The DSM products match our desires perfectly. Turane resins flow easily and cure very quickly, so it’s possible to use vacuum infusion to produce large parts that are both extremely light and strong”.

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Interplastic Corporation 2008 Scholars Award Winners

5th September 2008 0 comments

Interplastic has announced the 2008 recipients of the Scholars Award sponsored by Interplastic Corporation in affiliation with the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA).

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Owens Corning to Expand Capacity in Russia in 2009

5th September 2008 0 comments

Owens Corning will more than double the production capacity of its glass fibre composites facility in Gous-Khrustalny, Russia, to meet growing global demand. “”This investment will serve existing customer growth in Russia and throughout Europe and the Middle East,”” said Mike Thaman, chairman and chief executive officer. “”The expansion leverages our 2007 acquisition of the Saint-Gobain composite businesses by building out our platform in Russia to take advantage of strong market demand.”” The expanded facility in Russia will produce a complete range of composite products using Owens Corning’s technology for glass fibre production and fabrication. It will incorporate the company’s patented Advantex and advanced glass-melting technology platforms that bring energy efficiency and emissions control in manufacturing, while providing customers with product benefits including corrosion resistance and high strength. “”Our additional capacity in Russia will create meaningful value for our customers,”” said Chuck Dana, president of Composite Solutions. “”The expanded facility will meet growing global demand for glass fiber composite products in infrastructure, wind energy, construction, electronics and automotive markets. This expansion is ideal in the favourable business climate of the Vladimir Province, and establishes a foundation for the addition of a technical fabrics operation that will fully capture the growth of wind energy and distribution in Western Europe.”” The growth rate of glass fibre composite demand in Russia is estimated to be greater than 10 percent per year, and growing at nearly twice the rate of gross domestic product (GDP) around the world. Construction is planned to begin in 2008, with start-up anticipated by the end of 2009. The facility will continue full production during the expansion process. Owens Corning acquired the Gous-Khrustalny, Russia, production facility as part of its 2007 acquisition of Saint-Gobain’s composites businesses.

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Young Engineers Travel Grant from SAMPE UK

5th September 2008 0 comments

SAMPE UK & Ireland Chapter is offering a limited travel grant to Young Engineers to enable them to add value to an industrial visit or conference. The grant can be used to pay for travel or accommodation in order that the young engineer can extend a stay to enhance knowledge and experience and so continue career development. Chairman, Prof. Andrew Long, explained the rationale. “Over the years we have developed a variety of schemes to encourage and develop young engineers, such as our highly successful annual Student Seminar competition. We hope that this new scheme will help our young members to enhance their skills and experience – and perhaps this will encourage even more young engineers to join SAMPE!” Application forms are available on the SAMPE UK & Ireland website: www.sampe.org.uk SAMPE is the acronym for the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering. The society, formed originally in the US, is now globally recognised as the leading professional body for engineers and technologists associated with advanced materials and processes. SAMPE is active in Europe through SAMPE Europe and in the UK and Ireland via the SAMPE UK & Ireland Chapter. For further information contact David Carlton via email.

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