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Composites Industry News

News for April 2009


MVP Develops System for Pultrusion and New Catalyst Flow Alarm

3rd April 2009 0 comments

Magnum Venus Plastech has developed of a new system for use in pultrusion – the Mini-Link Pultrusion System. Developed by the MVP Advanced Design Group (ADG), the Mini-Link Pultrusion System is currently being used in Germany by Bayer for field trials and system demonstrations for customers using pultrusion in their process across Europe. MVP has also placed two Mini-Link Pultrusion systems with manufacturers in Canada and Denmark to test the accuracy and durability of the system. The company has also released the new Cat Sense catalyst flow alarm. The Cat Sense is a pneumatically powered catalyst flow alarm system, with no electricity or batteries needed. It is designed for use on any MVP meter/mix system, and provides a clear audible alarm when the catalyst flow drops below the pre-determined flow setting set by the operator.

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Scott Bader Launches Improved Crystic 967 Excel Sanitaryware Gelcoat Range

3rd April 2009 0 comments

At JEC Scott Bader launched an improved sanitaryware gelcoat range, Crystic 967 Excel. Scott Bader say that the new formulation, developed by in-house R&D has been demonstrated in use to eliminate the problem of micro porosity, usually exposed after abrasion of the gelcoat, while also providing a higher level of gloss and at least a 40% increase in the thermal shock resistance compared to leading competitive sanitary gelcoats. A bathroom basin made with the new Crystic 967 Excel gelcoat was exhibited on their stand at the show. There is a range of products to suit different needs; Crystic 967SMK Excel is for use with airless spray equipment; Crystic 967K Excel is for use with a gravity gun. There is also an antibacterial version incorporating Microban for protection against common bacteria and fungus. According to Scott Bader, Crystic 967 Excel gelcoats all have excellent chemical resistance and have also passed the sanitaryware stain resistance test standard NF XPD12 -210, making them ideal for applications where long-term surface quality of the sanitaryware is essential.

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Full Capacity for the JEC Composites Show 2009

3rd April 2009 0 comments

Despite a troubled global economic situation, innovative projects flourish in the composite sector, and this was corroborated by the busy 2009 session. According to JEC, 1065 international companies and brand names participated (75% from abroad, 25% from France), with 46500m² of surface area this year, or 8% more area than in 2008 and 25500 visitors from 96 countries, with 65% from abroad and 35% from France. “During a global crisis, there is much collective soul-searching. In the present crisis, we have opportunities. Standard strategies are being reassessed and put aside for new ideas, new organization and the more dynamic networks. The Show attracted many designers and engineers, and this year there were large numbers of visitors from end-user sectors. This is cause for optimism. Rapidly growing industries including renewable energies, wind energy, aerospace, construction and biocomposites exhibited many new applications.” said JEC President and CEO Frédérique Mutel. In 2009, the Show proposed a new Programme of Business Meetings for exhibitors and specifiers. 200+ prestigious buyers – including Airbus, Alstom, Altor, Areva, Beneteau, Bugatti Gmbh, Dassault Aviation, Delsey, EADS, Eurocopter, Faurecia, Messier Dowty, Oceanward, Ratier Figeac, Safran, Thales, PSA, Repower Gmbh and more – participated. Among visitors, four sectors recorded strong growth at this year’s session – Wind energy: +35%; Aerospace: +28%; Construction: +18%; Automotive: +16%. JEC also signed a partnership agreement with leading German automation trade show Automatica in Munich on 8-11 June 2010 where JEC will organize a dedicated composite pavilion. SAMPE will organize a parallel technical conference.

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New Airex T92 Structural PET Foam Core Material

3rd April 2009 0 comments

Alcan Composites has introduced the second generation of PET foam. Alcan Composites’ PET based core materials Airex T90 and T91 had their market introduction in 2005 and have been applied in a wide range of products such as wind blades, trains, boats and industrial applications. The volumes grew so much that Alcan Composite successfully started up a new PET production line in 2008. The new Airex T92 will replace today’s Airex T91 and Alcan say that the technical properties of Airex T92 greatly exceed those of its predecessor, resulting in a core material that is lighter while being stronger and stiffer. The material is said to have greater shear elongation at break and therefore damage tolerance. Airex T92 will be available as rigid sheets and also with conventional sheet finishing options for contourability and/or resin infusion properties. Besides the standard format of 610 x 1220mm Airex T92 can also be delivered in large sheets of 1220x2440mm.

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Amber Composites and Axson Technologies Broaden Relationship

3rd April 2009 0 comments

Building on the success of their partnership in Germany and France, Amber Composites and Axson Technologies have added three European countries to their partnership. Axson customers in Italy, Spain, and Portugal can now benefit from the package of products that has been proven by aerospace, automotive, and marine customers in Germany and France. Customers were able to see new products and learn how they work at the JEC show, where Axson and Amber will exhibited together. Axson & Amber showcased composite solutions in four focus areas: Automotive, Aerospace, Marine and Structural Bonding, and visitors had the opportunity to learn about the full process of composite products manufacturing, from tool making to parts assembly.

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New Industrial 3D-Weaving Machine Developed

3rd April 2009 0 comments

A new industrial 3D-weaving machine has been jointly developed by Biteam AB and Department of Lightweight Structures, KTH, Stockholm, under the European 6th Framework Project MOJO. The 3D-weaving machine, based on the technology invented by Dr. Nandan Khokar, will be gradually employed to produce advanced and complex profiles. This weaving development was supported by, among others, Outokumpu for the special steel needed for manufacturing certain parts and Festo for technical support with pneumatics. The machine’s design specifications were evolved to satisfy a number of customers’ requirements. At the heart of the 3D-weaving technology is the dual-directional shedding operation. The method is highly flexible in that woven 3D profile materials in solid, shell, tubular and their combination types are directly producible using all kinds of fibres and fibre combinations. Materials such as electrical wires, slender tubes etc. can be also incorporated. The 3D-weaving machine is designed to process a maximum of 3600 warp yarns in a 60 columns x 60 rows arrangement. Accordingly, 60 vertical wefts and 60 horizontal wefts can be inserted into the sheds of their respective directions. To produce a profile, only the necessary number of warp yarns are arranged and fed in accordance with the required profile’s cross-section and the dimensions. A sample of Double Flanged Box Beam produced by the machine was exhibited during the JEC Show in Paris. Woven 3D profiled materials having cross-sections up to 120×120 mm and 3 m length can be produced directly. The machine’s ability to produce families of cross-sectional profiles of Pi, H, T, L, J and many more makes the 3D-weaving process highly versatile and relevant. Families of such fully unitised woven 3D profiled materials are increasingly required for manufacturing composite materials for structural applications. Production of a series of woven profiles is under progress now for evaluating the machine and the woven profiled materials. There is a demand from many industries for these novel woven 3D profiles, not only because of their improved performance and producibility, but also for practically and economically speeding up engineering of lightweight structural constructions to meet the challenges of the present global environmental concerns.

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DSM and BUFA Finalise European Joint Venture Agreements

3rd April 2009 0 comments

DSM and BUFA have created Euroresins, a pan-European distribution and support network, and BUFA Gelcoat+, a developer and manufacturer of gelcoats, adhesives, pigment pastes, and fire retardant products.

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Fiberforge Licensing Deal with Oribi Manufacturing

3rd April 2009 0 comments

Fiberforge has signed a licensing agreement with Oribi Manufacturing of Denver, Colorado, to develop and produce advanced composite parts for the outdoor, sporting goods, medical and industrial markets using Fiberforge’s patented Relay Station.

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GKN Aerospace Teams with SLCR to Develop Automated Laser Repair

3rd April 2009 0 comments

GKN Aerospace and SCLR Lasertechnik signed an agreement at JEC to develop new automated laser technology for improved, lower cost and swifter repair of composite structures. Phil Grainger, Senior Technical Director and Chief Technologist at GKN Aerospace commented: “”As composite materials increasingly dominate the airframe, their effective and swift repair becomes ever more critical. We believe this laser technology offers an important route to solving significant cost issues surrounding efficient high quality repair. This new agreement with SLCR aims to deliver first generation equipment in just two years.”” The two companies are working on an automated laser process that will replace the time consuming manual grinding of the composite surface currently required to prepare for bonding new materials to form the repair. Olav G. Schulz, Managing Director of SLCR adds: “” The screening results achieved in our test program were very positive and as a result we are happy to work in partnership with GKN Aerospace to bring this development to an industrial standard.”” The new laser process removes the material as required in the affected area, leaving the remaining material fibres & resin intact. As this is a contact free process, the technique applies no force or vibration onto the structure and so has no detrimental impact on its strength or integrity. The area can then be repaired using a replacement patch which is cured in place using a localized heating mat. The repair has the strength of the manual repair but is far more reproducible – and achieved in 1/3rd the time, with a potential 60% cost reduction. Phil Grainger continues: “”As a Company we are constantly assessing the potential of new technologies and processes. This laser technology has huge promise for aircraft operators and the industry, enabling efficient, cost effective and high quality repair of almost any composite assembly, with the potential for work to be undertaken in the workshop or on the aircraft.”” The development program for this technology will be funded in partnership with UK government as part of the ELF (Environmental Lightweight Fan) Research Programme. This programme will play a major role in the comprehensive test and evaluation of the first generation repair equipment. GKN Aerospace is involved in a wide variety of aerostructure and aero-engine research programmes – in private venture (PV) activities, in partnerships such as this, and with groups of companies supported by a range of UK government and EU funded research programmes.

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AGY Announces Expansion Into Asia Pacific

3rd April 2009 0 comments

AGY will acquire a 70% controlling interest in Shanghai Grace Technology Company Limited, a producer of E-glass yarns for the electronics industry, with the option and intent to purchase the remaining outstanding shares in the near future. The acquisition, which is expected to be finalized in second quarter of 2009, will expand AGY’s geographic yarn manufacturing footprint and enable it to service its growing Asia-Pacific customer base. The Asia-Pacific region represents a large market for AGY products and technology due to its diverse and widespread territory, as well as continuing economic growth. “We see significant opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region for expanding our revenues and earnings over the long-term as a number of markets we serve, such as electronics and thermoplastics, are expected to grow,” said Doug Mattscheck, AGY President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are taking advantage of these growth areas through the purchase of Shanghai Grace Technology.” The AGY-managed facility is a world-glass, state-of-the art operation with capacity to produce in excess of 18,000 MT. “”Our goal is to become the preeminent independent yarn manufacturer in Asia by offering E-glass products with a strong base of local support and manufacturing,” said Mattscheck. “We are currently building our sales, marketing and customer services teams to capitalize on the region’s significant growth opportunities.” Shanghai Grace Technology is a separately incorporated, independent entity from Shanghai Grace Fabric Company Limited, another company owned by Grace THW Holding Limited. AGY acquired no weaving operations in the transaction.

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