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Composites Industry News

News for June 2009


Introduction of Carbon Fibre RIB

5th June 2009 0 comments

The eXtreme RIB, manufactured from prepreg carbon using autoclave technology, was launched at Ribex in May 2009. eXtreme ribs is a joint venture between Marström Composites and TornadoSport. It combines the 30-year technical knowledge of the Swedish manufacturer of carbon fibre products, and the commercial expertise of the Dutch company in the marine industry. Owner Göran Marström said: “Marström Composites has always been driven by performance. The eXtreme rib was born out of the desire to improve the inefficiencies in rib construction using state of the art technology, innovative thinking and passion for premium products.“ The hull of the eXtreme rib is made out of 4 millimetre solid carbon fibre, using prepreg carbon autoclave technology for the best carbon-epoxy ratio. Accordng to the manufacturer, the construction of the eXtreme rib gives extra lift, pushing water away from the hull, as well as better manoeuvrability and handling. Herbert Dercksen, CEO of eXtreme ribssaid: “The eXtreme rib is lighter, stronger, needs less horsepower and still outperforms any rib existing in the market to date. We are confident to challenge every manufacturer in the 30 and 40 feet range on strength-to-weight ratio and overall performance.” Because of the relatively low weight the eXtreme rib can also be transported and craned more easily than a standard rib.

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Ashland to Bring European Modar Resin Production In-House

5th June 2009 0 comments

Ashland is to transfer the European production of its Modar modified acrylic resins into its wholly-owned manufacturing facility in Sauveterre, France. The decision comes after a recent announcement by Ashland’s joint venture with Süd-Chemie (Ashland-Avèbéne) to close a facility where Modar resins were being manufactured for the European market. Additional Modar resin inventories are being manufactured and will be available to adequately supply customer demand during the transition period. The closure, which takes effect at the end of July, represented an opportunity for Ashland to bring Modar resin production to its company-owned facilities. “This decision strengthens our ability to supply Modar resin products to the EMEA markets,” said Stefan Osterwind, commercial director, Europe, Ashland Performance Materials. “With the transition of production in-house, we will now have even greater oversight of quality control processes and service levels provided to our customers. As a global leader, we are constantly looking at the future needs of the composites industry, and our goal is to efficiently deliver the best quality product to our customers in this region and around the world.”” Ashland expects the transfer of production in-house to be completed by this autumn. Modar resins, which are used primarily for the mass transit and rail industries, provide engineers and building architects with the ability to meet strict low-flame, low-smoke/toxicity construction requirements. Modar resins are available in a variety of formulations for optimum performance in numerous processes, including contact molding, filament winding, and pultrusion and infusion applications.

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Bayer Builds Production Plant for Carbon Nanotubes

5th June 2009 0 comments

Bayer MaterialScience has begun construction of a new facility for the production of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in Chempark Leverkusen, Germany. The new plant will have a capacity of 200 tons/year. The company will invest about 22 million euros in the planning, development and construction of the plant. “”Bayer MaterialScience AG is investing in a key technology of the future that will open up a broad range of new applications for us,” said Joe Ventura, business development manager, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “Bayer MaterialScience AG is one of the few companies that can produce carbon nanotubes of consistently high quality on an industrial scale,” continued Ventura. A pilot plant with an annual capacity of 60 tons has been in operation in Laufenburg in southern Germany since 2007. Production involves a catalytic process in which the carbon nanotubes are obtained from a carbon-containing gas at elevated temperature in a reactor. Bayer MaterialScience LLC recently obtained regulatory approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sell Baytubes, its multi-wall carbon nanotubes, in the U.S., reinforcing the company’s role as a supplier of carbon nanotubes. The approval covers Baytubes C 150 P and HP grades that are currently produced in the Laufenburg plant.

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TenCate Launches TC410 Prepreg for Satellite Structures

5th June 2009 0 comments

Tencate Advanced Composites is to commercialise of a new generation cyanate ester resin prepreg system designed specifically to meet the ongoing needs of satellite structure manufacturers for dimensionally stable structures. TenCate’s TC410 cyanate ester prepreg resin system is intended to provide leading edge dimensional stability combined with low temperature cure capability. Scott Unger, Group President of TenCate Advanced Composites USA stated that “TC410 addresses the need for dimensional stability in optical benches, reflectors and satellite structure by utilizing a low 250°F/121°C cure temperature coupled with extremely low moisture absorption. This reduces residual stresses in composite components, which minimizes the effects of thermocycling on these components in space. Frank Lee, Vice President of Research & Technology reports that TC410 possesses one of the lowest moisture absorptions of any cyanate ester prepreg matrix resin to date, achieving a very low 0.35% neat resin absorption after over 300 days at 75% relative humidity.” TC410 is the result of a multi-year development effort and is in active screening and qualification programs. TC410 is part of TenCate’s ongoing investment in composite materials technology combined with investments in precision prepreg equipment for state of the art resin control, along with the 2008 acquisition of YLA, Inc in 2008 furthering TenCate’s technology in prepregs for space applications.

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New Method to Estimate HDB of Composite Pipes

5th June 2009 0 comments

Reichhold has proposed a simple, quick and inexpensive test method to estimate the long-term HDB of pipes, which is quite distinct from the complex, time-consuming and expensive classical method described in ASTM D 2992. The HDB, or Hydrostatic Design Basis, is the stress or strain that fails the composite pipes on the long-term. It is estimated by extrapolating the stresses/strains that fail water filled pipe specimens subjected to different pressure levels. Since the pipe specimens are tested filled with water, their mode of failure is by weeping, not by burst. The estimation of the HDB is a difficult and expensive process. As a result, to avoid this cost and expense, the industry has shown interest in replacing it with simpler short-term tests. The new method recognizes that weep occurs when small cracks that initiate and grow in the critical ply eventually coalesce to form a pathway for the water to pass through. If the strains on the critical ply are small enough, below a certain threshold value, these cracks do not form and the pipe does not weep. The first acoustical emissions measured on strained isolated critical plies serve as an indicator of this threshold strain. Below the threshold limit, the regression line changes its slope and becomes horizontal. While the classical ASTM D 2992 derives a short-term regression line by extrapolating weep failures, the new method obtains the long-term HDB by measuring the threshold acoustical emissions of the isolated critical ply. The method was presented in the paper ‘Weep failure and the HDB’, by Antonio Carvalho Fº from Reichhold at the Construction, Corrosion and Infrastructure Conference in Las Vegas. The paper highlighted the dominance of the resin system on the HDB, with a minor influence from the sizing on the glass fibres. As a consequence, the HDB is a property of the resin, quite independent of the pipe’s manufacturing process and wall thickness. There are three independent long-term failure modes for composite pipes. The first mode, burst, is controlled by the continuous glass fibres. The second mode, weeping, is controlled by the resin. And the third mode, known as strain-corrosion, is controlled by both the glass and the resin. Over the last few years Reichhold has developed a series of three papers dealing with each of these modes of failure. The first paper was presented in 2007 and discussed burst failure. This year’s paper is a sequel to the first and addresses the HDB and weep failure. The third and last paper in the series, dealing with the topic of strain corrosion and the long-term performance of composite pipes in aggressive environments, will be presented in the future.

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Quickstep Signs Agreement with UAE Conglomerate

5th June 2009 0 comments

Quickstep’s convertible loan agreement and agency agreement have been officially notarised and registered following a formal signing ceremony in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These agreements underpin Quickstep’s access to expansion funds and the ability to seek new aerospace manufacturing contracts in the Middle East region. Under the terms of the agreement, InvestOne will lend up to A$10 million to Quickstep in tranches of up to A$2 million which can be drawn at intervals of at least 90 days, at Quickstep’s discretion, with the first A$2 million to be made available within 60 days from formal signing of the agreement. “I am very pleased to be able to support the growth of Quickstep which has a tremendous technology and a huge potential in the Middle East as well as globally” Mr Bashir Siman, the Managing Director of InvestOne said at the signing ceremony which took place in Abu Dhabi with Mr Philippe Odouard, Chief Executive Officer of Quickstep Holdings.

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Closed Mold Alliance Launches Website

5th June 2009 0 comments

The Closed Mold Alliance has launched a website aimed at those wishing to convert to closed mould manufacturing. The website will offer general closed moulding information, educational opportunities, access to expert consultation and closed mould specific products. Those visiting the site will also find various resources, including photos and videos, as well as a means to request a “How to Get Started in Closed Moulding Kit”. The site will also provide links to the Alliance member websites where more information can be found on closed moulding, lean manufacturing, equipment and systems, tooling, and composites material information. The Closed Mold Alliance is comprised of: Composites One, Magnum Venus Plastech (MVP), RTM North and FormaShape, a division of Whitewater Composites. The Alliance offers manufacturers closed mould education and expert consultation, customized tooling education and production, materials and equipment along with in-house start-up assistance and training. A series of closed mould-related educational programs is offered through Closed Mold University and provide excellent opportunities for manufacturers to gain technical knowledge, as well as practical, hands-on training and experience. “Composites One and the Closed Mold Alliance are the industry leaders in closed mold education and conversion. The Alliance offers composites manufacturers the complete package of training, tooling, materials and equipment,” said Greg Shymske, Vice President of Marketing. “The Alliance also offers the strength of Composites One regulatory expertise helping to meet the needs created by today’s environmental concerns.” “We are very pleased to offer this online tool together with MVP, RTM North and FormaShape. With our combined expertise, this is just another way the Closed Mold Alliance is able to provide the industry an effective road map to closed mold success,” concluded Shymske.

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Assocompositi joins Federazione Gomma Plastica

5th June 2009 0 comments

During the last General Assembly, Assocompositi Members decided to join Federazione Gomma Plastica, the Italian Federation for Rubber and Plastics. Together with Assogomma and Unionplast, Assocompositi (the Italian Industrial Association for Composite Materials) will become the third Association inside the Federation. This step is very significant in order to strengthen composites importance in the national sector of plastic materials and rubber and falls into line also with the European scenario, since EuCIA’s has become a EuPC’s Sector Group. Assocompositi say that this project will play a major role in creating new market and industrial opportunities for composites in Italy, including a wide range of news services, normative activities, price monitoring and funding for innovation and research.

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Cessna chooses ACT for Training

5th June 2009 0 comments

Cessna has certified Advanced Composites Training (ACT) as an approved training facility for structural repair technologies on the new Corvalis 350/400TT all-composite aircraft. Cessna was seeking to enhance the capabilities of technicians working in their world-wide network of authorized service facilities, by providing aircraft technicians with a broader knowledge of composite materials and repair technologies. The ACT customized “Corvalis 350/400TT Composite Repair” training course will enable Cessna Technicians to incorporate state-of-the-art techniques and procedures directly into their current operations. ACT say that their courses are internationally recognized as meeting and exceeding all standards for Advanced Composite Technician training, and that all of ACT’s composites courses are now approved by the American Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA ) for Inspector Authorization Renewal.

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ACMA Releases 2008 Composites Industry Report

5th June 2009 0 comments

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) this month released its 2008 Composites Industry Report, which provides the latest statistics on the U.S. composites industry, including end market uses. The 2008 Composites Industry Report highlights the total impact of composites production and also provides data on fibreglass thermoset composites shipments by year, market and end-use applications. Additionally, it highlights sales of composites for markets such as construction, marine, and transportation and the use of composites in windmill blades and sports equipment.

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