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Composites Industry News

News for 10 March 2009


ACG Attains ISO/TS 16949 Automotive Market Accreditation Standard

10th March 2009 0 comments

Advanced Composites Group Ltd has attained Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance approval for ISO/TS 16949. ACG says that it is the first carbon composite material supplier to qualify for TS 16949 and support the automotive industry’s drive to adopt lightweight, environmentally friendly technology. They say that this achievement paves the way to widening the group’s existing scope of supply of advanced composites materials into the global automotive industry, underlining an existing strategy to introduce cost-effective solutions that deliver benefits to a wider audience. Qualifying for ISO/TS 16949 has always been a prerequisite to ACG’s goal of supplying its materials into rapidly growing global automotive businesses and it is, therefore, with great pleasure that the Group can now publicly acknowledge that it has been rewarded for its continuous improvement activities at its Heanor, Derbyshire, UK facility. The Group considers attainment of this standard as an opportunity to bring about major improvements within its composites market supply chain.

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LM Glasfiber Inaugurates Blade Factory in Poland

10th March 2009 0 comments

LM Glasfiber has inaugurated its new blade production facility in Goleniow in Poland today. The factory will strengthen LM Glasfiber’s position and production capacity in Northern Europe. Especially, the factory will be producing blades for the rapidly growing multi-MW wind turbine segment for onshore and offshore wind farms in the Northern, Central and Eastern parts of Europe. Today, LM Glasfiber officially inaugurates its new blade production facility in Goleniow, Poland. The factory has been placed in Goleniow because of the optimal conditions for quick, flexible and cost-efficient transportation of the blades by sea or by land that this site provides. The good placement with regards to the area’s infrastructure means that LM Glasfiber will be strengthening its competitiveness and its production capacity with regards to deliveries for customers’ onshore and offshore wind projects in the Northern, Central and Eastern parts of Europe. ”To maintain our position as world leader in blade production, it is of crucial importance that we are as competitive as possible. One way of doing this is to produce the blades in places that will minimize the cost of transportation to the project site. The long term outlook for the wind energy sector in the EU is very promising and the factory in Goleniow will allow us to meet an even bigger share of our customers’ demand for long blades,” said Director Communications at LM Glasfiber, Steen Broust Nielsen. The Goleniów blade production facility is the 14th LM Glasfiber factory worldwide and the 4th in Northern Europe. The factory has been under construction since February 2008 and has been constructed to be able to produce even the longest blades from LM Glasfiber. The factory which is currently ramping up will in this initial phase employ app. 380 people.

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GKN Aerospace Supports X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System

10th March 2009 0 comments

Northrop Grumman unveiled its X-47B for the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) with GKN Aerospace-produced outer wings. The wings were GKN’s latest deliveries under a $50 million contract in which GKN Aerospace has full design authority and manufacturing responsibility for the X-47B centre fuselage section and wings. GKN also designed and manufactured the air vehicle’s bay covers, actuated doors and composite skins – which cover the majority of the airframe surface. The centre fuselage, composite skins, and actuated doors were delivered during 2007 and 2008. The purpose of the UCAS-D effort is to develop and demonstrate an aircraft carrier suitable, low observable-relevant, unmanned air system in the shipboard environment. Kevin Cummings, President and CEO, GKN Aerospace – Aerostructures North America commented: “”Delivery of the outer wing panel ship set culminated a 36-month production effort for our engineering and manufacturing teams as they supported the assembly of the first unmanned aircraft designed specifically to withstand the forces involved in launch and recovery of the air vehicle from the deck of an aircraft carrier. We are proud to be a member of the pioneering Northrop Grumman X-47 team and look forward to the planned November 2009 first flight of this transformational unmanned air vehicle.”” The wing contains an aluminium substructure covered with carbon epoxy skins measuring approximately 16 feet by 4 feet. Each wing supports a spoiler flight control surface and hosts fully integrated electrical and hydraulic routings. The design includes a wing-fold capability, enabling the air vehicle to attain a small footprint for aircraft carrier on-board stowage. Wing design was completed at GKN’s Engineering Development Center in Nashville, Tennessee, with manufacture taking place at the St Louis, Missouri facility.

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Automated Dynamics Receives ISO 9001

10th March 2009 0 comments

Automated Dynamics has received official Certificates of Conformance following assessment of its quality management systems and finding them in conformance with ISO 9001:2000. The Engineered Composite Structures business and the Affordable Automation for Composites business each received a Certificate of Conformance. The Certificates of Conformance were issued by STR-R Registered Company. Automated Dynamics says that it will continue to improve its quality management systems, products and services to meet and exceed customer satisfaction.

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High Performance Single Strand Fibre Now Available.

10th March 2009 0 comments

Quantities of single strand/ single crystal fibre materials are now being manufactured in the USA by Reade Advanced Materials as single strand fibres and filaments sized 0.001″” to 0.005″” in diameter. The single strand/ single crystal fibre materials now available include: amorphous boron, boron carbide, amorphous carbon, diamond like carbon (dlc), metal borides, carbides, ceramic, intermetallic, metallic, nitrides, oxides, refractory metals, silicides, silicon carbide, sulfides, tungsten and tungsten carbide. Popular end use applications include: ceramic & metal matrix composites, plastics reinforcement, aerospace, refractories, high temperature ceramic filters, drilling tools, specialty high temperature textiles, ceramic armour, batteries, fuel cells, reinforcement of turbines, sporting goods and superconductive wires.

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Corrosion and Infrastructure Conference to Focus on Composite Materials

10th March 2009 0 comments

Improving performance and lowering costs through innovative uses of composite materials will be the focus of the Construction, Corrosion and Infrastructure Conference to be held from April 29 – May 1 in Las Vegas. Geared for manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and engineers, the conference will cover technical properties and advantages of composites in lean manufacturing, “”being green,” and how the next generation of composites can compete against traditional materials to lower costs. The Construction, Corrosion and Infrastructure Conference: Green Lean and Sustainable Developments is intended to provide a strategic and tactical view to help composite professionals and engineers improve performance and lower costs in these important markets. It includes education sessions from ACMA and The National Association of Corrosion Engineers International (NACE), as well as exhibits focused on the latest “green” solutions and networking opportunities. “With increased need for corrosion resistant products and viable solutions to our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, this conference will give manufacturers and engineers the practical information about innovative composites technologies so they can make informed product decisions,” said Mathew Parmental, Senior Accounts Manager, Ashland Distribution, Santa Ana, Calif., who serves as the conference chairman. “The speakers, presentations and exhibits will focus on green and sustainable products and processes that will help meet today’s economic and environmental challenges.” In his keynote presentation, “”The Outlook for Composites in Construction, Corrosion & Infrastructure During and After the U.S. Recession,”” well-known composites consultant Ray MacNeil will provide economic analysis and information specific to these market segments. He’ll make the business case for composites and why composites fabricators can be optimistic in 2010 and beyond.

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New Vinyl Esters in Europe

10th March 2009 0 comments

Cray Valley has now launched its Epovia Vinyl Esters range in Europe. Epovia has already been sold worldwide for more than 30 years, designed for the anti-corrosion sector and used at hundreds of manufacturing plants around the world. Cray Valley unveiled the new Epovia Optimum line, the product of several years’ research, which it says maintains resistance to chemicals whilst being even easier to use.

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Composite Advantage Offers Flexible FRP Deck Solution for Long Span Bridges

10th March 2009 0 comments

Composite Advantage has developed a fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite deck product for long span bridge applications designed to give bridge owners and engineers maximum design flexibility to meet standard and unique specifications. The composite product is especially targeted at long span lift, bascule, steel truss or steel grate bridges with requirements for reduced weight or rural bridge locations where faster installations can save long detour time and costs. In addition to fast installation and lighter weight, CA say that their composite deck product provides corrosion resistance, low maintenance and a long life cycle. CA builds its decks with a sandwich construction of fibreglass facing skins and a fibre reinforced core of redundant shear webs in both longitudinal and transverse bridge directions. CA moulding process allows the manufacturer to incorporate a range of design options and eliminates the need for tooling which can constrain deck panel dimensions. Panels can be manufactured up to 52 feet long and panels are typically placed transversely across the bridge to transfer loads to the superstructure girders. CA can design its FRP panels to provide specified stiffness in both longitudinal and transverse bridge directions and depths can be designed to match the elevation of other components. Eliminating the need for heavy equipment, panels are generally placed starting at one abutment with light equipment such as an excavator. The equipment is able to move across the panels as they are placed. Connected to the superstructure from the top, different connection options are available and typical wear surfaces such as asphalt or polymer aggregate can be used.

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Acceptance of Alma Telescope

10th March 2009 0 comments

On 6 February 2009, the first North American Alma telescope was accepted at the Joint Alma Observatory. The 12-meter-diameter antenna is the first of twenty-five being provided by North America’s ALMA partners, whose efforts are led by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Airborne Composites manufactures the carbon fibre composite structures for these antennas, under a 6 year contract for Vertex Antennentechnik of Duisburg, Germany. Airborne supplies the reflector Back-Up Structure (BUS) that consists of 24 segments, the centre hub that connects the segments, the Quadrapod truss structure that supports the sub-reflector and the head-part that connects the 4 quadrapod legs. The structure consists of carbon fibre – aluminium honeycomb sandwich, made from high stiffness pitch carbon fibre. The design is optimised for stiffness and thermal stability, with a ultra-low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). This ensures that the high precision of the reflector surface is kept under all wind and temperature conditions. 10 antennas have already been supplied by Airborne to Vertex Antennentechnik, with a production rate of 1 antenna per 5 weeks. This high production rate is achieved by a dedicated production line, a fully industrialised production process with optimised tooling concepts, and thorough quality assurance procedures. The project is supported by the Investment for Growth program of Airborne with recent installation of 2 prepreg cutting machines, Fibersim software, laser projection and a 5-axis milling machine of 7 x 3.5 m. Alma, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, is a gathering armada of short-wavelength radio telescopes whose combined power will enable astronomers to probe with unprecedented sharpness phenomena and regions that are beyond the reach of visible-light telescopes. The observatory is being assembled high in the Chilean Andes by a global partnership between East Asia, Europe and North America in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.

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