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Composites Industry News

News for April 2010


Testing Under Way on Bombardier CSeries Aircraft Composite Demonstrator Wing

5th April 2010 0 comments

Testing of the Bombardier CSeries aircraft’s composite demonstrator wing is under way, representing another significant milestone in the development of the all-new aircraft due to enter service in 2013. The testing is taking place at Bombardier’s Belfast facility which is responsible for the design, development and manufacture of the advanced composite wings for the CSeries aircraft. The Belfast operation has successfully assembled a full-scale, three-quarter span pre-production demonstrator wing using its Resin Transfer Infusion process. A specially-designed rig was constructed for the demonstrator test programme. This rig represents the outer wing to centre wing box and centre fuselage attachments, including a simulated main landing gear leg and a simulated engine and pylon. Controlled loading will be applied to these key areas of the demonstrator, thereby replicating the maximum loading conditions that the wing will see in service. The subsequent data collected will enable Bombardier’s engineers to validate their stress and design assumptions. “”Producing this demonstrator has been a significant investment for us, but will bring significant benefits. Through a rigorous testing programme, we will get real test data from the demonstrator which will enable us to optimise the design of the actual CSeries aircraft production wing. This will allow us to create the lightest weight solution with the utmost confidence in the wing’s structural integrity,”” said Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast. “”Having carried out several thousand individual material and detail tests to date, we are delighted with the progress of the CSeries aircraft wing development programme, and are looking forward to gathering the data that will help us determine the wing’s final design,”” Mr Ryan continued. Since launching the CSeries family of aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2008, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 90 CSeries aircraft.

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Spider Silk Reveals a Paradox of Super-strength

5th April 2010 0 comments

National Science Foundation-supported researchers are untangling some of silk’s most closely guarded secrets, and explaining why it is so strong.

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Plasti-Fab Recycles and Reuses Fiberglass in Composites Manufacturing

5th April 2010 0 comments

Plasti-Fab has begun large-scale integration of their recycled FRP, reducing negative emissions and the use of non-sustainable materials. Plasti-Fab’s recent acquisition of custom-made Seawolf equipment for large scale recycling allows Plasti-Fab to collect various waste, trim, and overspray materials which can then create a compound reused in several closed mold manufacturing processes. Plasti-Fab say that the more efficient production not only cleans up the production process, but also results in a recycled material that can replace previously used non-biodegradable foam core in Plasti-Fab’s fluid control gates and stop logs. Currently, Plasti-Fab say that they can recycle over 1000 pounds of FRP a month, replacing the equivalent of 1280 square feet of the non-biodegradable foam materials. In addition to being a greener solution,, the new recycled compound is a much stronger substitute, completing the prosperous relationship between manufacturer, customer, and environment. Plasti-Fab has already been integrating other environmentally conscious efforts, including the recent elimination of acetone as a solvent, rapid transition from an open mold to a closed mold, and closed system delivery of resins. According to VP of Operations, Larry Richardson, all this combined has established Plasti-Fab’s commitment to sustainable processes for the environment.

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JR Technology Joins Forces with Isojet

5th April 2010 0 comments

JR Technology has signed an agreement with Isojet Equipments Company to become the UK Sales & Service Centre for their range of resin transfer moulding (RTM) units. Isojet Equipments manufacture resin injection, dispensing, metering and recording equipment. Their units are used extensively in the reinforced plastics and composites industries – most customers are within the Aerospace sector. A number of universities & research establishments have also selected Isojet units for their research and development work due to the versatility of the units. JR Technology says that this arrangement will enable customers in the UK to receive an improved response both in terms of advice regarding selection and use of Isojet RTM equipment and maintenance with UK supply of any spare parts required and the annual servicing.

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Scott Bader Europe Increases All Crystic Product Range Prices

5th April 2010 0 comments

Scott Bader is increasing the prices of all Crystic unsaturated polyester, DCPD and Vinyl Ester resins, plus all gelcoats, pigments, bonding pastes and Crystic Crestomer structural adhesive products supplied from its European sites by €150/ tonne. These new prices will be applied to all invoiced orders from 15th April 2010 onwards. Scott Bader say that this further price rise is being implemented in response to the continuing sharp increase in the prices of key raw materials, such as styrene, which have risen during Q1 and are continuing to increase through Q2. Malcolm Forsyth, European Commercial Director, Composites business division of Scott Bader commented: “Scott Bader has been fighting hard in recent months to push back and absorb the impact of these substantial raw material cost rises. As these increases show no signs of stopping, regrettably we must now pass on some of these extra raw material costs to our customers in order to maintain sustainable operating margins. As ever, we continue to work very closely with all our customers to maximize product and process efficiencies and minimize the overall cost impact on them during these challenging times”

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Web Industries Expands in Metro Atlanta

5th April 2010 0 comments

Web Industries is to expand its operations in Metro Atlanta, providing the opportunity to service new and expanding composite aircraft programs for commercial and military use. Donald Romine, Web Industries President and CEO said, “”Our continued expansion in the Atlanta area is in direct support of the growing needs for advanced composites used in large-scale aerospace programs. The State of Georgia is a strategic location for advanced manufacturers like Web Industries with room for growth and the qualified workforce we need to fill these new positions.”” The company’s ten-plus million dollar investment includes facilities, equipment, infrastructure and a world class composites Research and Development Center. The Metro-Atlanta facility will include over 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space to support their current and future facilities needs. The location will be one of the largest facilities Web Industries occupies in North America. Georgia Commissioner of Economic Development Ken Stewart said, “”Web Industries is a great example of what advanced manufacturing can provide a community in business development and growth. With strong capital investment and skilled job opportunities, Web Industries’ decision to remain and expand in our state says a lot about the opportunity that the Georgia business environment offers.”” Web’s Atlanta operation provides processing of carbon fibre pre-preg composites.

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Boeing Completes Ultimate-Load Wing Test on 787

5th April 2010 0 comments

Boeing has completed the ultimate-load wing up-bending test on the 787 Dreamliner static test unit. During the testing, loads were applied to the airframe to replicate 150 percent of the most extreme forces the airplane is ever expected to experience while in service. The wings were flexed upward by approximately 25 feet (7.6 meters) during the test. Boeing said that the initial results of the ultimate-load test are positive. More extensive analysis and review are required before the test can be deemed a success. “”The test program has been more robust than any conducted on a Boeing commercial jetliner,”” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “”It has taken countless hours of hard work by the Boeing team and our partners to work through the static test program. Everyone who has been involved in this effort over the past several years should be very proud of their contributions to ensuring the safety of the 787 Dreamliner. “”We are looking forward to the technical team’s report on the details of the test results,”” said Fancher. It will take them several weeks to work through all of the data. During each second of the more than two-hour test, thousands of data points were collected to monitor the performance of the wing. Key data points are monitored real-time during the test, but all of the data will be evaluated in the weeks ahead.

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Interplastic Launches 2010 Scholars Award Program

5th April 2010 0 comments

The 2010 Scholars Award Program has been launched, sponsored by Interplastic Corporation in affiliation with the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA). Five $2,000 Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited four-year college or university and whose parent or legal guardian is employed by an ACMA member company. To be eligible for a Scholars Award, the applicant’s parents, legal guardian, or the student must be employed by an ACMA-member company and the student must be planning to attend an accredited four-year college or university. The selection of the Scholars winners is based on the individual’s personal merit and background, with an emphasis on excellence in academic and extracurricular activities. Each winner receives $2,000 to be used towards tuition and/or required books, supplies and equipment at a four-year college or university of their choice. For those interested in applying an application can be found on the Interplastic Corporation website, along with additional information regarding the 2010 Scholars Award Program.

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Fiberforge Opens European Engineering and Sales Office

5th April 2010 0 comments

Fiberforge has opened its European subsidiary, Fiberforge GmbH in Baar, Switzerland to better serve its European clients and business partners.

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HexMC European Patent Upheld

5th April 2010 0 comments

Hexcel’s European patent EP 1 134 314, which covers its HexMC product, has been upheld by the Technical Board of Appeal for the European Patent Office. HexMC is a sheet moulding material, suitable for the high volume production of intricate shapes and specifically designed for compression molding, with a product range that includes long carbon fibres of 50mm and a low resin content. Hexcel say that the patent was validated as per the previous decision of the European Patent Office’s Opposition Division of 17 April 2008.

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