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Composites Industry News

News for February 2010


‘Fast Curing’ Structural Adhesive Suitable for Turbines

1st February 2010 0 comments

Despite the lack of agreement by leaders at December’s Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, ITW Plexus expect the use of wind energy to grow at an unprecedented level. With turbine structures increasing in size, ITW Plexus has invested into researching the use of structural adhesives to bond composite wind turbine components together. During this research, the company believe they have developed an alternative to slow-curing epoxy systems, polyesters, and two part polyurethane adhesives. In response to these products, ITW Plexus has developed a series of fast-curing, 1:1 methacrylate structural adhesives which they say can produce bonds so strong the substrates will delaminate before the bond fails. ITW Plexus claim that unlike traditional adhesives, these advanced methacrylate adhesives chemically fuse FRP/GRP, composite stiffener spars and perimeter flange joints. They are also said to give increased peel resistance and cycle fatigue resistance while reducing damage encountered during transportation. Room temperature snap cure properties have helped to increase production rates and eliminate the high capital expenses and energy costs associated with post-bake ovens which are required to cure some epoxies. What’s more, researchers say that in most cases these adhesives don’t require any abrasion or surface preparation. ITW say that there are numerous benefits to using their system, including potentially reduced production costs, shortened assembly times, reduced component weight and resistance to water and UV. The system has been successfully deployed by Terom Wind Energy in Bolgna, Italy. Glass fibre reinforced polymer blades have been internally designed and produced using a vacuum-infusion process for their small wind turbine – the ATBV26. ITW Plexus say that this system allows complete saturation of glass reinforcements with resin and offers a very good fibre-to-resin ratio since vacuum minimizes air pockets forming between fibres and the permeability of the fibreglass. Blade components, made using special moulds, are then finished and bonded together using a Plexus structural adhesive. The total result is a strong but light product, with very good mechanical resistance properties.

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JEC Reveals 2010 Innovation Winners

1st February 2010 0 comments

The 12th year of the JEC Innovation Awards Programme sees 11 winning companies due to receive their awards at the JEC Composites Show (April 13-15, 2010).

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DSM Composite Resins Introduces Price Increase for Resins and Gelcoats

4th February 2010 0 comments

The price increase – valid in China, Europe, Middle East & Africa – will be in the range of 9-12% depending on the specific products and raw material base, and becomes effective on Feb 15th, 2010, or at the earliest time possible depending on existing individual contracts. Michael Effing, President of DSM Composite Resins, says: “This price increase is the inevitable consequence of continuously rising costs for raw materials and energy. We have taken many measures to reduce cost in these difficult times, without jeopardizing our long term overall strategy and commitment to the industry. We will continue to focus on our customers by bringing new innovations and technologies to the market and by investing in our supply capabilities for the material technologies of the future.”

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ABMACO and IPT Begin Composites Recycling

4th February 2010 0 comments

The Brazilian Composite Materials Association (ABMACO) and the Institute for Technological Research (IPT) have entered into an agreement to establish ABMACO’s National Recycling Program. The project aims to develop tools to ensure the reuse of composites waste in the production process. ABMACO’s estimates, the Brazilian composites sector generates approximately 18,000 tons of waste every year, representing an expenditure of US$ 66 million with the disposal at Class 2 landfills. Funding for the scheme comes from contributions made a group of 18 companies: Ashland, Comil, Composites Brasil, Cray Valley, Edra Equipamentos, Elekeiroz, Fiacbras, Marcopolo, Morquímica, MVC, Novapol, Owens Corning, Piatex, Poliresinas, Redelease, Reichhold, Royal Polímeros and Tecnofibras. With support from ABMACO’s technical team, IPT will classify the particles that comprise the composites waste, then to indicate the best way to reuse them. This research will be divided into two stages. The first one, focused on the reuse of waste in the production process, includes crushing and grinding studies, followed by researches on the inactivity of peroxides (responsible for composites polymerization). The second stage is dedicated to the exploratory analysis of new ways to use waste, by the selection of material and evaluation of their properties. After the research is complete, the solutions developed will be shared amongst the companies involved in the program. The estimated time of completion for the program is 20 months.

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UBC Researchers to Lead Two NSERC Strategic Networks

4th February 2010 0 comments

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have received $10.3 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to lead and coordinate two Strategic Networks in machining and biomaterials technology. NSERC has revealed a total of $56 million in received grants for a total of 11 Strategic Networks. The grants fund large-scale, muliti-disciplinary research projects that could significantly enhance Canada’s economy, society and environment within the next decade. In total, there are now 36 strategic networks running across the country. “We are grateful to NSERC and the Government of Canada for their continued investment in research collaborations that will generate new and immediately applicable knowledge to some of the most pressing and intriguing technological questions of our day,” said John Hepburn, UBC Vice President Research and International. “UBC has a stellar track record of multi-disciplinary research and the addition of two new NSERC Strategic Networks hosted here will further enhance our capacity to contribute to research excellence in Canada.” The new Strategic Networks to be hosted at UBC are: NSERC Canadian Network for Research and Innovation in Machining Technology (CANRIMT) Led by Yusuf Altintas, mechanical engineering professor and NSERC-P&WC Industrial Research Chair Professor in Virtual Machining, CANRIMT aims to develop the world’s most advanced Virtual Machining Technology and a state-of-the-art five-axis mezzo milling machine. The technology will enable the design and manufacturing of products without first resorting to costly physical trials and will benefit the Canadian aerospace, automotive, power generation, mould-making and automation systems industries. The CANRIMT team will receive $5 million from NSERC and $400,000 from industry over five years. The network includes 20 researchers from seven universities in B.C., Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. Approximately 100 engineers are expected to be trained through the network. NSERC Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Network Led by Wood Science Prof. John Kadla, the Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Network aims to develop technologies to better utilize lignin, one of the primary components of wood. Approximately 20 per cent of wood is dissolved as lignin when pulped. The complex biomaterial is currently used as fuel in pulp mills but has the potential to become part of carbon-fibre composites for strong and light-weight automobile parts, carbon aerogels for hydrogen storage and new bio-based polymers. The Biomaterials and Chemicals Strategic Network will receive $5.3 million over five years and includes 16 researchers from 11 universities. UBC already hosts two other NSERC Strategic Networks: RES’EAU-WaterNet has received $5.2 million over five years to make technology available that ensures clean water for all Canadians. Currently, water quality in 1,700 small and rural Canadian communities can be as bad or worse than that in developing countries. MagNet has received $4.8 million over five years to work with the automotive industry to develop knowledge to produce magnesium components that may significantly reduce the weight of vehicles and in turn reduce fuel consumption. NSERC is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators to the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 28,000 students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

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IDES Prospector Improves Design

4th February 2010 0 comments

IDES have recently updated its Prospector search engine. Datasheets for more than 1,800 polymers now show Dry and Conditioned plastics data side-by-side, so that designers can view all the information they need on one datasheet. ‘Dry’ refers to data that is obtained from a sample of material with equivalent moisture content as when it was moulded (typically

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Premium AEROTEC Takes Over Aircraft Parts Manufacture in Bremen

4th February 2010 0 comments

Just one year after its foundation, Premium AEROTEC is expanding further. The former Airbus parts manufacturing unit in Bremen was integrated into Premium AEROTEC on 1 January 2010. On 1st January 2010, exactly a year after it began trading, Premium AEROTEC expanded its business by taking over the former Airbus parts manufacturing unit in Bremen, along with its 400 employees. Among the parts produced by the unit are complex clips made from thermoplastic material for the new Airbus A350 XWB long-haul aircraft. Premium AEROTEC’s core business covers the development and manufacture of metal and carbon fibre composite aircraft structures and the associated equipment and production systems. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS N.V. Its foundation integrated the business operations of EADS’ Augsburg plant and Airbus’ Nordenham and Varel plants. Premium AEROTEC GmbH has more than 6,000 employees and expects to generate revenues of about one billion euros for 2009. Its core business is the development and manufacturing of metal and carbon composite aerostructures and the associated equipment and production systems. The company has production plants in Augsburg, Bremen, Nordenham and Varel.

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SPE Launches ‘SPE PRO’

4th February 2010 0 comments

The Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) has launched ‘SPE PRO,’ a new service which provides a regularly updated selection of edited briefs in plastics technology and polymer science.

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Polinox Predicts 10% Growth for 2010

5th February 2010 0 comments

Polinox, Brazilian manufacturer of peroxides and mould release wax, expectS to grow 10% this year. According to Roberto Pontifex, CEO, the increase will be caused by the growing economy coupled with the increase in production of high-value products. “Everything indicates that the Brazilian economic scenario will be favourable to the industry in 2010. In parallel, we consolidated our presence in manufacturers specialized in RTM and infusion, processes that are more open to the use of peroxides blends, which are considered specialties”, says Pontifex. For Polinox, the increase in business is not restricted to the domestic market. Last year, the company shipped approximately 200 tonnes of peroxides to various countries within South America, an increase of 50% on the previous year. This has led to Polinox being awarded the “Prêmio Exporta São Paulo”, granted by the Federation of Trade Associations of the State of São Paulo (FACESP). “Even with the Brazilian currency appreciation, our foreign sales may grow 20% due to the implementation of the business started in the last months of 2009”, continued Pontifex. Polinox production plant in Itupeva (São Paulo is reported to be the largest of its kind in South America with a capacity to produce 240 tons of peroxides and 10 tons of mould release wax per month, which enables the company to make gains from economies of scale. Despite suffering from the economic downturn in 2009, by the end of the year Polinox say that sales grew by 7.5%.

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Axion LOI to Supply Thermoplastic Material for Composite Containers

5th February 2010 0 comments

Axion International Holdings has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Innovative Composites International (ICI) to supply Axion’s patented thermoplastic material to ICI and their strategic partner, Universal Storage Containers (USC), for certain elements in the construction of their composite containers.

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