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Composites Industry News

News for 21 May 2010


Composite Bridge Deck Installed In Utrecht / Netherlands

21st May 2010 0 comments

The first composite bridge deck has been installed in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, serving as a replacement of a wooden bridge that is used for pedestrian and emergency vehicles.

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Energy Composites Moves Forward with WindFiber Plant

21st May 2010 0 comments

Energy Composites Corporation (ECC) has completed its purchase of land for the company’s WindFiber blade manufacturing plant in Wisconsin Rapids, and has also receive approval for a bond facility. The Company said that it had been notified by the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce that its application for access to $45 million of tax-exempt coverage under the State’s Recovery Zone Bond Program had been approved. ECC purchased two parcels in the Rapids East Commerce Center – a 54-acre parcel that will be the site of the Company’s new 535,000 square foot utility-scale wind blade manufacturing plant and a 41-acre parcel that will house the Company’s logistics centre. The City of Wisconsin Rapids has site improvements underway, and has committed to at least $7.5 million in development incentives, including site improvements, job creation cash credits and additional cash payments. Adrian Williams, Director of WindFiber, stated that, “We are making good progress towards commissioning of our new wind blade plant. Our partnership with the City of Wisconsin Rapids, evidenced by our purchase of the 95-acre parcel, is critical to our efforts to launch the world’s most advanced wind blade facility. ECC’s WindFiber plant, which is designed to produce as many as 1,500 utility scale wind blades per year for use in onshore and offshore wind farms. The Company expects to start commercial blade production by the end of the first quarter of 2011. “We also want to thank the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Commerce for their swift action to approve our application for use of the State’s Recovery Zone Bonds facility,” Mancl added. “The Department approved us for our full request of $45 million in tax-exempt authority, which will allow our lenders to avoid federal taxes on the interest generated by the bonds. This lowers our cost of borrowing and makes it more attractive for our lenders to provide us with the debt portion of the financing package for the new plant. The Recovery Zone Bond program is one element of the Federal stimulus program.” “Our partnership with the City of Wisconsin Rapids, and with Mayor Mary Jo Carson, has been very important to our success,” Jamie Mancl, ECC’s founder and President, noted. “On behalf of all of the associates at ECC, I want to thank the City for its faith in our vision. We are excited with our progress to date. We have narrowed our building contractor selection down, and we believe that the outcome of this competition will deliver a WindFiber manufacturing plant that is certified Gold under the LEED certification process within the boundaries of our initial cost estimates. We are also making good progress on our logistics facilities, which will include a 50-rail car staging area intended to drive substantial costs-savings to our wind blade clients. From strategic, environmental, logistics and market perspectives, we are fully on track to make Central Wisconsin the epicenter of the composites-in-wind world.”

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3B Launches Improved Continuous Filament Mat for Pultrusion

21st May 2010 0 comments

3B is launching a new pultrusion mat, designed to allow better defined colours, high gloss and low surface waviness while achieving high mechanical performance. 3B say that up until now continuous filament mats, for use with vinyl esters, unsaturated polyesters, epoxy and polyurethane resins have been marred by a yellow tint, making it difficult for processors to achieve the defined colour desired for the application. According to 3B, their news CFM pultrusion mats offer a balance of surface appearance – colour, gloss and conformability – together with a high strength. Bertrand Roekens, leader of 3B Science and Technology Department stated, “Processors in the pultrusion market have been under pressure by end users to be able to make parts that have the highest levels of performances combined with a good surface appearance without costly and labour intensive finishing treatments; at the same time they also want a mat that allows them to run their processes more effectively. Our new products offer a perfect balance between performance, processing and appearance”. The new 3B pultrusion mats are tailored to meet both rigidity and conformability requirements. CM6065 is for applications that require excellent consistency and high efficiency. CM6060 is designed for complex shapes that demand greater conformability while still providing consistency and efficiency.

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Itochu Enters Alliance with Composites Unlimited

21st May 2010 0 comments

Itochu Corporation has formed a business alliance with Composites Unlimited Inc (CUI), an aircraft cabin interior component manufacturer, in selling its products including aircraft galley equipment.

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Vector Composites And Quickstep Awarded JSF Contract

21st May 2010 0 comments

Vector Composites and Quickstep Holdings have been awarded a SBIR Phase II program aimed at assessing the use of Quickstep’s moulding technology to manufacture parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

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New Composite Structural Engineering Consultancy launched

21st May 2010 0 comments

A new independent composite consultancy business, called STRUCTeam Ltd, has been launched to offer design and material engineering services to the advanced composite market. The company has been set up by James Austin who will take the role of Business Development Director, with Julien Sellier as Director of Engineering, and Radek Michalik as Technical Development Director. The business has been in planning for some months and has already acquired the ability to take on complex engineering tasks. The name STRUCTeam is an amalgamation of Structural Engineering for Advanced Materials. STRUCTeam say that they offer engineering consultancy services with the specific aim of lowering the cost of design of composite structures. “We have a unique approach that we are finding to be of significant interest to manufacturers of composite structures”, commented Julien Sellier, “Our approach is applicable to all market areas where STRUCTeam aims to act as a leading provider of composite engineering services”.

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Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic Products Receive Greenguard Certification

21st May 2010 0 comments

Panolam Industries’ Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) products have been certified according to the Greenguard Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Certification Program for Low Emitting Products and the Greenguard Children & Schools Certification Program for Low Emitting Products. Panolam say that they are the first and only FRP manufacturer to receive this certification. The Greenguard Environmental Institute is an industry-independent third-party certification organization that qualifies products for low chemical emissions. The Greenguard certification programs use defined product standards, test methodologies, product sample collection, product handling procedures, program application processes and ongoing verification procedures. The Greenguard certification is particularly significant for Panolam’s FRP, a wall and ceiling panel product designed for installations that require high sanitary standards and durability, such as commercial kitchens, hospitals, schools and restaurants. “”Greenguard certification is further validation of our environmental leadership and is consistent with the FRP product applications,”” said Robert Muller, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panolam Industries. “”Environmental benefits remain a priority for all our brands and all our products.”” “”Third-party recognition of our environmentally friendly products is part of our objective of providing as much value as possible for our distributors and customers,”” said Jeff O’Hearn, Panolam Industries’ Corporate Environmental Engineer. 

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Park Electrochemical Introduces E-710 Easycure Low Temperature Cure Epoxy Prepreg

21st May 2010 0 comments

Park Electrochemical has introduced its new E-710 Easycure low temperature cure, toughened epoxy prepreg family of products for automotive, industrial, wind energy and aerospace composite components. E-710 Easycure prepreg products are designed to cure at temperatures between 160degF and 200degF with cure times ranging from 13 hours at 160degF to 2 hours at 200degF in an out-of-autoclave process. Park say that E-710 Easycure has an out-life of up to 60 days at temperatures below 75degF, and they are also offering E-710FR Easycure – an enhanced flame-retardancy version of the product which meets the requirements of US D.O.T. FMVSS 302 for automotive applications. Brian Shore, Park’s President and CEO, said, “”This new product was developed by the scientists at Park Advanced Composite Materials, Inc. in Waterbury, Connecticut, and I would like to congratulate them for their achievement.””

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PPG Shelby Employees Support Public Schools

21st May 2010 0 comments

The PPG Industries Foundation donated a total of $42,511 to 23 Shelby-area public schools, in 2009 and through May 2010, on behalf of 20 employees at the PPG Industries fibreglass plant there. Through an employee program called Public Education Leadership Community (PELC) grants, the corporation’s affiliated foundation approved 44 requests from PPG employees for up to $1,000 each to fund school projects, materials and activities. Any PPG employee may sponsor up to three PELC grant requests annually, to support projects meeting program requirements at public schools where they are involved. Grants obtained through PPG employees in 2009 and through May 2010 supported Shelby-area schools with items such as field trips, assemblies and enhancement programs for art, maths, reading and science education. “PPG is strongly committed to supporting the communities where its employees work and live,” said Tim Mathis, plant manager for PPG’s fibreglass manufacturing facility in Shelby. “We are proud that our employees participate in the PPG Industries Foundation’s PELC program to actively assist the public schools where their children learn, their neighbours teach, and their communities develop. It is an honour to enable educators to transform their ideas into real classroom activities with help from PPG funding.” Established in 1951, the PPG Industries Foundation sets out to enhance the quality of life in communities where the company has a presence. Interests of the foundation, in order of priority, are education, human services, culture and arts, and civic and community affairs..

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Semcon Receives SEK 9 Million Order from the Defence Materiel Administration

21st May 2010 0 comments

Semcon has received an order from the Swedish Defence Matériel Administration (FMV) worth SEK 9 million, for 19 specially developed composite containers intended for the Swedish armed forces, including the Nordic Battlegroup. Semcon will be responsible for developing, testing, certification, documentation and calculations of the multi-functional composite containers. “We have collaborated with FMV since 2000 and are extremely pleased about the continued confidence they have in us. The containers we develop include advanced, complex technology and we look forward to continuing being in the vanguard of the armed forces’ ongoing developments,” said Peter M Nilsson, Area Manager at Semcon in Karlskrona. The multi-functional composite containers are designed and developed for technical and safety use by the armed forces. There are three different standard models that, via different options, can be tailored to a customer’s requirements. The containers are very complex and have a number of functions such as EMC protection, heating and refrigeration, electrical central and roll-on roll-off frame. FMV ordered the first specially adapted containers from Semcon nine years ago and to date 186 containers worth SEK 95 million have been delivered. The containers have a wide area of use, including liaison centres, workshops, medical, storage, documentation and maintenance containers. The containers have been used by peacekeeping forces in the Congo, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad and Liberia.

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