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Composites Industry News

News for August 2011


CGTech Releases Vericut Composite Applications Version 7.1

1st August 2011 0 comments

CGTech is now shipping the next versions of its composite applications: Vericut Composite Programming (VCP) and Vericut Composite Simulation (VCS). Vericut Composite Applications simulate automated fibre placement machines and according to CGTech, their composites software suite is independent of CAD/CAM/PLM design systems, and is also independent of the builder of the Automated Fibre Placement machine. “When software is separate from the machine and applied in a variety of applications, the software and underlying technology expands” said Product Marketing Manager, Bill Hasenjaeger. “Thanks to extensive feedback from both users and industry partners, both VCP and VCS have seen significant enhancements since the last release. For example, VCP now has enhanced processing capabilities, significantly reducing the time required to make changes to one or more plies. VCS has been enhanced with several new measurement tools and the ability to simulate ultrasonic knife cutting”. CGTech explain that VCP reads CAD surfaces and ply boundary information and creates fibre replacement paths to fill the plies according to user-specified manufacturing standards and requirements. They say that layup paths are linked together to form specific layup sequences and are output as NC programs for the AFP machine. VCS reads CAD models of the layup tool and fixtures and simulates the layup sequence directly from NC program files, either from VCP or from other composite layup path-generation programming applications. Tow material is applied to the layup form via NC program instructions in Vericut’s virtual CNC simulation environment. The simulated material applied to the form can be measured and inspected to ensure the NC program follows manufacturing standards and requirements. A report showing simulation results and statistical information can be automatically created.

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GE to Open Second Aviation Manufacturing Plant in Mississippi

1st August 2011 0 comments

GE will be opening a new manufacturing facility in Ellisville, Mississippi to meet accelerating global demand. GE expects to invest $56 million in the new facility and is targeting for production to begin in 2013 and to create 250 new high-tech manufacturing jobs by 2016. They say the 300,000 square foot facility will manufacture advanced composite components for aircraft engines and systems for GE Aviation’s growing business. “”We are excited to expand our production capability in Mississippi with the opening of a second plant that will create hundreds of new high-tech jobs this decade for the state,”” said David Joyce, President and CEO, GE Aviation. “”GE has invested more than $12 billion in the research and development of reliable technology innovation over the past ten years and today’s announcement shows that commitment is paying off.”” GE say the expansion into Mississippi underscores the growth at GE Aviation, where deliveries of commercial engines for GE and its partner companies are expected to grow this year and in 2012.

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Barracuda Promote the Use of Composite Materials to Convert Steel Built Ships

1st August 2011 0 comments

Barracuda Advanced Composites have presented a seminar showing how steel ships can be refitted for use as pleasure yachts. According to Barracuda, the seminar, about Naval Application on Composite Materials, was supported by the Brazilian Composite Material Association (ABMACO), with an aim of presenting new composite technologies for the naval and offshore industries, as well as showcasing of projects underway in Brazil and other South American countries. Barracuda say the use of composite materials applied in the conversion of these ships has shown a promising increase in several countries during recent years due to the attractive cost of the adaptation. They explain that the use of composites offers several advantages when compared with the use of metallic materials; lightweight sandwich composite parts built by vacuum infusion process have similar resistance of metallic materials having just a fraction of its weight. The seminar was given by Jorge Nasseh, Head of Engineering of Barracuda Advanced Composites.

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Lord Green Visits Umeco Composites Structural Materials Technology Centre

1st August 2011 0 comments

Umeco welcomed Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, to its advanced composites R&D and manufacturing site in Heanor, Derbyshire, on Wednesday 27th July 2011. Lord Green met with some of the Directors and personnel at Umeco’s Technology Centre where they say, after a presentation and discussion, he was guided around the site where the Group formulates, develops and tests its custom composites. Nigel Blatherwick, Umeco Strategic Marketing Director, said “We were delighted to welcome Lord Green and members of UKTI to our Derbyshire facility, and for the opportunity to demonstrate Umeco’s world-leading composites R&D and manufacturing facilities. Lord Green was particularly interested in the variety of our products and the diverse range of applications across many advanced engineering sectors. And with 2012 on the horizon, he was intrigued to learn of sporting goods used by past and present Olympians made from advanced composite materials. We also explained the Company’s focus on export sales and our specific efforts in emerging markets such as China and Brazil” Umeco explained how Lord Green was introduced to a variety of innovative product applications, including the Bloodhound SSC, a supersonic car project that will attempt to break the land speed record in 2013 and that aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. Umeco is a project sponsor and is providing composite materials, tooling, and design and component manufacturing capability. Lord Green said “With just a year to go to the 2012 Games, it was fascinating to see sports equipment made up of materials produced at this site. I congratulate Umeco on being one of the sponsors for the project which involves an attempt at the land speed record. This demonstrates the ambition and drive this company has to be involved in such an impressive venture. It is also encouraging to hear how Umeco is looking to emerging markets such as China and Brazil to increase sales and is leading the way for advanced engineering in the region and the UK.” Nigel Blatherwick continued “We believe that this visit provided Lord Green with a great insight into the possibility for a UK company to lead the way into global markets for advanced manufacturing. We hope that he will share his experience with BIS and UKTI, and help promote composites manufacturing internationally.”

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Polinox Designs New Peroxide Especially for Pultrusion

1st August 2011 0 comments

Polinox has developed Brasnox MIBK (MIBK), methyl isobutyl ketone peroxide, designed to improved composite manufacture using the pultrusion method. According to Polinox they developed MIBK in response to the Brazilian Composite Materials Association’s (ABMACO) claim that approximately 5% of composite manufacturing in Brazil is pultrusion. Polinox explain that MIBK is designed to give an excellent finish to the polyester or vinyl ester resin profiles by reducing the fiberglass markings and it has a lower cost compared to benzoyl peroxide (BPO) commonly used by pultruders. They say its combined use with Brasnox TBPB, one of their traditional products, speeds cure and increases productivity.

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VDMA to be Institutional Patron of Composites Europe Composite Technology Forum

1st August 2011 0 comments

The German Engineering Federation, Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (VDMA) has signed a partnership agreement to become the institutional patron of Composites Europe. “With its collaboration in Composites Europe, VDMA offers mechanical engineers developing technologies for the manufacture and quality testing of fibre composite materials a strong network of technology and expertise,” says Jochen Zaun, spokesman for the VDMA Composite Technology Forum. According to Reed, the exhibition organisers, the 2011 exhibition, which will be held from 27 to 29 September in Stuttgart, Germany, will have more than 300 exhibitors presenting the complete process chain of the production, manufacture and processing of composites for the automotive and aviation industries, the building and construction sector and the sustainable production of energy. Composites Europe expects the partnership with the VDMA Forum to provide further impulses for the continued development of the industry: “The progress of automation in the production and processing of composites and their precursors, the shortening of production cycles and the consistent quality of serially produced parts are decisive challenges. In VDMA Composite Technology, the trade fair and the composites industry gain another strong partner,” says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO of Reed Exhibitions Deutschland. Since the first Composites Europe the exhibition has been supported by its founding partners, the European industry association (EuCIA) and the Federation of Reinforced Plastics, Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe (AVK).

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New Anti-Dumping Procedure for Glass Fibre Fabrics Originating in China

1st August 2011 0 comments

The Official Journal of the EU has published a notice of initiation of anti-dumping proceedings concerning woven and/or stitched glass fibre fabrics, originating in China. According to EuCIA, the European umbrella of the composites industry, the complaint was lodged by the Glass Fibre Defence Coalition (GFFDC). The product under investigation is “fabrics of woven or stitched or woven and stitched continuous filament glass fibre rovings, excluding products which are impregnated or pre-impregnated (pre-preg), and excluding open mesh fabrics with cells with a size of more than 1.8 mm in both length and width and weighing more than 35 g/m² (the product under investigation)”(Art.2). The European Commission invites all the relevant stakeholders to inform them as interested parties in the investigation within 15 days since the publication of the current notice. EuCIA was notified as user of the product concerned and nominated as interested party in the proceedings.

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Insituform Technologies Acquires North American Business of Fyfe Group

1st August 2011 0 comments

Insituform Technologies has signed an agreement to acquire the North American business of Fyfe Group. Joe Burgess, President and Chief Executive Officer of Insituform, stated “The current addressable market for FRP composites for construction rehabilitation projects in the United States is approximately $650 million. We believe that this market will grow to more than $1.4 billion by 2016. Fyfe Group, through its existing proprietary technologies and based on its exemplary record of development and innovation of FRP products and solutions for this market, is well positioned to capture high value growth as FRP composite technologies gain further acceptance in high growth infrastructure markets.” Burgess further stated, “Insituform’s acquisition of Fyfe Group will complement Insituform’s existing pipe protection capabilities, create cross-selling opportunities, increase the global market opportunity of Insituform’s existing business, and diversify the Company’s presence across end-markets. This acquisition also provides a unique opportunity for us to expand our business beyond pipelines, building upon our experience in protecting valuable infrastructure assets. We are excited how Fyfe Group’s business fits together with our existing platform.” Commenting on the acquisition, Ed Fyfe, Chairman of Fyfe Group, said, “”We are excited about working with Insituform. This transaction provides a unique opportunity to offer complementary products and services to a broader set of customers globally. Fyfe’s history of innovation, technological development and leadership mirrors Insituform’s.” Heath Carr, Chief Executive Officer of Fyfe Group, stated, “The combined company will provide a product and service offering for the strengthening, protection and rehabilitation of valuable infrastructure assets that will rival any competitor. Insituform is perfectly positioned to help Fyfe Group achieve its growth objectives. The entire Fyfe team is excited about this relationship.” Fyfe Group’s senior management team, including Ed Fyfe and Heath Carr, will remain with the company and be responsible for its day-to-day operations, growth and continued technological innovation following the closing.

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Toho Tenax Receives EN 9100 certification

1st August 2011 0 comments

Toho Tenax Europe is now certified according to the Quality Management Norm EN 9100. This norm is an extension to ISO 9001 and is specifically designed for those companies producing for the aerospace industry. Thus as a direct supplier, the doors are open for business with the companies of the aviation industry. With this EN 9100 certification, Toho Tenax are hoping to strengthen their market position in the aerospace industry. “Our aerospace customers have high requirements regarding the quality of our products, but also regarding the quality of our processes and its documentation. Those are often higher requirements compared to the common industrial extent and are assembled in international norms as EN 9100 or company rules, quality assurance agreements and specifications”, Dr. Axel Leuchter, Quality Manager of Toho Tenax Europe GmbH.

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New Line of Thermoset Structural Composites for IDI

2nd August 2011 0 comments

IDI Composites has released a new line of “”engineered structural composites”” (ESC) for high-reliability applications, such as aerospace, transportation, and alternative energy, among others. According to IDI, their new product line builds on the most popular properties of the company’s standard thermoset products, such as corrosion resistance and durability, but is more light weight and has superior mechanical strength. They say these ESC products experience little or no degradation in extreme hot and cold temperatures, making them ideal for the most demanding industrial and outdoor environments. IDI explain the following are key features of their new line of engineered structural composites: Flex and Tensile Strength: ESC materials offer higher tensile strength per unit weight than most metals, and higher flexural strength than many thermoplastics. Structural composites maintain excellent rigidity and other physical properties during prolonged exposure to harsh environments. Dimensional Stability: In high-temperature applications, a structural composite part is far less susceptible to relaxation or creep failure. ESC products experience little or no shrinkage, ensuring close tolerances in moulded parts and often eliminating the need for secondary operations, such as drilling or machining. Corrosion Resistance: ESC parts do not rust or corrode when used outdoors or in harsh environments. In fact, structural composites provide long-term resistance to both moisture and chemicals. Cost-Effective Alternative: Engineered structural composites have a very long life span and feature low maintenance requirements. They also reduce manufacturing costs by enabling parts consolidation and virtually eliminating final finishing and colouring. Design Flexibility: ESC materials can be moulded using a variety of standard moulding processes and tools, including high-volume and prototyping systems. And, due to their superior moulding properties, they enable the creation of complex shapes and intricate details that are impractical or even impossible to produce with metals. “”We’re very excited about our new ESC product line,”” said company Vice President and General Manager Tom Flood. “”No only does it complement our existing thermoset product line, but it opens the door for many new and challenging applications.””

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