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Composites Industry News

News for February 2011


ACMA Composites Show Celebrates Innovation

8th February 2011 0 comments

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) announced the winners of the Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) and Pinnacle Awards at the successful COMPOSITES 2011 Show.

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Owens Corning Announces Winners of the Composite App Challenge

8th February 2011 0 comments

Owens Corning has announced the winners of the company’s Composite App Challenge, a global competition to find new applications for composite materials. The winners were announced at the trade show hosted by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA on Feb. 3. The winner of the Owens Corning Composite App Challenge, receiving a US$200,000 development award to help bring their application to market, is Lomold (Pty) Ltd., South Africa, for a collapsible glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite pallet box that is light, strong and recyclable. The winner of a US$20,000 cash award in the idea category is Gauri Dutt Sharma of India, for the concept of glass fiber-reinforced composite inter-modal shipping containers that are less expensive to make and weigh less than steel containers to help reduce fuel bills during transportation. Student winners, who will receive a US$10,000 cash award for each winning idea, are John Gangloff and Cedric Jacob of the University of Delaware, USA, for integrated structural composite fuel cells, and Leandro Henrique Grizzo of The University of So Carlos, Brazil, for long glass fiber PVC pellet concentrate. “”We are extremely pleased with the results of our first global competition seeking new applications for transforming the market to composite materials,”” said Ashish Diwanji, vice president of innovation for the Owens Corning Composite Solutions Business. “”We received hundreds of entries from 30 countries around the world. They were thoughtful and reflected a great deal of interest in using modern materials to address some of society’s pressing issues. We selected 40 semi-finalists in the third quarter last year and narrowed the field to 16 finalists in December. The winning application is very exciting with huge global potential.”” Willem Louw, group general manager for technology and development at privately held Lomold, said the company was pleased to learn that its application is the winner. Louw said the company will use the award to expand their production operations. “”The global shipping container market is estimated at US$5 billion or 15 million units,”” said Louw. “”The market for pallet boxes alone is said to be about 5 or 6 million units,”” he continued. “”Our reinforced-thermoplastic pallet boxes are attractive to end-users because the composite boxes will ship 2 percent more product per load, allow up to four times more empty boxes per return trip and are fully recyclable.”” The US$20,000-winning idea from Gauri Dutt Sharma seeks to transform inter-modal shipping with glass-reinforced composite non-structural panels in traditionally designed containers. This approach would be cost-competitive with standard containers made entirely with COR-TEN steel. Sharma estimates the market opportunity at 3 million containers annually. “”A container weight reduction of 12 percent could result in US$4.6 billion savings from ocean-liner transportation,”” said Sharma. “”Savings are also possible during the land portion of the container’s journey. Container trade accounts for 70 percent of total trade value.”” According to the students from the University of Delaware, integrated structural composite fuel cells will lower vehicle weight and provide higher specific power output. They will also significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing and assembly. The entry from the University of So Carlos proposed long glass fiber PVC for increased strength in low-cost products used in construction. Launched in April, 2010, the Composite App Challenge offered the $200,000 commercial development award for a composite application that can be introduced by the end of 2012, and up to a total of $50,000 for composite ideas that effectively address marketplace needs, appear to be technically feasible and have a perceived market opportunity. One $20,000 award was available to anyone and up to three $10,000 awards were reserved for students. Individuals and teams were asked to submit applications and ideas in four categories infrastructure durability, fuel efficiency, renewable energy and protection from harm. The entry phase of the competition closed Aug. 15 and participation was almost evenly divided between ideas and applications. Fifty-two percent of the entries were ideas and 48 percent were applications with the potential to reach the market in 2012. Semi-finalists and finalists were invited to provide additional information for subsequent rounds of review. Judges were looking at the content of the idea, the potential market opportunity, the time needed to commercialize the application, the business case, technical feasibility and the contestant’s ability to commercialize the application or solution. The judges based their final decisions on the likelihood of scalability and long-term success.

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McChrystal Speaks on Leadership and Composites

8th February 2011 0 comments

Stanley McChrystal, a four-star general in the United States Army, spoke to a crowd of more than 1,000 at COMPOSITES 2011 in Ft. Lauderdale on February 2. “”The message that he delivered was that, whether in the military or industry, leadership is an essential component. Why are leaders important?”” McChrystal asked. “”That’s how you succeed. That’s how you win in war, that’s how you win in politics, that’s how you win in just about everything. We’ve got to learn to be better leaders at every level.”” The three main points about leaders and leadership, he said, are relatively simple. As leaders we must actually solve problems. We must change, because talking about change is easy, but implementing it is not. And we must be able to build relationships with those we leadwe must not forget that there is a very real human factor when it comes to leading people in war, in the factory or anywhere in between. “”You’re only going to make it if you build relationships,”” McChrystal said. “”Relationships give an amazing durability to an organization.”” Before McChrystal addressed leadership, he thanked those in attendance for their work with composites, which he said have played a key role in the evolution of military equipment during the last 30 years. “”I started with a steel helmet, and ended up with a Kevlar helmet,”” he said. “”Composites kept soldiers that I know alive after taking two rounds in the chest. I know the vehicles (utilizing composites) we used kept us alive,”” he said. “”There’s a special place in my heart for the things that make things better. What you make makes things better.””

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Jushi Group and Gibson Fiberglass Develop High Strength, High Modulus Fibre

8th February 2011 0 comments

Jushi Group and Gibson Fiberglass have developed a high strength, high modulus fibre reinforcement, aimed at composite applications requiring better corrosion resistance and enhanced physical properties. ViPro is currently being produced in trial quantities by Jushi/Gibson. “”This innovation is the culmination of several years of development work by our science and technology group,”” according to Joe Peng, President of Jushi USA / Gibson Fiberglass. “”The enhanced physical properties of ViPro will benefit composite applications with higher strength demands such as wind energy, high pressure pipe, and sucker rods. The improved chemical resistance of ViPro will improve the performance of composites used in oil and chemical process equipment as well as high voltage electrical applications””. “”ViPro will help to advance the use of fibreglass composites when competing with other materials such as wood, aluminum and steel,”” says Hack Wall, Gibson’s Vice President of Technical Support. “”Due to improved strength characteristics and better chemical resistance than traditional E-Glass, ViPro would allow the manufacture of lighter, stronger, laminates with better corrosion performance properties””. Currently, ViPro is being tested by a select group of customers. “”We expect to fully commercialize ViPro by the first quarter of 2011,”” according to Ron Adams, Vice President of Technical Sales for Gibson. “”We will be working closely with customers to make sure there is a smooth transition to the new ViPro products as they become available””.

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Rennteam Uni Stuttgart Uses Chem-Trend's Materials

8th February 2011 0 comments

For several years the Rennteam Uni Stuttgart has participated successfully in the Formula Student, an international junior motor sport contest with currently nine official venues on all continents, and Chem-Trend provides the students with Chemlease branded release agents and mould sealers.

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Sogel launches an AINSI approved gel coat for PUR composites

8th February 2011 0 comments

Sogel’s Hybrathan product , a gel coat specially formulated for polyurethane composites, has passed all the manufacturing requirements for sanitary applications. After successfully launching its Hybrathan gel coat series for the marine industry in 2007, Sogel and TSE Industries have combined synergies to develop a PUR composite for sanitary applications. The new composite uses a Hybrathan gel coat supplied by Sogel and a polyurethane reinforcement provided by TSE Industries. Sogel say that this new composite has passed all of the American National Standards requirements for plastic bathtubs, shower receptors and shower stalls, IAPMO/ANSI Z 124.1.2.2005, Section 6.1. Sogel say that Hybrathan features excellent bonding to PUR composites, high-gloss retention (90% 92%), processability and is user-friendliness: it can be applied using traditional airless equipment and parts can be manufactured using standard FRP tooling. Hybrathan has been used in the manufacturing of more than 150,000 personal water craft parts for over 3 years.

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Victrex Polymer Solutions Showcases Trends at JEC

8th February 2011 0 comments

Victrex Polymer Solutions will showcase the latest trends in composites at JEC Show in Paris, held from the 29th to 31st March 2011. “”The JEC Show provides a great platform for Victrex to demonstrate the versatility of our high performance materials. They are increasingly selected as the materials of choice due to the unique combination of properties and physical forms that can help achieve benefits such as weight reduction, enhanced energy efficiency, miniaturisation without loss of performance, increased application lifetime, enhanced performance in more challenging conditions and operating environments, compliance with environmental and safety standards and lower overall system costs,”” commented Ralf Weidig, Composites Business Leader.

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JRL Ventures/Marine Concepts Host LRTM Tooling Seminar

8th February 2011 0 comments

JRL Ventures recently hosted a three day Light Resin Transfer Molding (LRTM) Tooling seminar for their production and engineering staff, along with several of manufacturing customers. The training, conducted by RTM North Technologies, was held by JRL Ventures in conjunction with Composite One and the Closed Mold Alliance. The Closed Mold Alliance was founded by Composites One, Magnum Venus Plastech (MVP) and RTM North Technologies. Hank Yeagley (Composites One Technical Support Manager) Jeff Austad (MVP Vice President of Distribution), and Doug Smith (President of RTM North Technologies), offered their expertise and knowledge during this comprehensive three-day training. “”JRL Ventures continues to work with the most talented teams in the field searching out advancement of new technology, equipment and methods to enhance our service and tooling production,”” said Matt Chambers, President, JRL Ventures Inc. Upon completion of the seminar JRL Ventures received certification and was named a member of the Closed Mold Alliance. “”It is our hope with JRL Ventures as members of the Closed Mold Alliance, that we will be able to offer our customers a variety of tooling options as they begin their journey to closed mold production,”” said Greg Shymske, Vice President of Marketing, Composites One. “”Our goal is to offer a complete turn-key solution to the customer, including tooling options such as those offered by JRL.””

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Flex Molding Process Training Conducted in Australia

8th February 2011 0 comments

Magnum Venus Plastech recently conducted Flex Molding Process training for their distributors in the Pacific Rim. Twelve distributors, from 6 countries attended the three day training hosted by Australian distributor MVP-Australia. The training that they received over the course of the three days included intensive classroom instruction on the infusion process and the ins and outs of converting from open molding to closed molding using Flex Molding Process; extensive hands on training in producing a flexible membrane counter-mould; the intricacies of the new Patriot Systems that have been developed for Flex Molding Process including the Patriot Pro Innovator Injection System and the Patriot Duo 1:1 Silicone System and a true transfer of technology.

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GA Telesis Acquires Additional Composite MRO Facility

8th February 2011 0 comments

GA Telesis has acquired Ultimate Aircraft Composites (UAC), a Fort Lauderdale, Florida based component maintenance and repair organisation. UAC, established in 2002, is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a 45,000 square foot facility. The company is currently capable of supporting the repair and manufacture of Bombardier, Airbus, Boeing, Douglas and Embraer structural and composite components including, but not limited to, tail cones, radomes, doors, and flight control surfaces as well as nacelle and thrust/fan reverser actuation systems. Additionally, the Company maintains several contracts for the repair of structural military components for various governmental and military agencies. “”Expansion of our composites and structural businesses will allow GA Telesis to expand on the services it currently provides to the world’s leading airlines,”” stated Brad Herring, General Manager GA Telesis Component Repair Group. “”The addition of military component capability to our existing range of commercial and regional aircraft capability will allow us to complete the circle of complex composite and structural repair services,”” he added. GA Telesis Composite Repair Group will be added to the family of component MROs owned by GA Telesis, LLC.

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