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Composites Industry News

News for July 2011


Offshore Wind Expected to provide £2 billion a Year Opportunity for Composites

5th July 2011 0 comments

A report commissioned by The Crown Estate, and undertaken by BVG Associates, outlines how it expects £2 billion will be spent on manufacture of wind turbine blades, per year, by 2020. The report explains, “With the UK expected to lead the European offshore wind market for some time, most offshore turbine manufacturers have committed to UK manufacture or are currently examining sites. In the first instance, manufacturers are likely to focus on nacelle assembly but blade manufacture is likely to be a next step for most companies. Independent blade manufacturers are also considering UK manufacture.” The report forecasts composite material demand in Europe, in 2020, to be 100,000 tonnes from offshore wind farms and the report explains how the UK composites industry is globally competitive and has the potential to gain value from the industry. The report outlines a number of opportunities for new suppliers and service providers to enter the offshore wind market in composites or expand their offering to the wind industry. These opportunities primarily exist in five areas: ? Component manufacture and supply ? Tooling supply and manufacturing support ? Material and subcomponent supply ? RD&D of processes and materials ? Blade inspection and repair According to Julian Brown, Associate Director of BVG Associates, “The UK composites industry has much to offer and much to gain if it takes up the wind sector’s challenge of volume manufacture with year-on-year cost reductions. The wind industry has a need for new technologies that may be in development in parallel sectors. The high level partnership between Boeing and Vestas Wind Systems demonstrates the synergies that exist.”

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FedEx Adds Low Weight Composite Vehicles

5th July 2011 0 comments

FedEx Express has expanded its all-Electric Fleet adding hybrid-electric vehicles, piloting Low-Weight Composite Vehicles. Within the next two months, FedEx Express expects to add more hybrid-electrics, using composite vehicles and upgrading over a tenth of its conventional vehicle fleet to more energy-efficient vehicles. “We are using efficient technologies that are readily available now, while investing in innovative technologies that we hope and believe can be vehicle workhorses for the future,” explained Dennis Beal, Vice President of Global Vehicles at FedEx Express. “Our goal has always been to optimise and operate our vehicle fleet in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner, so that emissions are reduced while serving our customers in the best possible manner.” FedEx Express has also been piloting five composite vehicles from Utilimaster. Dubbed “The Reach,” it is able to achieve 35% better fuel economy than its predecessor and has been performing well. The smaller, more efficient engine and low weight of the composite materials, which includes recycled rubber material, resin, fibreglass and poly core, compared to aluminium, allows the vehicle to achieve these fuel efficiencies.

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Arkema Completes Acquisition of Total’s Coatings Resins and Photocure Resins

5th July 2011 0 comments

Arkema’s acquisition from Total of coatings resins from both Cray Valley and Cook Composites and Polymers, and the photocure resins of Sartomer has been approved by the antitrust authorities in all countries concerned and is now final. Arkema said it is pleased to welcome the new businesses, which complement its offering to the coatings market and strengthen the downstream integration of its acrylics business. Representing sales of €850 million, these new activities enable Arkema to become one of the world’s leaders in the materials market for coatings and paints. Arkema explain the purchased assets represent sales of €850M, with almost 1,750 employees at some twenty sites on four continents, and they will benefit in particular from new growth engines in Asia with Cray Valley sites in India and Malaysia, and a newly opened Sartomer site in Nansha, south of Guangzhou in China. “The acquisition of Total’s specialty resins is a new major step in Arkema’s development. These activities will allow Arkema to boost its positions in its markets, making the Group one of the leading suppliers to the paint and coating industry with a global offering in terms of technologies and worldwide coverage”, states Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The acquisition integrates well with the specialty polymers downstream from Arkema’s acrylics business, as did the acrylic polymers acquired with Coatex in 2007 and the emulsions acquired from Dow in the US at the beginning of 2010. The Cray Valley Coatings business and Cook Composites and Polymers resins will join the Emulsion Systems business unit as part of a new structure named Arkema Coating Resins, while the Sartomer activities (photocure resins) will make up a new business unit. Both business units will be part of the Industrial Chemicals segment, with decision centres based in the United States.

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GKN Aerospace Design and Build Wing Structures for Dassault

5th July 2011 0 comments

GKN Aerospace has been awarded a life of programme contract by Dassault Aviation to design and build the wing moveable surfaces for its next generation business jet platform.

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Kazak Composites Introduces Composite Power Transmission Shaft

5th July 2011 0 comments

Kazak has created a composite power transmission shaft, designed to reduce the navy’s maintenance costs without compromising performance. With existing shafts constructed of steel and weighing between 90 and 290 pounds depending on the configuration, the Navy was looking for a solution that allowed for increased payload on its existing air cushion vehicles. “”Kazak’s composite transmission shafting offers significant weight reduction over its steel counterpart,”” said John Schickling, EVP/COO of Kazak Composites. “”The composite design will not corrode like steel, reducing maintenance costs by removing the need to repaint and replace the shafting. Additionally, the shaft rein¬forcement and matrix materials are designed to attenuate vibration loads, reducing vibration stress on the power train which increases the operational life of some power train equipment, further reducing maintenance costs.””

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Brazilian Boat Building Association Runs Composite Training Session

5th July 2011 0 comments

Last week, the Brazilian Boat Building Association (ACOBAR) held its second training session for the marine industry at University of Itajai, Univali. 200 students and local marine workers participated in the seminar, which took place in the boatbuilding hub of Santa Catarina, where large boatyards like Schaefer Yachts, Fibrafort and Azimut are located. ACOBAR administration is actively pursuing training initiatives to improve composite manufacturing quality for the marine industry in Brazil. The goal is to enhance technical skills of individuals involved in boat production. The training initiative is headed by the Vice President of ACOBAR, Jorge Nasseh. ACOBAR’s goal is to increase the level of qualifications in the industry and to market it as a competitive place to work. ACOBAR explain that during the event they signed a training agreement with the Department of Technology at University of Itajai to offer jobs in the marine industry for graduates of the Marine Composite Construction Technician course. Due to the level of attendance, ACOBAR is scheduling another training session in Sao Paulo in October 2011.

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DuPont Open Global Innovation Centres

5th July 2011 0 comments

DuPont plan to open several new global Innovation Centres, with the first in Asia Pacific. The two Innovation Centres opening this month include one in Korea, servicing the electronics and automotive industries, and another in Taiwan, focusing on the electronics and communications markets. Beginning in autumn, new Innovation Centres in Thailand and India also will be ready to collaborate with customers around renewable energy initiatives and innovations. Additional Innovation Centres are planned in Latin America, Europe and North America. DuPont’s goal is to partner on solutions that fuel local collaboration and application development and engage customers in inclusive innovation, wherever they are in the world. “The global population has grown to 7 billion, generating great need for food, energy and protection. We realise that meeting these needs will require more than science. Globally, we are committed to leading collaborative and inclusive innovations to respond to the challenges facing the world today. Collaboration is the driving force behind establishing these country-focused Innovation Centres,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Thomas Connelly. “The new Innovation Centres will foster an exchange of ideas and real-time collaboration between our scientists and customers that will mean innovative solutions and increased speed-to-market for consumers around the world,” added Connelly. In Korea, it is important for DuPont to build on the needs of leading Korean companies which are winning business globally and looking for new technology innovation in the areas of automotive, renewable energy, electronics, bio-materials and construction. For DuPont’s electronic and communications customers in Taiwan, whose businesses change almost daily, they need science-based solutions to capture new business opportunities quickly and stay ahead of market demand. “The Innovation Centres will demonstrate the problem-solving might of private/public alliances, serve as a catalyst for growth in these regions and serve to uncover unmet needs that will improve the lives of people everywhere,” Connelly said.

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Walk-In Batch Oven Cures Composites for Aerospace Industry

5th July 2011 0 comments

Wisconsin Oven has designed and manufactured a gas-fired walk-in batch oven to cure composite material for the aerospace industry. The oven is divided into two independent chambers that are separated by a vertical lift door which can be opened to combine the chambers for curing long parts. The front section of the composite curing oven has a useable chamber length of 25’0”and the rear section has a useable chamber length of 20’0”. When the centre door is open the curing oven has an overall useable chamber length of 45’0”. The oven was designed with the capacity to heat a 3,500 pound load (per oven section) of composite material from 70° to 300° F within one hour when loaded into an ambient oven. The composite curing oven has total chamber dimensions of 12’0” wide x 46’0” long x 8’0” high and a maximum operating temperature of 500º F. The composite curing oven is constructed with 6” thick tongue and groove panel assemblies and 20 gauge aluminised steel interiors and ductwork. Each individual chamber utilises a 1,500,000 BTU per hour industrial air heat burner including a motorised gas control valve, flame detector and flame relay with alarm horn. The front chamber recirculation system has a 37,000 CFM @ 30 HP blower and the rear chamber has a 30,000 CFM @ 25 HP blower. A combination airflow design was used to maximise heating rates and temperature uniformity. The industrial batch oven is specifically designed with composite curing features for precise temperature and pressure control. The exhaust features motorised dampers on both the fresh air inlet and the exhaust outlet for enhanced heating and cooling capabilities. The vacuum system has a total of eighty (80) interior vacuum stubs and forty (40) vacuum ports located throughout the oven. The oven also has eighty (80) type “J” thermocouple jacks and a jack panel wired to the data acquisition system for control and recording. All of these composite curing features provide the customer with the ability to closely monitor part temperatures for a high quality cure. For more information on composite curing ovens visit our website at

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Enduro Composites Acquires Bay Products

5th July 2011 0 comments

Enduro Composites has acquired Bay Products and Design (BPI), and manufacture of BPI’s complete line of Odour Control Systems will immediately be transferred to their manufacturing facilities in Texas. Enduro explain that the addition of BPI products represents an expansion of their environmental products line and demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing engineered composite products, solutions and systems for the water and wastewater treatment industry. Martin Crawford, president of BPI, will join Enduro. Commenting on the acquisition, Enduro President and Chief Operating Officer Wallace “Sandy” Woodlief stated, “BPI, and its president Martin Crawford, has been the market leader for innovative design of odour control products and we are delighted to have them as part of our company. We believe our customers will appreciate how easily these products integrate with our existing Environmental Products and how this further demonstrates Enduro’s commitment to leadership and technology-based solutions for our core markets”. Crawford stated, “Enduro’s purchase of BPI was the best strategic decision for our current and future customers, allowing us to offer complementary products, an expanded product development program and enhanced customer service, all designed to meet the needs of a growing marketplace.”

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Conductive Composites Completes Milestones towards Production Flexibility

5th July 2011 0 comments

Conductive Composites Company has completed milestones to ensure the company has production capacity as well as research and development infrastructure to diversify the business and support customer demand in new markets. Conductive Composites have relocated their company headquarters to a new 10,000 square foot expanded and refurbished facility that features a 100% larger research and development area and 100% more administrative space. They also explain how they have expanded and tripled production capacity at their plant in Green River, US, including the installation of an additional nickel-coated carbon fibre line. As well as this they have purchased a future production site in Huntington, US, to support capacity expansion in nickel-coated carbon fibres, as well as production expansion in nonwovens and nanostrands. “We are pleased to announce the most significant production and facility expansion in company history,” said Nathan Hansen, President. “Our new manufacturing, R&D, and administrative improvements support Conductive Composites’ objectives to expand from an R&D focused company developing innovative conductive products to being a premier supplier that can support the widespread integration of our materials. The purchase of additional facilities and equipment is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to meet the demands of rapidly developing market conditions. This reinforces our commitment to meeting customer requirements, and these major milestones enhance that commitment.” George Hansen, Chief Technology Officer and Company Co-Founder said “The technology that we can incorporate into this new equipment will greatly increase capacity and lead to improvements in product quality. Our customers will enjoy the benefits of a stronger supply chain and materials with better performance characteristics than were previously available.”

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