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Composites Industry News

News for 11 July 2011


2011 Formula Student Competition Has Eight TeXtreme Sponsored Teams

11th July 2011 0 comments

According to Oxeon, the 2011 Formula Student Competition has eight TeXtreme sponsored teams competing with TeXtreme reinforced race cars. They say that through use of TeXtreme, the teams have been able to significantly reduce weight of various composite parts and, on average, most parts have benefited from a 30% weight saving with some saving 50-60%. Oxeon also explain that there has been an increase in the range and variety of components manufactured using TeXtreme, some of which include: nose, nose shell, side panels, side pods, underbody, motor hood, bottom plate, diffuser, chair, footrest, pedals, battery, battery management containers, wings, and monocoque. Formula Student challenges university students from around the world to design and build a single-seat racing car. These cars are then put to test at Silverstone and Hockenheim circuits. “TeXtreme Spread Tow Fabrics are used to make ultra light composites. So it is very pleasing to see that the teams have been able to significantly improve their cars and reduce weight of their composites parts. We are happy that TeXtreme is a contributing part of this development. The young engineers in the teams are very open to new innovative materials, eager to learn and they are the ones that will lead the composites development in the future. Therefore we feel supporting them with our unique Spread Tow Fabrics is quite obvious”, says Henrik Blycker, CEO of Oxeon. The competition is due to take place this week at Silverstone and between 2-7 August at Hockenheim. The TeXtreme sponsored teams in the 2011 competitions are: ? Baltic Racing Team (University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, Germany) ? Chalmers Formula Student (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden) ? Clear River Racing (Karlstad University, Sweden) ? KA Racing (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany) ? Lions Racing Team (Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany) ? Raceyard Kiel (University of Applied Sciences Kiel, Germany) ? TU Fast Munich (Technical University Munich, Germany) ? TUW Racing (Vienna University of Technology, Austria)

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UNStudio Design Stand for Premier Composite Technologies Constructed Entirely of Composites

11th July 2011 0 comments

UNStudio’s design for the Premier Composite Technologies (PCT) stand at 100% Design presents a construction based on the repetition of a single geometric module.

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3A Composites Launches Improved PET Foam Product

11th July 2011 0 comments

3A Composites Core Materials has released an improved density of its Airex T90 family designed for applications with high flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) requirements. 3A explain that the improved AIREX T90.150 exhibits largely improved mechanical properties, claiming that damage tolerance has been raised three-fold from 2.5% to 8%; shear strength has been increased by over 20%, and the product’s density has been reduced by 3%. They say that other key features of Airex T90.150 include its fire resistance, high temperature performance, fatigue resistance and its recyclability. According to 3A, the renewed Airex T90.150 has already been certified according to the relevant FST standards like NF, DIN, FAR, and furthermore, tests have shown that the new material can also comply with CEN TS 45’545 given the appropriate sandwich design.

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Ahlstrom Start Production of Specialty Reinforcements for the Wind Energy Market in China

11th July 2011 0 comments

Ahlstrom has taken another step in executing its growth strategy in Asia by starting production of specialty reinforcements for the wind energy market in China. During the fourth quarter of 2011, Ahlstrom expect to start production of glass fibre reinforcements designed to strengthen wind mill blades at their Binzhou plant in the Shandong province on China’s eastern coast. Ahlstrom will install multiaxial machines to its existing Binzhou site, which currently manufactures transportation filtration materials and employs 170 people. “”China has become a global power house in wind energy and through this investment we can better serve our global and local customers in the country. This gives us a good platform for further growth in the fast growing wind energy markets in China and elsewhere Asia,”” says Laura Raitio, Executive Vice President, Building and Energy.

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NATEX Workshop Shows the Potential of Bio-Composites

11th July 2011 0 comments

The NATEX consortium has published results from their free workshop, held in March, that was designed to help increase the awareness of bio-composites. NATEX is a collaborative project funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Program. The project involves 17 partners from 8 European countries and has a total value of € 5M. The project runs from 2008 – 2012 and aims towards the development of aligned textiles from natural fibres that are suitable for use as high-strength reinforcing fabrics to produce structural composite materials and components. The workshop was hosted by the Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants (INFMP) at their headquarters in Poland, and provided participants with an overview of the projects’ aims and objectives. NATEX’ say innovations in spinning natural fibres have an effect on the applicability of standard waiving techniques, and the development of bio-derivable resins greatly impacts the sustainability of natural fibre composites. In March 2012, a second workshop will be organised, oriented to the automotive sector. “Most people are of the opinion that natural fibres such as hemp and flax can be used to produce yarns and ropes, applications in which they carry loads very well. When yarns are spun, the fibres tend to twist. Although twisted natural fibres make excellent yarns for clothing, a twisted fibre cannot carry over stress from a matrix as efficiently as a straight fibre does”, explains Mark Hughes, Professor at Aalto University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Chemistry and Materials, Department of Forest Products Technology in Finland. NATEX explain, for structural composite applications, where load bearing capacity is important, straight homogeneous fibres are still preferred by most end-users. They say the tendency of natural fibres to swell due to moisture uptake, their weaker dimensional stability and flaws in the fibres compromise the performance of natural fibres in structural composite applications. In order to upgrade these performances, innovations in natural fibre modification and bio-composite production are essential and these challenges are addressed by partners in the NATEX-project. The workshop was opened by Sergio Fito, Aimplas, Spain, who gave an outline of NATEX project. Sergio explained how the partners are working together, and which partners are in the consortium. The consortium has organisations involved covering the entire value chain of natural fibre composites. Mark Hughes informed participants on the improvements of natural fibres by fibre modification. Kamila Dobies and Andrzej Grabowski, Safilin, a spinning and weaving mill of linen and hemp, explained how low twist spinning techniques can contribute to the success of natural fibres in composites. Malgorzata Zimniewska, Institute for Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, and Marek Radwanski, Ekotex, an ecological Polish spinner mill gave an overview on how the performance of natural fibre yarns can be increased. Morten Rask (Danish Technical University) explained how the fibre twist angle influences the fibre mechanics. Lorena Requena from Piel SA, a 3D-textile producer in Spain, presented test results of 3D woven fabrics with natural fibresm, and illustrated the potential of bio-composites with case studies on real life applications. Wouter Geurts , European Composites Industry Association, highlighted the findings of Formax related to the use of natural fibres on 2D weaving machines for composite fabrics, explaining that the challenges are mainly related to the limitation of fabric weight and fibre defects, frequently induced during the spinning process. Margarethe Goedel, Chemo, producer of storage containers presented two case studies on a cover of a grid-container and a motor-cover made with natural fibre composites. In his presentation on ‘new fully bio-based composites’ Thomas Pohl, IVW, the composites institute in Germany, informed the participants on natural fibre prepregs with furan thermoset resins. TransFuran Chemicals, a company located in Belgium, developed furan thermoset resins which can be used in combination with natural fibres, thereby yielding a 100% renewable composite material. The furan thermoset resin is bio-renewable and it can be derived from biomass via a chemical pathway. Luc Ruys, Centexbel, a Belgian Textile research centre presented another FP7 project, Bioagrotex, which aims at the development of high-end textiles based on natural fibres and biorenewable polymers. The next NATEX workshop will take place in March 2012 with a focus on the automotive sector.

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Automated Dynamics Honoured With Technology in Production Award

11th July 2011 0 comments

Automated Dynamics has been presented with the 2011 Center for Economic Growth (CEG) Technology in Production Award. Automated Dynamics’ say they have received the award for their commitment to developing and utilizing new technologies to significantly improve its production processes. “This is a great recognition for Automated Dynamics,” said Robert Langone, President, Automated Dynamics. “Over the past year we have immersed ourselves in training for efficiency and growth. CEG has aided us in these efforts, and we have experienced a noticeable impact on our business. Sales increased by 74 percent from 2009 to 2010 and revenue is forecasted to rise by more than 30 percent from 2010 to 2011.” Langone credits partnering with CEG, a National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center, for helping Automated Dynamics achieve the organisational maturation necessary to achieve this vital growth, which has boosted productivity-oriented activities, including the creation of 107 new ideas for product development. CEG also delivered the suite of Training Within Industry (TWI) classes to Automated Dynamics. TWI classes promote the optimization of manufacturing production and help increase capacity for growth. “CEG has worked with Automated Dynamics since the mid-1990s, and we are pleased to work with them as they continue to grow,” stated Jeffrey Lawrence, Executive Vice Pesident, CEG. “As the Capital Region’s NIST MEP Center, CEG is delighted to leverage our expertise and network in helping Automated Dynamics realize their growth goals. Automated Dynamics exemplifies the growth potential possible through innovative strategies, products and services, which are at the heart of the future growth of US manufacturing.” In addition, CEG aided Automated Dynamics in completing registration to AS9100, the standardised quality management system for the aerospace industry. “The AS9100 complements our ISO certification and certainly allows us to strengthen our presence in the aerospace market. But from a broader point of view, the AS9100 certification is about quality management, promoting better business practices and empowering our employees to implement solutions that will make us better today than we were yesterday,” said Langone.

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EuCIA update Safe Handling Guides

11th July 2011 0 comments

At the end of June, the European UP/VE Resin Association released the updated versions of the Safe Handling Guides. The 14 Safe Handling Guides address key health, safety and environmental issues associated with the storage and processing of raw materials in the UP/VE resin industry. EuCIA explain that the objective of the Handling Guides is to communicate best practices of safe handling of UP/VE resins within the composites manufacturing value chain towards a cleaner and safer polyester workshop. Drafted with the support of EuCIA, the Guides are providing specific information on aspects such as safe handling of materials used in composites production, storage of UP/VE resins, exposure monitoring, workplace ventilation, protective equipment and EU legislation relevant to the sector.

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Aerovac Launch STRETCHVAC3000

11th July 2011 0 comments

Richmond Aerovac has launched STRETCHVAC3000, its latest vacuum bagging film. According to Aerovac, STRETCHVAC3000 is ideally suited to high temperature extended autoclave cures and is compatible with the majority of commonly used aerospace grade resin systems, including BMIs. They say Boeing recently qualified and switched to STRETCHVAC3000 due to its superior adhesion to sealant tape, retention of mechanical properties during lengthy cure cycles (10+ hours) and improved quality performance in comparison to other aerospace approved vacuum bagging films.

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AOC Announces Global Price Increase for Fire Retardant Resins

11th July 2011 0 comments

AOC will increase prices by up to US$0.75 per pound for all fire retardant products with shipments on and after August 1, 2011. AOC explain the price announcement is driven primarily by the recent and significant cost increases of the brominated additives used in the production of AOC’s fire retardant resins.

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NCAMP Finalizes Hexcel Hexply 8552 Qualifications and Allowables Generation Program

11th July 2011 0 comments

The National Centre for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP) at Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research has released the composite material property data and statistical analysis reports, along with the material and process specifications for Hexcel Hexply 8552 prepregs. According to NCAMP, the lamina and laminate material property data have been generated with FAA oversight and in accordance with the requirements of NCAMP Standard Operating Procedure NSP 100. The test panels, test specimens and test setups have been conformed by the FAA, and the testing has been witnessed by the FAA. The statistical analysis reports have been generated in accordance with the procedures in Composite Material Handbook 17 (CMH-17) Revision G. Hexcel explain the program was sponsored by NASA Langley Research Centre, and the FAA has provided the necessary oversight to ensure compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Hexcel say they donated all the materials for the program, and Cessn fabricated over 500 test panels for the baseline qualification and allowables program. They say the companies that have participated in the equivalency programs are Hawker Beechcraft, Spirit AeroSystems, ATK Space Systems, Boeing Helicopters, Goodrich Aerostructures, Israel Aircraft Industries, Gulfstream Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. These Hexcel 8552 documents are the first set of qualifications completed by NCAMP and they will be submitting the data and documents to CMH-17 (CMH-17) and Society of Automotive Engineers for further publications.

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