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Composites Industry News

News for March 2011


UK Aerospace Research Plant to be Developed

1st March 2011 0 comments

A total of 6 million will be invested into an advanced composites and engineering centre in Northern Ireland which will help the UK to compete in the industry on a global level. The research centre in Belfast will be jointly owned by the city’s Queen’s University and the University of Ulster. Funding for the venture, which will be called the Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre, will be provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Strategic Investment Fund, Invest NI and Bombardier Aerospace. The 3,700 sq metre site will boost the UK’s research and development in the aerospace industry and allow companies and academics to work closely with each other to find cheaper and quicker ways to manufacture composite products. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “”This flagship centre will become the focal point for advanced materials as well as engineering research and development in Northern Ireland. In particular, it will enable the advancement of composites technology across a range of industrial sectors. “”The state-of-the-art facility will offer firms the opportunity to develop technologies that will maintain their competitiveness and support their future business needs.”” Michael Ryan, Vice-president and General Manager at Bombardier Aerospace Belfast, said: “”This industry-led technology centre will not only help us to further develop our own R&D activities, and those of our local aerospace supply chain, but it will enable Northern Ireland’s high-value engineering and manufacturing sector to develop its capabilities, move up the value chain and compete on a global stage.””

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Official Launch of Australian Composites Research Program

1st March 2011 0 comments

In a breakfast ceremony bringing together participants from seven countries, representatives of Senator the Hon. Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science & Research, launched the extension of the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS). “”The level of international engagement is outstanding, and demonstrates that our research and development program is truly world class””, noted Prof. Murray Scott CRC-ACS CEO. This extension CRC-ACS is supported by AUD 14 million from the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Program, and over AUD 50 million in cash and in-kind support from 28 participating organisations. A major feature of the extension is the high level of international participation: nine of the 28 participants are located outside Australia. The new CRC-ACS program commenced on 1 July 2010, with development of technology focusing on key areas of Aerospace, Defence and Oil & Gas. Coincident with the Launch and Australian International Airshow, CRC-ACS is having its first annual meeting. The event is bringing representatives from Europe’s major aerospace companies and research organisations to Australia. Murray Scott believes strongly in the role of technology development and international engagement in securing Australia’s future aerospace and defence industry. “”It is clear that Australia views a healthy local aerospace and defence industry as a key part of its future prosperity, and Australia is winning major contracts in civil and defence aerospace. CRC-ACS has had a pivotal role in technology development for this industry. We are now moving through an exciting new phase, where Australian industry is working directly with international organisations in a research program focussed on Australia. I am delighted that during the period of the Australian International Airshow, representatives of Airbus, Cassidian Air Systems and the German Aerospace Center have joined us to formally launch the CRC-ACS Extension Program. By making these international connections, and focusing international attention on Australian technology, we can be a significant player in future aerospace and defence industry opportunities.”” “”At the same time, some of the most exciting developments in composites technology will occur outside aerospace, as our engineers increase their focus on the construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of major infrastructure. The engagement of PETRONAS in adopting and implementing composites technology in the Oil & Gas sector is an exceptional opportunity for CRC-ACS to show the ingenuity and value of Australian technology development, and I am very pleased to host our guests from Malaysia during our launch and annual meeting.”” The international business and research organisations will collaborate with Australian universities, the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO), as well as a range of smaller Australian businesses. Additional organisations will be invited to join the research program, so that all relevant organisations to industrial implementation can build the necessary skills within the program.

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Nanocellulose Pilot Plant Inaugurated

1st March 2011 0 comments

One of the world’s first pilot plants to produce nanocellulose has been inaugurated by research company Innventia in Stockholm. “”With larger volumes, we can study the use of nanocellulose in applications that require more material,”” says Michael Ankerfors a Research Manager at Innventia. Innventia say that the facility makes it possible to produce nanocellulose on a large scale and is an important step towards the industrialisation of a new energy efficient manufacturing process. Nanocellulose is derived from wood fibres and has exceptional strength characteristics whilst being completely renewable. Previously, the production process was much too energy-consuming, for the commercialisation of nanocellulose to be conceivable, but due to the process developments carried out by Innventia, the energy consumption has been reduced by a total of 98%, representing a saving of 29 000 kWh per tonne. To give a comparison, the heating of a normal sized house takes approximately 18,000 kWh per year. “”For a long time, there’s been a great deal of interest from the industry in utilising nanocellulose as a strengthening component in other materials, such as paper, composites and plastics,”” relates Mikael Ankerfors. We can also create new, more efficient and renewable barrier films for food packaging. The new pilot plant is designed for a production at 100 kg per day. “”We can now make runs at our pilot paper machine. We now also have the opportunity to continue the development of the process and to show interested parties how it could work in reality. “” The inauguration was attended by representatives from the industry as well as, public funders and participants in research related to nanocellulose. Besides looking at the new facility, the opportunity was offered to take a closer look at samples of nanocellulose and various examples of applications such as barrier films, textile fibers and nano-foams made from nano-cellulose.

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Creation of CarbonInspired Network for Southwest Europe

1st March 2011 0 comments

A new technology transfer network between Spain, Portugal and the south of France has been created for the application of high value added materials in the automobile and building sectors. CarbonInspired is a project starting in 2011 supported by the Territorial Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVB SUDOE and co-financed with ERDF funds. The principal objective in this project is the creation of a collaborative network among public and private research centres for the transfer of knowledge to the enterprises, supporting them in added value and the development of innovations. The network will bring guide and advice to the enterprises from the southwest region of Europe, specially SMEs, to enable them to develop new products and processes based on carbonaceous nanoparticles, to contact partners, suppliers and end-users, to detect new opportunities, to evaluate new possibilities, training, technological search and to analyse the cutting-edge technologies. The Galician Automotive Technological Centre (CTAG), as the CarbonInspired network coordinator, will carry out the first dissemination activity at the JEC Composites Show 2011.

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New Laminate Tools v4.1 with Enhanced CAD Interface

1st March 2011 0 comments

Anaglyph has released version 4.1 of Laminate Tools, their Windows application integrating the design, analysis and manufacture of composite structures. Laminate Tools complements existing CAD systems and/or FEA environments and helps optimise and manufacture exactly what is being designed. The new version introduces new features in the Geometry, Design and Manufacture modules to improve the Laminate Tools – CAD interface, including a brand new embedded SolidWorks environment allowing easy ply definition. Detailed information about the new features in Laminate Tools v4.1 can be found at the link below. Anaglyph will also be exhibiting at the upcoming JEC show in Paris on 29-31st March, on stand V80.

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CTRM Grows Aerospace Business With Boeing 787 Fan Cowl Manufacture

1st March 2011 0 comments

Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which makes composites aero structures for major global aircraft manufacturers, marked the initial production of fan cowls in support of Goodrich Corporation’s work for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a brief ceremony in Melaka last Saturday. The ceremony to mark the initial production was attended by Datuk Hj Md Yunos bin Husin, State Industrial Committee chairman, at CTRM’s plant in Batu Berendam, Melaka. Also present at the ceremony were Nassir Abbasi, U.S. Embassy Commercial Counselor, Skip Boyce, president, Boeing Southeast Asia and Tim Martin, vice president of supply chain and strategic initiatives for Goodrich Aerostructures. The Boeing 787 Fan Cowl is the first fan cowl package awarded to CTRM by Goodrich Corporation’s aerostructures business. The work package is the biggest composite structure produced by CTRM and is another major milestone in the company’s composite aerospace program. “”The successful production of the fan cowl proves that CTRM is capable of taking on the challenges to produce larger and more complex components and assemblies of aircraft composite structures. “”This accomplishment is extremely significant to CTRM in its strategy to acquire more work packages from Goodrich and other first-tier suppliers, for other aircraft programs and different, larger components of the aircraft,”” said CTRM chief executive officer Datuk Rosdi Mahmud. “”It’s indeed a very promising start of the year and beyond, and our thanks go to the people at CTRM, particularly the CTRM Goodrich team, who have made this delivery possible, and to the Malaysian government for its undivided support and various incentives in the Aerospace program.”” “”We are especially thankful to our customers Goodrich Aerostructures for its recognition on CTRM being a preferred supplier and we want to ensure them on our commitment to work harder toward a greater partnership now and in future,”” said Rosdi.

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ACG and Integran Win JEC 2011 Composite Innovation Award

1st March 2011 0 comments

Advanced Composites Group and Integran Technologies have won the JEC 2011 Composite Innovation Award – Equipment Category for Carbovar – Nanovate -NV surface composite tooling. The innovation combines the hardness, durability and damage tolerance of the nanometal coating with the lightweight, low thermal mass of a carbon fibre composite mould tool to deliver a durable and cost effective solution. The Nanovate surface is an ultra-hard, nanocrystalline nickel/iron alloy coating that has a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) matching the CTE of the composite mould tool. According to ACG and Intergran, the Nanovate surface increases the longevity of the mould, becoming comparable to that of a conventional metallic mould tool. Composite tooling saves the energy required for the heat-up and cool-down phases, and the energy required to lift, rotate and manoeuvre them within the working environment, and during the lay-up process (faster material deposition rates). The development of this metal/composite hybrid mould technology is the result of a 5-year joint collaborative research and development programme between ACG and Integran Technologies Inc. The technology was recently presented during a number of top-level visits to major European and US aerospace composite companies.

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TenCate Co-recipient of JEC Innovation Award on Thermoplastic Composite Aircraft Seat

1st March 2011 0 comments

Cutting Dynamics’ composite aircraft seat design, using TenCate Cetex PPS composite unitape, has won a 2011 JEC Composite Innovation Award. The 2011 JEC Thermoplastic Composite Innovation Award will be awarded to Cutting Dynamics Inc., with TenCate Advanced Composites, A&P Technology and Ticona Engineering Polymers, which teamed to develop a thermoplastic modular composite seat frame used in passenger seat assemblies on lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft. The award will be presented during the 2011 JEC Awards ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday 29 March, during the JEC Show in Paris, France. The 2011 JEC award winning modular composite seat frame from Cutting Dynamics consists of a match moulded seat back and seat pan that supports the seat cushion. The frames depend on TenCate Cetex TC 1100, a PPS / carbon fibre unitape that is braided into a pre-form by A&P Technology, then shaped by Cutting Dynamics into a complex tube using a process that is capable of achieving high volumes unique in the aerospace industry. Jim Mondo, TenCate Advanced Composites Vice President of Thermoplastic Technology notes: “”This is truly a team award made possible by the innovations of each of the recipients with a special recognition to Cutting Dynamics who developed the process and optimized the material form that allowed this new composite seat design. We find it especially significant that several companies including TenCate Advanced Composites, A&P Technology and Ticona Engineering Polymers contributed in their areas of expertise to make this innovation possible.”” A&P Technology designed and engineered a braided preform from the TenCate Cetex TC1100 unitape that exactly meets the geometry and mechanical requirements of the seat frame. This collaboration allowed Cutting Dynamics to reduce process cost, increase process volume, and improve both product aesthetics and overall quality.

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Sigmatex Wins Process Category for JEC Awards 2011

1st March 2011 0 comments

Sigmatex (UK) Limited, and its partners have won the Process Category for the JEC Awards 2011 with a novel offset weaving method to create a 3D woven generic nodal structure. Sigmatex partnered with Bentley, NP Aerospace, QinetiQ, Composites Integration, Network Rail Infrastructure, Tony Gee & Partners, Pipex Structural Composites, Oxford Brookes University, and the University of Nottingham. Along with 14 companies and their partners Sigmatex will receive their award at the JEC Composites Show (March 29-31, 2011). Lead Development Engineer 3D Structures for Sigmatex, Chris McHugh said “”The 2011 JEC Innovations Award is the culmination of two years development work from an initial meeting at JEC in Paris during the 2009 conference. It is a great achievement for the ACTS Consortium funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the Technical team at Sigmatex, who have dedicated a great deal of time and patience in the innovative process used to manufacture the 3D Nodal structure. Recognition is always appreciated and the JEC Innovation award has further stimulated the Technical Team to continue in its goals to push the boundaries of Carbon Fibre Weaving””.

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EADS and Oxeon JEC Innovation Award finalists

1st March 2011 0 comments

A new fibre-patch preforming (FPP) technology presented by EADS Innovation Works with its partners Oxeon AB and Manz Automation Tbingen GmbH has been announced as finalists for the JEC Innovation Awards 2011 in the Automation category. Oxeon has supplied EADS with their spread tow tapes. FPP makes the production of highly advanced CFRP components possible. These components can have optimal light weight design and are fully automated produced. Especially for stiffener profiles it’s possible to have a wasteless production. With small amounts of FPP material great stiffness can be achieved. The relative new developed fiber-patch-preforming-technology allows the positioning of centimetre width tapes to nearly any specification. A special robot gives free choice in position and orientation of the fibers during preforming. The preforms are easy to use in standard infiltration processes and can be combined with other preform types. Quality assurance, waste prevention and health protection were considered for the development of a machine prototype. With this new technology an automated preform production from a software lay-up plan is possible. The JEC Innovation Awards have been running since 1998 and every year reward the best composites innovations in terms of technical interest, commercial potential, partners, financial impact and originality.

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