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Winners of the newly titled JEC Innovations Composites Awards Programme have been announced that award innovation partnerships in eight industry sectors.
Awards have been provided in the industries of Aeronautics & Space, Ground Transport, Marine, Construction, Industry and Sports & Equipment, with two special jury awards being handed out in two categories, which are “Recycling and Environment” and “Spirit of Conquest”.
As JEC General Manager Frédérique Mutel says, “The sheer number of innovations submitted to the JEC Innovations Composites Awards Programme and presented for preview at the JEC Composites Show 2005 is an indication of the composite industry’s creativity and speaks for the JEC team’s ability to elicit responses from all over the world! Innovation is central to the development strategies of composite companies. The innovations selected are the proof of an enduring pursuit of quality and that environmental issues are being taken more into account.”
In 2005, the general trends include:
a growing use of thermoplastic resins and semi-finished products,
more widespread use of carbon fibre,
lively growth for thermoset composites,
more and more high-tech applications,
continuing development of closed-mould techniques,
an increasing use of renewable raw materials.
Innovation Winner in the Aeronautics & Space Category
SEER-DFM cost-analysis software for manufacturing composite parts developed by Galorath Inc. (USA) in co-operation with their partner Airbus (UK). The software is designed for engineers who work in concurrent engineering projects, helping them select a manufacturing process and optimise cost-prices (integrating a large number of manufacturing scenarios). The field of composites has a need for this type of tools. SEER-DFM is equally applicable to short-run and mass production, and should help bring products to market faster at optimised cost.
Innovation Winner in the Ground Transport Category
PP thermoplastic reinforced with abaca natural fibre developed by Rieter Automotive System (CH) and their partners Daimler Chrysler AG (Germany) and Manila Cordage Co (Philippines). The natural fibre is used as a replacement for glass fibre. The challenge was to adapt the LFT process for natural fibres while maintaining fibre length and correct distribution of fibre in the matrix. This highly competitive solution takes sustainable development into account.
Innovation Winner in the Marine Category
Boats built entirely in carbon fibre and vinylester-sandwich composite with hulls made using closed-mould methods developed by Devold AMT (Norway) and their partner Brœdrene Aa (Norway). Three types of boats were developed: an ambulance boat, a harbour shuttle boat (64 passengers), and a medium-capacity ferry (97-passenger catamaran). Using carbon fibre reduces structural mass by 40% compared to fibreglass reinforcement, at less than 10% additional cost. The new hulls contribute to greater passenger comfort.
Innovation Winner in the Construction Category
Road bridge with carbon composite beams developed by ACG Advanced Composites Group Ltd (UK) and their partner Necso Entrecanales Cubiertas SA (Spain). This innovation was developed for the Spanish Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Works and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology. The bridge has a fibreglass composite permanent shuttering over which the concrete decking can be poured directly (bridge dimensions: 46mx8.1m). The beams are made off-site using VTM (Variable Temperature Moulding) prepregs. The parts obtained are stiffer (less deflection) and eight times more lightweight than reinforced concrete. Installation costs are reduced and lead times are shorter. There is much less maintenance, due to the corrosion resistance.
Innovation Winner in the Industry Category
Anti-intrusion composite shell developed by Roctool (F), Upstart Ingénierie (F) and Menzolit (F). The housing consists of a shell in composite material that provides mechanical protection. The assembly becomes a capacitor whose capacitance value is read by an electronic circuit. Any attempt to intrude (by blows, cutting, or flame) results in a specific identifiable signal that sets off an alarm. The detection takes place over the entire surface of the composite. The manufacturing method is simple, and can be used for mass production. A wide range of potential applications in banks, shops, museums, the defence sector, etc.
Innovation Winner in the Sports & Equipment Category
Franco Garda stretcher made of Twintex thermoplastic composite for mountain rescue (high mountain, skiing, canyoning, etc.) developed by TSL Sport Equipment (F) and their partners Comitech (F), Chamoniarde de Secours en Montagne (F) and Saint-Gobain Vetrotex (F). The stretcher is made of vacuum-moulded Twintex thermoplastic composite. It can be taken apart for easier transport in three parcels. It is lightweight and easily assembled and offers high stiffness and sliding properties, so that the person being rescued benefits from greater comfort and safety.
Special Jury Award in the Recycling And Environment Category
INoMARBRE is a substitute for marble developed by INOPLAST in partnership with MCR, MCA, ATM and the iNoPART holding company. The product contains 70% recyclate material – about 50% powdered glass and 50% white powdered SMC and BMC materials. This environmentally-friendly material is scratch, impact and abrasion resistant. The innovation is compliant with the current building-industry standards and offers considerable weight savings at half the price, as well as the possibility to create new home-decoration concepts without limitations on thickness.
Special Jury Award in the Spirit of Conquest Category
The innovation is a composite cylinder using a metal liner wound with a thermoplastic composite developed by Amtrol Alfa Metalomecãnica, S.A. (Portugal), Saint Gobain Vetrotex International (F), INEGI, Instituto de engenharia mecanica e gestão industrial (Portugal) and PIEP, Polo de inovação em engenharia de polimeros Universidade do Minho (Portugal). The solution combines the advantages of steel and thermoplastic composites and is suitable for storage tank, pipe and machine applications.
The JEC Innovations Composites Awards Programme 2005 will be presented with the exceptional participation of physicist Michio KAKU. The event will take place on Tuesday April 5th at 5:00 pm at the Parc des Expositions de Paris (Porte de Versailles, Grand Auditorium – Hall 1) as part of the JEC Composites Show 2005. For the first time, it will be open to trade fair visitors.
The Image is of boats built entirely in carbon fibre and vinylester-sandwich composite made by Devold AMT (Norway) and their partner Brodrene Aa (Norway), and winners of the Innovation Award for the Marine Sector.
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