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JEC Provide Preview of JEC 2005 Innovations and New Trends

  • Monday, 21st February 2005
  • Reading time: about 17 minutes

The JEC Group already has a list of more than 100 innovations prior to the show commencing on April 5th at the Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles.

The number of innovations has grown significantly compared to last year (+ 40%) and the JEC General Manager Frédérique Mutel says, “”The number of innovations we’ve already identified is an indication of our industry’s creativity and also of its enhanced capacity to communicate know-how. Innovation is central to the development strategies of composite companies. The general trends of this year’s presentation include a growing use of resins and thermoplastic semi-finished products,lively growth for thermoset composites, more and more high-tech applications, continuing development of closed-mould techniques, and an increasing use of renewable raw materials.

The innovations we have seen are the proof of an enduring pursuit of quality and that environmental issues are being taken more into account””.

This year’s innovations are distributed among three major families: raw materials (resins, reinforcements, prepregs, additives…), processing (software, equipment…) and applications. Those observed in the raw-materials and production sectors are contributing overall to improve productivity. And we mustn’t forget to mention the large number of new applications.

Here are just some of the innovations that JEC have picked so far:

Chongqing Polycomp International Corp. – ECR-glass production in China
Chinese company CPIC is introducing a new ECR-glass production line. This 4 Mt/year line was put into operation on January 10th 2005, increasing the company’s manufacturing capacity to 11.4 Mt a year. ECR-glass is a kind of improved E-glass that can be used widely in various engineering plastics like PA, PBT, PC, ABS, PP and PPO, in sectors like construction (sewer pipes), boat making, insulated materials, and others.

Soficar – A third operational production line
At the JEC Composites Show 2005, Soficar is presenting its third carbon-fibre production line located in Abidos, France. The line has a productive capacity of 1,800 t/year and is intended to produce carbon fibre for the industrial and aviation sectors.

Technochemie GmbH & KG – Powder-moulding resin
Technochemie, a 100% subsidiary of Degussa, is presenting the most recent addition to the Compimide product range, a powder resin which can be used for processes such as powder moulding combined with particulate fillers, pre-pregging from aqueous suspension and electrostatic powder coating. The resin is MDA free and shows outstanding thermal stability. Development samples will be available in the second quarter of 2005. The product is intended for fibre composites, powder prepregging, powder moulding, and electrostatic powder coating.

Ultracor Inc. – New ceramic honeycomb core
At the Jec Composites Show 2005, Ultracore is introducing a new ceramic honeycomb core that will be commercially available in August 2005. The product offers high structural strength, chemical inertness, low weight, and high temperature tolerance – valuable properties in the aerospace and motor racing sectors, and in applications involving catalysts and heat-exchange media.

Multisectorial (Automotive & Aeronautics)
Emerson & Cuming Composite Materials – Low-density, high-strength glass microspheres
Emerson & Cuming has developed a special manufacturing procedure that results in lower-density Eccosphere microspheres with higher strength. Weight was reduced in two ways: combining lower density with an increase in packing factor. These two working together reduce weight by 30%. Target markets: aeronautics, space and automotive.

Fiberforge – Tailored blanks
Fiberforge is introducing thermoplastic tailored blanks for thermoforming/compression moulding, especially “alpha” prototypes of automotive seat-back frames developed for a large Tier-1 automotive supplier. These lower-cost advanced composites are well suited to high-volume production and may be used in any field that produces structures using thermoplastics and a “stamping” process.

Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics – Composites Group – High-loft reinforcement for closed-mould applications
Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics is introducing Multimat-Lite, a new high-loft reinforcement for closed-mould applications. The product is made up of a lightweight glass/PE knitted core with chopped glass stitched on both sides. It is intended for the automotive, transport, helmets, marine, and pipes & tanks industries.

Spheretex GmbH – Basic materials for low-weight composites
Spheretex, a company that specializes in volumising high-modulus fibres for the production of low-weight composite constructions, is introducing new material types based on volumised yarn for the production of special fabrics for closed moulding. The new materials can be used to produce composite parts in closed moulding (vacuum infusion/RTM). Main fields of application: automotive, windmills, boats, surfboards, general industrial parts.

Components and processes for the space sector – MAN Technologie AG
Man Technologie is presenting new fibre-reinforced components and manufacturing processes for the space sector, designed for spacecraft (launcher, satellites) and civil aviation applications. This German company specialises in the development and manufacture of launcher sub-assemblies and components (e.g. Ariane 5 and satellites), and industrial products (e.g. water tanks for aircrafts, structural components, mobile bridges, and antennas/mechatronics).

Air inlet sleeves for Airbus A380 jet engines manufactured by TEN CATE ADVANCED COMPOSITES (The Netherlands)
Ten Cate Advanced Composites is exhibiting carbon/HP thermoplastic prepreg tapes that serve to make the air inlet sleeves for Airbus A380 jet engines. The continuous-weld tapes not only made it possible to produce these parts (more than 3 metres in diameter) in a single piece, but also conferred better-than-ever sound attenuation properties.

Multisectorial (Marine and Wind Energy)
Low-styrene gelcoat from DSM Composite Resins
DSM Composite Resins is introducing several new products, including the Neogel ECO low-styrene gelcoat, where the resin features have been achieved by modifying the resin backbone, and Neobond, a new vinylester-based bonding paste. Sectors concerned: boatbuilding, transportation, wind turbines.

PEEK-glass braid – Etablissements Favier
The Favier TPL Company is presenting a new PEEK-glass braid, developed in partnership with another firm, Schappe Techniques. Stretch-broken glass yarn is blended with PEEK, and the resulting product is used to make braided tube that is heat-processed to produce objects such as medical equipment. The product can be rapidly processed, and should be suitable for the same applications as carbon yarns, at lower cost. Fields of application: medical, aerospace, sports, automotive.

Greene Tweed’s high-performance lightweight thermoplastic
High-performance thermoplastic specialist Greene, Tweed is launching Xycomp®, a lightweight and corrosion-resistant high-performance composite specifically developed for the aerospace market. The material is highly suitable for brackets, fairings, rods and wing structures for aerospace and defence applications. It is much lighter than traditional metals, while delivering the same strength combined with a high corrosion resistance.

Multisectorial (Energy, Marine)
Johns Manville’s direct roving for high-speed weaving
Johns Manville is introducing a new direct roving for multi-axial weaving process, StarRov™ 086 in 600, 1200, 2400 and 4800 tex. The roving is designed for high-speed weaving with low fuzz and no breaks, and has superior fatigue resistance. It finds applications in wind blades, the marine sector and sporting goods. Other new developments on display at the stand: new ThermoFlow® 718 densified chopped strands for PBT compounds. These products for the thermoplastics industry (manufacture of connectors, housings, relays, switches and other electrical and electronic applications) exhibit superior mechanical performance, heat-ageing characteristics and bulk density.

High-strength basalt rovings – Kamenny Vek
Kamenny Vek is presenting three new products: high-strength, high-modulus basalt rovings; non-woven fabrics from advanced basalt fibre; and heat & corrosion resistant basalt chopped strands. The products have noticeably higher strength and modulus than existing basalt fibres, high mechanical properties, and a wide operating temperature range at affordable prices. Their main applications are windmill blades, boat building, CNG cylinders, high-pressure and corrosion-resistant pipes and tanks, pultruded load-bearing profiles for buildings, bridges and repair applications, concrete reinforcing bars, SMC/BMC compounds, friction materials, geotextiles, concrete reinforcement, and heat and sound insulation.

Improved laminate surface quality – Lantor BV , Lantor Composites
Lantor BV and Lantor Composites are introducing Lantor SORIC® TF. Replacing the skin coat with Lantor Soric® TF prevents the print-through effect and improves surface finish in closed moulding techniques. The material is highly suitable for marine, automotive, mass transit, leisure, and industrial parts.

Ground Transport
All-in-one solution for railway applications – Mäder Group
The Mäder Group is launching a new all-in-one solution including polyester resin + gelcoat + water-soluble paint system, which meets the requirements for M1F1 fire behaviour as specified by the NF F 16-101 standard. This combined system requires only one certificate and makes it possible to address the needs of multiple European railway markets and other sectors with fire/smoke constraints.

TP reinforcements and sheets using various fibres – Porcher industries
Porcher Industries is presenting Pi-preg, a range of advanced thermoplastic composite materials suitable for the aviation, medical, chemical, oil, and sports & leisure industries. The range includes balanced or unidirectional reinforcements that are based on E- or S2-glass, carbon, or aramid fibres and impregnated with advanced thermoplastic resins such as PEEK, PPS, PEI, TPU, and PA 12, among others. The “reinforcement/resin/rate of impregnation” recipe meets the engineering requirements of each customer.

Rigid silica blocks – Saint-Gobain Quartz
Saint-Gobain Quartz is exhibiting rigid silica blocks on its stand. These have high infrared reflectivity and heat insulation capacity. They are intended for the heating and drying industry, where activities require high infrared reflectivity, and for the semi-conductor industry. Saint-Gobain Quartz is also presenting other new products, such as silica-fibre felts for photocatalysis applications and for air purification applications where odours, fumes, bacteria, and micro-organisms are filtered out and destroyed; hybrid-yarn textile structures (quartz, stainless-steel, and aramid) for handling hot glass and metal in the glass and metal industries; and new fused silica fibres with enhanced thermal properties.

Multisectorial (Sports & Leisure, Industry, Aerospace, Automotive and Medical)
UD-carbon/thermoplastic-matrix sheet from Schappe Techniques
Schappe Techniques is presenting a UD-carbon/thermoplastic-matrix composite (a new addition to the TPFL® line) that consists of a flexible UD sheet with high-strength carbon fibres as reinforcement, and thermoplastic fibres as matrix. The sheet is from 75 to 150 mm wide, for a basis weight from 150 to 300 g/m2.

Multisectorial (Aerospace, Automotive, Marine, Leisure, Transport, Civil Engineering,
Machine Construction, Process Engineering)
Special tool for the tufting of profiles – ACEs (Aachen Composite Engineers) ACEs is presenting the latest results from a publicly funded project on preforming, testing and resin-infusion technologies. The main exhibit is a special tool for the tufting of braided stiffening profiles on biaxial curved carbon-fibre textiles. The solutions for near-net-shape preforming and manufacturing of FRP-parts for high-tech applications come from one source.

Aksys Group’s new IMC process for automotive applications
Aksys is presenting a new Injection Moulding Compounding (IMC) process used to mass-produce front-end structural members for the VW Golf A5. The compact manufacturing cell includes a robot mounted on the fixed platen, which removes parts from the mould and transfers them directly to the sprue-removal unit. Weighing 3.5 kg and reinforced with 30% glass fibre, the parts are extremely stiff and impact-resistant.

NuSil Technology – Adhesive films for aerospace applications
On the occasion of the Jec Composites Show 2005, NuSil Technology is announcing the launch of a new adhesive-film technology. Still in the development stage, the film is designed for ease of use in certain bonding and fastening applications in the aerospace, healthcare and electronic sectors.

Airtech Advanced Materials Group – New vacuum-bagging materials
Airtech Advanced Materials Group, a manufacturer and supplier of vacuum-bagging and composite-tooling materials, has just launched two inexpensive materials for pre-preg moulding, resin infusion and very large moulding applications.

August Herzog Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG – Braiding machine for 2.5 D profiles
Herzog is introducing an advanced machine concept for the manufacture of 2.5 D-braided profiles, designed to minimize geometric restrictions for the mandrels. Herzog’s vertical, round braiding machine braids horizontally and is combined with a device that guides a profile to be overbraided through the braiding point. The machine’s speed can reach 200 rpm, thus ensuring a high production speed.

China National Building Materials (Group) Corp. – Composites for the building sector
On the occasion of the Jec Composites Show 2005, CNBM – a leading player in the field of building materials and equipment – is presenting its recently installed industrial equipment. The three furnaces built at the end of 2004 have increased the company’s annual production capacity to more than 100,000 tons.

Gisco Inc. – Cast polymer processing
Gisco is introducing Acrylinker™, a system where the resin-syrup manufacturing system is combined with the solid-surface processor to form an integrated acrylic solid surface system. The system ensures proper mixing procedure and physical properties, as well as appearance. With this system, the manufacturer has the capability to produce high-quality acrylic solid surface material and, by making his own syrup, to achieve significant savings of resin costs.

Multisectorial – Automotive
Nederman – Air treatment in industrial environments
Nederman is proposing products for cleaning and for the extraction of abrasive dust, sanding dust, and welding fumes – notably, its new vacuum hose reel (881 series). The Type-C antistatic hose is completely retractible (10 metres). Suction is controlled with a standard automatic valve with micro-switch. When you pull out the hose, the valve opens; when the hose winds back up, it closes. The micro-switch automatically controls the start/stop of a centralized vacuum system, thereby cutting down on power consumption. Thanks to the unique hose-guide design, there is no more need for a swivelling base.

National Aerospace Laboratory NLR – New Automated Composites Manufacturing Technology Centre
At the Jec Composites Show 2005, the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) is introducing for the first time the Automated Composites Manufacturing Technology Centre (ACM-TC). The primary aim of ACM-TC is to develop the insight into automated composites-manufacturing techniques (like advanced fibre placement) that industries need before they can apply new technologies to their particular applications. This is achieved by providing the expertise and facilities that are essential for the development of automated manufacturing technologies for advanced composites.

Multisectorial (Marine, Wind Energy, Automotive, Aeronautics, Transport)
To manufacturers who wish to acquire infusion technology and a thorough grasp of it, Axson proposes a new-generation epoxy-resin infusion system for producing parts and tooling of all sizes for the marine, aeronautical, railway, wind-energy, and automotive industries. This global solution integrates all infusion elements, the ancillary products, and the transfer of know-how: extrudable pastes for making large-scale models (SC166); resins and hardeners with low mixing viscosity, excellent reinforcement wet-out, and good mechanical properties and thermal resistance (the Epolam line); a range of reinforcements with high permeability in all directions and excellent mechanical properties; multiaxial (biaxial, tri- and quadriaxial) fabrics; a set of ancillary products (Pliospire vacuum and feed tubes, bleeder, vacuum bag and sealant tapes, and peel ply); and the epoxy and polyurethane adhesives needed to assemble the infused parts (the Adekit line).

Parts for the Aston Martin DB9 vehicle produced by SORA COMPOSITES
Sora Composites is mass-producing eight DB9 parts that benefit from the lower investment costs associated with the use of F3P preforming in combination with Class-A RTM moulding. Using the F3P preforming process also led to considerable material savings, with waste at less than 1%. The parts include a door opening ring, a decklid, a decklid surround and sill appliqué panels.

Plastics reinforced with recycled natural fibre from Haller Formholz GmbH
Haller Formholz GmbH is presenting continuous sheeting, injection moulding and compression moulding technologies using natural fibre-plastic compounds as raw material. These technologies make it possible to use recycled natural fibres and recycled plastics.

3D preform weaving technology from Bally Ribbon Mills
Bally Ribbon Mills, a manufacturer of high-performance tapes, fabrics and preforms, is introducing a new technology that weaves 3D preforms with fibres interwoven in the 0°, 90°, and ±45° directions. The architecture of 3D preforms includes “”Pi”” shape, “”T”” shape, and “”J”” shape, among others. The quasi-isotropic weaving technology improves structural damage tolerance and interlaminar shear properties while reducing composite parts fabrication costs.

Multisectorial (Marine, Leisure, Transport, Energy, Military)
Threaded rods manufactured with thermoplastic composites – Top Glass Spa (Italy)
At the Jec Composites Show 2005, Top Glass SpA, together with Fulcrum Composites Inc., is launching a new range of threaded rods manufactured with thermoplastic composites. A newly developed process that combines pultrusion, extrusion, and forming/moulding is used to manufacture a product with optimised tensile strength, torque strength and thread-stripping strength.

Composite sink, counter top, and tiles containing 60% recycled material from Mixt Composites Recyclable
Mixt Composites Recyclables is exhibiting a sink, counter top, and tiles made of composite materials that include more than 60% recycled materials. Thanks to the use of recycled materials, their price is two to three times cheaper than if they were made only of standard materials. They are highly resistant to scratches, burns, stains, chemicals, impact, and water absorption, and impervious to light and hot water. They are designed for the building and plumbing markets (kitchens, bathrooms, counter tops, basins, etc.).

Insulated fibreglass ladder for electrical applications from Nanjing Tongteng FRP Co., Ltd
At the Jec Composites Show 2005, Nanjing Tonteng is exhibiting a 9-metre (extensible to 11 metres) insulated fibreglass ladder and insulated epoxy rods for electrical applications.

Corrosion-resistant profiles and gratings from Nantong Mincom Composite Materials Co., Ltd
Nantong Mincom Composite Materials is presenting a range of new products (gratings, covering plates, profiles and angles). The products are corrosion and chemical resistant, fire retardant, slip resistant, non-sparking and non-magnetic, and they have a high strength-to-weight ratio. They are suitable for applications in chemical sewage treatment, shipyards, and offshore platforms.

Zhejiang Jiashan Glass Fiber Weaving Factory – Thermosetting resin conduit
Zhejiang Jiashan Glass Fiber Weaving Factory is introducing RTRC, a conduit in fibre-reinforced thermosetting resin that offers low weight, excellent physical performance and a long service life for use in the field of electrical and communications wiring and cables.

Sports & Leisure
DJP – Composite climbing wall
The DJP stand at the Jec Composites Show 2005 is featuring a world’s first in the form of a climbing wall, made of 2mx2m composite panels mounted and assembled on an aluminium frame. When fully extended, the wall is ten metres high. It is transportable on a 3.5-ton trailer, and can be set up in under than an hour using automatic means.

Icotec AG – Composite coil springs
Icotec is exhibiting the first CFM (Composite Flow Moulding) coil spring prototypes. The springs are made of endless-fibre-reinforced thermoplastic with a fibre content of over 60% by volume (glass or carbon). A sophisticated and complex tool design allows manufacturing them in a single process step. The springs are characterised by great fatigue resistance, corrosion resistance and excellent damping properties. Composite coil springs are a requirement in various industries where they are exposed to chemicals and other aggressive substances – for instance, when used for valves in the chemo-technical and food-processing industry, or for lightweight actuators in aerospace.

High-pressure electric hot water cylinders – HOTMIX (PTY) LTD
HotMix Pty Ltd is offering high-pressure, corrosion-free electric and solar hot water cylinders for the plumbing industry. Only epoxy vinylester resin is used in the construction of the inner tank, ensuring that the product is corrosion free and suitable for both interior and exterior installations. The cylinders are easy to handle, store and install. They are electrolysis free (no need for anode, low maintenance costs) and the high-tech vinylester used minimizes heat loss.

Sports & Leisure
1,260-g racing-bicycle chassis – Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH
German research institute IVW is introducing a racing-bicycle chassis made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics developed with Canyon Bicycles GmbH, Koblenz, Germany. With a total weight of only 1,260 g (frame and fork), the frame is extremely lightweight. It exceeds the stiffness-to-weight coefficient of 100 for the first time, thus offering outstanding rigidity and dimensional stability.

Pultruded fibreglass windows – Pultrex Limited and Comfortline Inc. establish collaboration
Pultrex Limited is announcing a new collaboration with Comfortline Inc. to use their technology for the production of pultruded fibreglass doors, patio doors and windows. Pultruded fibreglass makes these products extremely resistant to heat loss. Moreover, they will not warp, shrink, swell, rot or corrode.

Multisectorial (Building, Automotive, Ground Transport, Aerospace)
Vibration-damping system from VN Composites
VN Composites is presenting its CDT ® (Composite Damping Technology), a system for damping vibrations and noise and increasing the shielding resistance of composite structures. This unusual technology makes it possible to damp composite structures, which are generally quite rigid, by inserting a viscoelastic elastomer like Smactane®. The solution allows the use of strong, lightweight composite structures in applications that require vibration and noise damping.

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