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New Composites Applications and Innovations at the JEC Show

  • Monday, 31st March 2008
  • Reading time: about 24 minutes

The upcoming JEC Composites Show in Paris this week (April 1-3, 2008) will host a tremendous number of composites innovations, many of which will be officially launched at the show.

The 2008 session will feature composite innovations in aeronautics, automotive, transportation, software, natural fibres, marine, textile, sports & leisure, environment, building and construction, manufacturing processes, etc, highlighting the wide-spread dynamics of composites materials among most end-user sectors.

A selection of the innovations expected at the show are listed below

Alcore Brigantine – Machining and forming Nomex honeycomb (France). Alcore Brigantine increased its know-how by manufacturing honeycomb core details dedicated to aircraft composite structures. It fully controls the specific manufacturing processes for metallic honeycombs: machining of draining grooves, machining of cuettes and/or expanded panels, forming and stabilization of sheets in 3D core parts, surface finishing, chamfering, routing, etc. Its manufacturing know-how has been adapted to non-metallic honeycomb requirements (Nomex and Kevlar N636). Booth T49

Epotech Composite Corporation – New epoxy resins (Taiwan) Epolec is a modified epoxy resin with nano-scaled elastomers formed after cure. The resin has a high softening temperature and extremely high tear strength and modulus. It imparts excellent toughness and breaking elongation to composite matrices under a higher load. The EPO-622 resin forms a shiny and transparent skin on cured products, without any white spots after sanding with water. Epotech Composite Corporation also offers a new epoxy resin system for the aircraft industry, which exhibits high-temperature resistance and flame retardancy. Booth T56

Forest-Liné – Improvements in automatic fibre placement and tape laying (France). Forest-Liné’s range of processing solutions for fibre-resin composites presently includes: ATL (Automatic Tape Laying) systems for both flat and contoured large parts, from simple single-phase machines to large dual-phase systems (like those used to produce the 787 wing panels) and AFP (Automatic Fibre Placement) machines, which integrate the Coriolis Composites dispensing system. The company’s last achievement is a large 32-tow system (¼”) installed at Airbus. Booth R56

Smart Material Corporation – Innovative piezo-composite components. The Macro Fibre Composite (MFC) consists of rectangular piezo-ceramic rods sandwiched between layers of adhesive and electroded polyimide film. This assembly enables in-plane poling, actuation and sensing in a sealed and durable package, often referred to as a “patch”. The novel and unique pliable and conformable features of the MFC allow new applications in the areas of vibration control, structural control, strain sensing and measurement, and harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations.

ASC Process Systems – New efficiencies in autoclave design (United-States). The Econoclave line offers an autoclave for aerospace-grade composites which is up to 25% more energy efficient than conventional autoclave systems. By utilizing ASC’s innovative internal design, shell volume and mass are reduced, thus lowering energy requirements while increasing uniformity. Booth T38

Cornerstone Research Group (CRG) – Genesys reflexive systems and smart mandrels (United-States). Cornerstone Research Group (CRG) has developed the bio-inspired Genesys reflexive systems that allow aerostructures to “heal” themselves during flight. Designed to mimic the human reflex response, Genesys reflexive systems can sense structural damage, respond quickly and autonomously to the damage, and then heal the area while keeping the operator informed of the healing process. The reflexive system is equipped with SHM to provide continuous feedback to the control system on the structural integrity of the composite panels. Booth N48

Anaglyph ltd – New laminate analysis and ply placement solutions (United-Kingdom). This year, Anaglyph, established leader in developing composite design, analysis and manufacture solutions, is presenting the latest version of Laminate Tools, a popular composite draping and FEA pre/post-processing software application. Laminate Tools version 3.3 includes many user-driven enhancements, such as improved lay-up design and interfaces, as well as additional post-processing options. For manufacturing, Anaglyph recently released PlyMatch, an innovative technology for accurate hand lay-up ply placement. PlyMatch can be used with simple CAD file input or with Laminate Tools for improved functionality. This new technology can be used as an alternative or in addition to existing ply placement methods. It is ideal for manufacturing small- to medium-sized components with simple or highly curved complex surfaces. Booth P68

Olympus NDT Europe – Innovative non-destructive testing (France). The new Epoch LTC is a small, sophisticated ultrasonic flaw detector weighing only 0.96 kg. This rugged unit with its sealed case meets IP67 requirements to withstand the rigours of very wet and harsh environments while the multi-colour transflective LCD with full VGA resolution provides superior readability in all light conditions. It has many measurement features and application-specific software options. Booth M 81

Lectra – Integrated CAD/CAM solutions for advanced materials (France). Lectra will present its full range of products dedicated to the manufacture of composite components for multiple industries, including the Design Concept 3D design tool for creating complex models, feasibility analyses, flattening from 3D to 2D, and cost estimates. By offering a truly integrated solution, from the creation of 3D models through to cutting, Lectra is the only CAD/CAM supplier that is capable of partnering with its customers to ensure flexibility, accuracy, control, and success in the global process. Booth T23

Vistagy – Evolution Sign concept (United-States). Vistagy will highlight the Raytheon Premier, the Ford GT40, the Renault F1 racer, the Joint-Strike Fighter, a TBD concept car, and the latest application of innovative composite technology, the Boeing 787. The imagery will illustrate Vistagy’s role in helping to engineer the world’s greatest innovations thanks to FiberSIM. Booth T50

Cannon – Spray foams gain new applications (Italy-France). Cannon now offers a further processing option for spray foams. Non-reinforced rigid foam can be applied over thermoformed substrates to reinforce them and provide thermal insulation. The moderate investment required and the high production flexibility are opening up interesting application areas, such as bath tubs, shower trays, and parts for caravans, campers, ambulances and other special vehicles such as micro-cars and boats. Booth V30

CG TEC GmbH – CFRP shafts and axles (Germany). CG TEC GmbH produces CFRP shafts and axles using the prepreg-rolling technique. In this procedure, prepregs are wrapped around metal mandrels in a special wrapping technique. The minimum wall thickness is 0.5 mm. Carbon shafts are available from 5 to 90 mm. High fit accuracy and excellent rotation characteristics are achieved by finishing the products on special high-speed grinding machines. The CFRP rods are mostly used as shafts in transport applications. Booth J47

Telene – the ability to mould large and innovative designs (France). Telene has been selected by Rostselmash (the Russian leading global harvester manufacturer) for the moulding of the body panels for the ACROS (11m x 9,5m x 4m), the Rostelmash “giant harvester”. For the moulding of its 26m2 of body panels, Telene technology (two-component DCPD (dicyclopentadiene) resins system, converted by the RIM process), offers key advantages such as a reduced panel weight of about 40% compared to Hand-Lay-up or Spray-up GRP, the ability to mould large and innovative designs. Moreover, Telene’s closed mould process allows to reduce COVs and offers a favorable energy balance when compared to Thermoplastic polymers (four times lower than for Polypropylene and ten times lower than for Polycarbonate). Booth E53

Milliken – halo, a natural fibre thermoplastic composite (Belgium). Using its technology experience in fabric formation and know-how in chemical additives, Milliken has developed Halo, a natural fibre thermoplastic composite. Halo utilizes advanced non-woven fabric formation technology to achieve a performance level with natural fibres that can compete with fibreglass-reinforced products. With additive technology, Milliken has addressed the challenges historically encountered with natural fibres. Booth J71

Isomatex s.a. – Improving basalt fibre properties by batch blending (Belgium). Isomatex has developed an optimized solution that significantly enhances the specific properties of basalt fibre. Thanks to their higher performance and specific properties (strength, elasticity, temperature range and durability), the Filava volcanic fibres have the potential to cost effectively replace R/S glass fibres, steel fibre, aramid and HT carbon fibre products in many applications. Using alternative melting approaches offers the prospect of much higher energy efficiency associated with molten lava movement. It ensures the temperature uniformity and reduced melt loss even though the melting temperature of the basalt-based batch is significantly higher than the temperatures in conventional melting technologies. Booth Q53

Diab – new sandwich core material saves weight and resin (Sweden). With the newly developed GS finishes, DIAB’s Divinycell sandwich core materials can be readily applied to curved surfaces. DIAB has now extended this concept with the addition of a grid-scored material, GS 60, which features a larger grid  60 x 60 mm squares rather than 30 x 30 mm. The new GS variant is ideal for moulding areas that are of moderate curvature or flat as it provides additional weight savings and can reduce resin and/or core bonding adhesive usage by up to 50%. Typical applications for the GS 60 finished material are expected to be wind blades and nacelles, larger boat decks and hulls where hand lay-up, vacuum bagging or infusion are used. Booth M 49

Cray Valley and CCP – New coating and barrier technologies. Cray Valley and CCP will introduce the revolutionary IMEDGE technology in Europe at the JEC Show. These innovative polymer coating technologies (PCT) and polymer barrier technologies (PBT) have been developed to push the composite industry beyond the limits of conventional in-mould products. The new IMEDGE series will be soon inaugurated in Europe via two breakthrough products: the IMEDGE PCT100 Series, which features deep, rich, lasting colours with maximum resistance to blisters and fading, higher abrasion resistance, while also sharply improving patch and gloss recovery, and the IMEDGE PBT200 Series, a toughened barrier coat that exponentially improves resistance to cracking and chipping both in-process and during consumer use, while providing enhanced blister resistance. Booth D75

Schappe Techniques – Carbon sewing thread (France). In collaboration with the carbon producer Toho Tenax, Schappe Techniques has developed a brand new, very thin 2x1K (67×2 Tex) carbon sewing thread. This yarn is compatible with epoxy and epoxy/PU resins and can be used in numerous composite applications such as prepreg sewing, sewing of dry textile structures (fabrics, UD…), non-crimp multiaxial fabric linkage and the creation of a “z” direction in textile structures. Booth M 18

Teufelberger – Fibre braiding – an innovative preforming process (Austria). Teufelberger, which specializes in braiding and processing of textile fibres, provides the know-how for innovative approaches in the production of fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP). Teufelberger’s technology generates the fibre lay-up by an overbraiding process and even intricately-shaped components can be covered with fibres in a load-optimized orientation. Reproducibility, automation and a low waste rate are advantages of this method that meets specific demands. Booth V42

Airtech Europe – new small bore tubing (Luxembourg). Dahlar Release Bag 460 LFT-G (Lay Flat Tubing Gusseted) is a small bore tubing developed for the manufacture of high-performance hollow parts. This multilayer film combines the performance of vacuum bag films and release films, to provide a single film with high vacuum integrity that will easily be removed from cured composite laminates. Thanks to gusset folding, the LFT-G format is smaller and easier to accurately position in hollow parts than traditional lay flat tubing. These films have been developed for manufacturers of hollow parts such as bicycle components, fishing rods, masts, etc. They exhibit superior strength, temperature resistance and vacuum integrity. Booth M62

Nanoledge – Nanoparticles fillers for eco-friendly composites (Canada). Nanoledge develops novel and innovative eco-resin systems based on nanoparticles fillers to improve the damage tolerance and electrical conductivity of resins. The aim is to replace conventional macro fillers with nanoparticles and reach better performance levels with fewer chemicals, thereby complying with environmental concerns. The NANO IN eco-resins are novel and innovative products with superior mechanical, electrical and multifunctional properties. Immediate applications can be found in sporting goods, such as those produced by the Ecomoana eco-friendly Surfboard Company, and wind energy. Booth T1

Dynabrade – downdraft sanding table (Luxembourg). In answer to growing awareness of the dangers of airborne dust in the work environment, Dynabrade has introduced a line of dust extraction tables, also known as downdraft tables. The latest model (64202 downdraft table), which was released in January 2008 throughout Europe is the smallest of its family, with a working area of 84 cm by 104 cm. The table is equipped with casters, an anti-slip Rhino Linings® coated tabletop, and can hold up to 500 kg of weight. The biggest benefit of the downdraft table compared to a normal workbench is the immediate vacuum suction (19000 CFM) of airborne dust and contaminants by the integrated direct driven centrifugal fan. The fan has double inlets and its wheel and housing are made of galvanised steel to prevent corrosion. Booth P67

Grignart – new aqueous release agent for filament winding. The Mandrel Magic aqueous release agent from Grignart is specifically formulated for filament winding applications. Mandrel Magic delivers advantages of a non-toxic, non-flammable, water-based formula safe for workers and the environment. This process solution protects worker safety and environmental compliance, while delivering higher performance. It uses proprietary aqueous polymer technology to provide a smooth, lubricious film that is highly effective even at extreme moulding temperatures on a wide range of thermoset resins, including polyester, gelcoats, DCPD, epoxy, and vinyl ester. Available as a gel or as a liquid spray, Mandrel Magic is easily applied to cold or hot mandrels by wiping or spraying. Booth B12

Nidaplast honeycombs – sandwich panels combining polypropylene honeycomb and stone (France) The combination of Nidaplast8 with heavier conventional materials such as minerals or metals offers cost-effective, innovative alternative solutions. While retaining the mineral aspect of the heavy materials, the sandwich panels resulting from this combination are lighter and more robust. They also offer good thermal insulation and soundproofing, not to mention resistance to impact and fatigue. These sandwich panels can be used to make decorative finishing, slabs, street furniture, facades, etc. when combined with marble or fibre-reinforced concrete. Nidaplast8 can also be combined with steel, painted or stainless steel skins to provide solutions that, in addition to being cost-effective, are no longer encumbered by the weight of steel. Booth Q36

Curv – high impact performance thermoset systems. Curv is a 100% polypropylene “composite” which exploits the outstanding mechanical properties of highly drawn polypropylene tapes in a matrix of the same material. In a patented process, high-modulus polypropylene tapes are compacted together to form a self-reinforced, thermoformable, 100% polypropylene sheet that retains a high proportion of the physical properties of the original tapes. Today, Curv is being used in a wide variety of commercial applications like suitcases, sport equipment, automotive parts (interior & exterior), anti-ballistic products, etc.

Diamoutils – one-pass pcd drilling and countersinking (France). The replacement of carbide-tipped tools by polycrystalline diamond (PCD) tools provides increased cutting depths and improved tool advance rates. These cutting tool materials make it possible to improve surface quality, thereby eliminating the need for subsequent machining operations. They allow the complete machining of the component in one step. A new tool design will be presented at the JEC Composite Show. Booth M71

Victrex – new carbon-fibre-reinforced peek compounds (Germany). Victrex is introducing the HMF grades 90HMF20 and 90HMF40, which are new carbon-fibre-reinforced compounds. Compared to existing carbon-fibre-reinforced high flow compounds, the new 90HMF products stand out with several key advantages including: more than 10-fold improvement in cyclic fatigue performance; improved melt flow and toughness compared to the 30% carbon-reinforced standard grade; about 50% higher strength, stiffness and toughness compared to the 30% carbon-reinforced standard grade; and easy process ability. These new high-performance products are targeted at applications that require improved strength and stiffness while retaining easy process ability compared to higher reinforced products of equivalent performance. Booth J9

IDI Composites – solar panels (United-Kingdom). IDI Composites International developed a new formulation specifically designed for solar panels: BMC 44-10-SP. This material is being utilized in an innovative design for integrated solar roofing tiles: Marley PowerTiles. The solar tiles system is an efficient, cost-effective way to convert residential or commercial tile roofing into an efficient solar power source. IDI’s thermoset moulding compound dramatically improves the strength and durability of key components in the Marley tile system. Booth V63

Alcan Composites – new glass-fibre reinforced foam (Switzerland). Airex PX is closed-cell glass-fibre reinforced urethane foam available in two different grades: PXc and PXw. Airex PXc is a foam formulated with evenly distributed continuous fibres, making the core ideal for highly-loaded sandwich applications. Airex PXw combines continuous glass fibres with woven reinforcements on both sheet faces, thus creating a sort of a sandwich laminate in itself. Airex PXw has outstanding flexural properties and is therefore ideally suited for stand-alone applications, for instance as replacement for plywood. Booth S23

Collano – adhesives for multilayer structures (Switzerland) Collano AG is a competence centre for industrial applications in the field of thermoplastic adhesive films. Multilayered adhesive structures are ideal for bonding dissimilar materials such as metals and plastics, avoiding migration of low molecular species by integrating barrier layers, creating high-melting middle layers to limit the penetration of low-viscosity adhesives into porous substrates or textiles and providing the option of separating a high-temperature processing step from a low-temperature one in order to protect delicate substrates. Booth N 71

Basaltex – basalt twill fabrics (Belguim). The basalt twill weave roving developed by Basaltex gives the fabric the right stability and impregnation properties for all types of composite applications. The products are manufactured in a 127 cm wide format. These basalt rovings have very good wetting properties with epoxy, phenolic and polyester resins. Their mechanical properties, far superior to E-glass, could make them a good alternative to S-glass. These basalt twill fabrics are available in 630 g/m² (BAS 630) and 940 g/m² (BAS 940) grades. Booth U38

BYK-Chemie gmbh – polymeric coupling agent (Germany). BYK-C 8000 is a polymeric coupling agent designed to improve the mechanical strength of filled radical curing systems. It enhances properties like flexural and tensile strength, compressive strength, abrasion resistance and impact strength. Due to its unique structure and its liquid form, it can be added to the polymer prior curing. Flexural strength can be improved by up to 50% by using only 0.2% BYK®-C 8000 (based on filler) in a typical polymer concrete formulation. This way, the thickness of final parts such as pipes, sinks or drainage systems can be reduced while maintaining all other properties, which has its economic advantages. Booth G17

Cimtec Holding – innovative pipe and high-pressure vessel production (Italy). Cimtec Holding has developed a “lamellar” continuous filament winding line, an innovative plant for the production of GRP/GRE pipes with 100-600 mm nominal diameters. This machine is the only one of its kind and offers a number of advantages: no steel band, high productivity, compact size, faster diameter changes, less manpower & maintenance, use of UV-curable & dual-curable resins, UV curing, and on-line cure monitoring by ultrasound. Moreover, the company’s steel band continuous filament winding line also benefits from several improvements: induction system to heat up the steel band, premixing of sand & resin, additional heat detectors, subdivision of the IR oven, resin heat exchanger, pipe thickness monitor and fast mandrel diameter change. Booth U29

Despatch Industries – R&D scale oxidation oven (United-States). Despatch is now introducing a R&D-scale oxidation oven that will enable customers to optimize their processes and evaluate the centre-to-end airflow technology. The R&D-scale oxidation oven will produce results that are similar to larger, full-scale production ovens. Despatch manufactures multiple-size production ovens, including the CTE 3500 which is designed to produce 2,700 tons of carbon fibre annually. Customer testing has shown that the centre-to-end airflow technology can produce more than 20% higher density gain than cross-flow ovens. Booth E24

Eastman – Enhanced system offers real-time network diagnosis (United-States). Eastman’s Eagle S3 provides superior cutting performance and increased throughput, capable of marking, cutting, drilling and punching virtually any flexible material. Enhanced with a network-based motion control system, the Eagle S3 incorporates a real-time digital network and machine intelligence for additional diagnostic, performance and reliability benefits. The machine is capable of monitoring itself, as well as reporting status alerts before operational faults or errors can occur. Communicating over a single network ring allows the machine to run even if a network cable break occurs. Previous Eagle machines were analogue systems that required a large amount of cabling. SynqNet offers the possibility of creating a motion network with centralized control and distributed hardware, making it possible to place discrete I/O modules in more convenient locations for shorter cable runs. As a result, the total length of cable used can be reduced by 80%. Booth T9

Econcore – New half-closed honeycomb core from PP, PET, PC and PA (Belguim). EconCore presents a new half-closed thermoplastic honeycomb core based on EconCore’s patented ThermHex technology. It was especially developed to provide the composite industry with a thermoplastic honeycomb core of outstanding cost efficiency. The half-open cells make it possible to create node bonds between the cell walls for maximum shear performance, and its continuous production is a cost advantage. The EconCore technologies, TorHex (paper honeycomb), ThermHex (thermoplastic honeycomb) and the new half-closed honeycomb core enable an in-line production of lightweight, cost-efficient honeycomb sandwich panels. For specific material combinations and large volume applications, EconCore offers licenses and engineering to integrate these technologies into in-line panel production lines. Booth N1

SAHM – new generation of carbon fibre and pan precursor winders (Germany). From cars and aerospace to sporting goods, laptop computers and musical instruments, carbon fibres are an important component in many articles of daily use. For the efficient winding of these high-strength yarns, SAHM has introduced the new SAHM 800 series of winders for carbon fibres and PAN precursor. All the winders are equipped with a central process control and a programmable electronic wind ratio function. They can be programmed by parameters stored in the central process control unit. With these electronically programmable functions, customers can now make product changes without changing the mechanical components of the winder. Normal wear and tear components, spare parts, and maintenance times have been greatly reduced. Booth J63

Gerber – Improving composite material utilization (France). Gerber provides automated cutting solutions for advanced composite processes (prepreg & wet lay-up, vacuum bagging, open mould/ closed mould) and for fibreglass-reinforced composite applications where the process is either SCRIMP, RTM or SMC. All Gerber Technology systems utilize vacuum tables to ensure that materials are held securely in place for accurate, repeatable plotting and cutting. The systems are developed and engineered to reach the highest degree of material utilization, accuracy and productivity. Conveyorized cutting solutions, such as the innovative GTxL with drag blade, will be highlighted at Gerber’s stand at the JEC Show 2008. Booth M30

GlasCraft – Accurate control of fibre-to-resin ratio in open-mould production (United-States). GlasCraft has designed a PLC system that precisely controls the glass fibre-to-resin ratio during open-mould production processes. This system can be retrofitted to existing GlasCraft manufacturing equipment. The key benefits of the Smart Chopper are: a lower operational cost by reducing waste of expensive glass fibre & resin materials, a flexibility to precisely control the glass fibre ratio for each part on a production line, a consistent and repeatable physical properties for all components produced, an accurate forecasting for material usage based on production schedule and the ability to track & report production and consumption. Booth M29

Weight reduction though stiffness improvement in thin FRPs (Germany). Dr. Mirtsch GmbH and InnoMat GmbH have developed a new innovative solution for FRPs called the Vault-Structuring process. Vault-Structuring of thin sheet-like materials generates 3D-hexagonal structures that result in improved stiffness. This allows a further reduction in the material thickness and hence weight and costs. Vault-Structuring is applicable to thin deformable plastic materials, and fibre-reinforced plastic sheets (prepregs) and laminates. Both thermosets and thermoplastics are suitable as polymer matrix material. All types of fibres and fabrics can be used for composite reinforcement. InnoMat’s macro-structured sheets can be used for interior trim, air ducts and other applications where structural stiffness and low weight are required. Booth F55

Institute of Plastics Processing – gap impregnation process. The Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) will exhibit integrally-manufactured foamed SMC with solid face sheets, in-situ polymerised RTM products with thermoplastic matrix (Cyclics, CBT), and hollow structures made of continuous reinforced thermoplastics. Another highlight will be a live demonstration of a new liquid composite moulding (LCM) process called “”gap impregnation””, which has been developed at IKV. Gap impregnation facilitates a very fast impregnation by using special moulds with an adaptive cavity. Another innovation presented at the ACEs booth will be the first application of the ITA one-side-stitching head on a curved structure. It is used for joining curved stringers and curved shell structures. Booth Q76

Magnabosco Autoclaves – carbon-fibre autoclaves (Italy). The autoclaves can be heated by steam, diathermic oil, electric power, microwaves or by a new system called n.e.s. (night energy saving), which exploits night energy and reduces power consumption by 75%. For energy saving, all autoclaves have a very thin internal and external insulation system designed to allow for fast heating and cooling. Magnabosco autoclaves took particular care in manufacturing the truck holding the materials, so that the vacuum tests can be performed while the truck is out of the autoclave. This makes it possible to detect any possible loss before introducing the materials into the autoclave, so that the operators do not need to enter the machine and the materials are not damaged. Booth S5

Mozart – tungsten carbide blades (Germany). MOZART, a German manufacturer of staple fibre, glass fibre and industrial blades, has now completed their product line by integrating a complete range of tungsten carbide blades. The range includes all standard blade shapes for the staple fibre industry, as well as custom-made shapes for special applications. MOZART also provides blades for the film and foil industry, ranging from 0.10 mm to 0.40 mm thick. Together with the proven performers made from carbon and stainless steel (also available with high-performance coatings), MOZART now offers a full blade line for quality-conscious customers. Booth N47

Norplex Micarta – new phenolic thermosets. NP193PM is a high-performance thermoset composite material that provides excellent dimensional stability in compressor vane applications. Such stability prevents the pump blades from warping, and subsequently causing the pump to malfunction or disrupt the vacuum seal. The phenolic resin is combined with an additive that works as a lubricant. Norplex-Micarta manufactures it from a woven aramid fibreglass fabric combined with a proprietary phenolic compound. Booth V63

Axel Plastics – water-based releases (United-States). Axel Plastics Research Laboratories introduces its new water-based Xtend release system specially suited to wind blade production. The new system comprises a water-based mould sealer, WS-47, and a mat finish mould release W-7838D. The new water-based release system is designed to provide a mat surface on finished parts and meet the health and safety requirements of the EU, while remaining tough enough to withstand the rigours of the epoxy infusion process. Both XTEND WS-47 mould sealer and XTEND W-7838D mould release are recommended for spray application on either ambient or heated tools. The non-flammable, odour-free products are quick drying and curing, and will provide multiple releases of epoxy or polyester parts. Booth H50

Dassault Systemes – from simple black metal to optimum use of composites (France). Pursuing its PLM composites strategy, Dassault Systèmes will be presenting a complete set of process-oriented solutions at JEC 2008, which are used to design, simulate, and manufacture composite parts on a single V5 virtual platform. Booth P56

Solperse – Solplus d550 for cobalt-cured unsaturated polyester resins. Dispersing agents are often used in filled unsaturated polyester resins to improve the dispersion of various inorganic pigments and fillers. The additive can ‘wet out’ the filler, lowering viscosity and therefore opening up various options for the manufacturer. Due to the chemical nature of some additives, the better-performing dispersants often have a high impact on the cure schedule when used in ambient-cured polyester resins. Solplus D550 is a novel dispersant designed to improved the wetting/dispersion of inorganic materials such as CaCO3, ATH & TiO2 in ambient-cured unsaturated polyester. This dispersant differentiates itself from other additives by its vastly improved particle wetting, with minimal effect on the curing mechanism.

Spheretex – laminatable core materials (Germany). Spheretex (Germany) is a leading manufacturer of laminatable core materials. Its basic materials are combinations of reinforcing fibres with thermoplastic microballoons. These kinds of materials can be used in open and closed moulding (VIP, RTM) systems. All Spheretex qualities are covered with outer skins of high-modulus fibres to produce sandwich constructions with high physical properties and low specific gravity. Many material combinations are possible and can be produced as multilayer complexes in order to reduce handling and labour costs. New types of Spheretex IP materials (injection, infusion process) are now available. These materials are multilayer complexes that combine the advantages of the Spheretex qualities with excellent flow properties through the addition of a special flow media. Spheretex has also developed special grades to improve surface performance ( Booth S49

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