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Composites Industry News

News for 2001


Quicker Mixer

4th January 2001 0 comments

Australian scientists have produced a mixer that is five times more energy efficient than traditional industrial mixing for everything from explosives to cosmetics. The now patented CSIRO Rotated Arc Mixer (RAM) mixer can also mix thick fluids better than any other mixer. Inventors Guy Metcalfe and Murray Rudman of CSIRO Thermal & Fluids Engineering say, “The RAM overcomes many mixing problems. For example, static mixers used in cosmetics manufacture, have baffles, plates and constrictions that result in regions that clog and cause material build-up.”

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Seminar: Novel Applications of Composites in Construction

4th January 2001 0 comments

28th February 2001, BRE, Watford, UKThis one-day seminar will focus on technology transfer from other industries in order to promote novel applications in the construction industry. Presentations will highlight potential areas of technology transfer, so far unexplored, and provide information from key players in the aerospace, automotive, wind turbine, marine, offshore and telecommunications industries. The seminar will open with a keynote presentation from David Kendall of CETEC Consultancy Ltd. Network Group for Composites in Construction (NGCC). Visit the NGCC web-site at http://www.ngcc.org.uk for full seminar outline and information about the NGCC.

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Featherlite Unveils New Composite Luxury Coach

12th January 2001 0 comments

Culminating two years in development, a new, state-of-the-art luxury motorcoach has been launched by Featherlite Luxury Coaches of Sanford, Fla. “The 6000LX is the industry’s first composite luxury motor coach,” said Featherlite President and CEO Conrad Clement. “The exterior is aerodynamically designed and is constructed of composite panels similar to those used in manufacturing some of the finest yachts in the world.” The composite fiberglass, balsa and NitaCore panels provide strength and reduce weight. Clement said the results were dramatic. “During development, our test drivers commented that the 6000LX’s composite construction and new patent-pending sway bar system provided a lower center of gravity which resulted in exceptional handling, even in strong cross winds,” he said. “Several customers who have tried the 6000LX report that it drives better than any coach or bus they have ever driven.”

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Chrysler Crossfire

12th January 2001 0 comments

The Chrysler Crossfire concept car features a sophisticated design blending traditional European proportions and handling characteristics with the power and personality of an American performance car. Built as a one-piece carbon fiber body webbed to aluminum frame, the Crossfire’s design seems to be more architectural than traditionally automotive. Similar to the Chrysler Atlantic concept car shown first in 1995, a center peak line, or “spine,” runs the length of the car and works with the dynamic character lines to give the Chrysler Crossfire its chiseled appearance.

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Andrew Wins NEC Argentina Contract with TGS

12th January 2001 0 comments

Andrew Corporation and its distributor Multiradio S.A. have secured a $2 million dollar contract with NEC Argentina. The contract is for the supply of 82 SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) backbone links to be used in the construction of the Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. SDH microwave network. The new network will provide capacity for telecommunication services across half of Argentina, from Tierra del Fuego to Buenos Aires. Transportadora de Gas del Sur is a new player in Argentina’s recently deregulated telecommunications market.. All the Andrew TMW antennas have custom-molded fiberglass radomes for protection against the dverse affects of bad weather.

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Jeep Design Incorporates Cutting-Edge Plastic Technology

12th January 2001 0 comments

The back-to-basics, composite-bodied Jeep(R) Willys concept vehicle pays homage to Jeep vehicles of the past while showcasing the design and technology of the 21st century. “We designed this concept vehicle with the self-expressive, free-thinker in mind,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President – Design, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. “The Jeep Willys’ usefulness and versatility were developd to exist in ecological harmony with nature while being perfectly suited for the rigors of an active lifestyle. Call it the pure American.” The Willys, unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, features plastic body-technology, allowing for a radical approach to Jeep design while remaining true to the brand’s legendary capability. Shown in several concept vehicles designed by the Chrysler Group, injection-molded plastic bodies save up to 50 percent in weight and manufacturing costs and are nearly 100 percent recyclable. The molded-in-color plastic allows designers to create shapes not permitted with stamped metal, such as the crisp, rigid lines that give the Willys its high-tech, machined appearance. The Jeep Willys’ lightweight aluminum frame-web is similar to technologies found in today’s top performance sports and military equipment. While its battle-proven, World War II ancestor was made of sheet metal, this concept was built in carbon fiber to simulate the weight savings that could be achieved with injection-molded plastics. Frame-web technology molds the one-piece carbon fiber body to an aluminum frame, giving the Jeep Willys industry- leading rigidity.

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First Saudi Arabian Enterprises Set up in China

12th January 2001 0 comments

The first Saudi Arab-funded enterprise was set up recently in Pulandian Economic Development Zone in Dalian, China. Dalian Pushengqunxian Industrial Co Ltd and Saudi Arabian Amet Group jointly, pooled US$ 35.8 to invest the world’s most advanced technology and equipments from US and Sweden to produce glass steel tubes and non-alkaline glass fiber. The project is expected to be finished next June and its annual sales income will be over 250 million RMB yuan.

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Pickup Boxes Drive Thermoset Composites Through 2004

12th January 2001 0 comments

Automakers will use 350 million pounds of reinforced thermoset composites in 2001 and 467 million by 2004 — a 34 percent increase in four years — according to the Automotive Composites Alliance (ACA), an industry association of 25 molders, raw materials’ suppliers and toolmakers.” The use of reinforced thermoset composites by automakers has nearly doubled in the last decade, largely because composites have increasingly been chosen by automakers to replace steel for body panels and structural components,” says Mike Dorney, ACA chairman and vice president of sales and marketing for The Budd Company Plastics Division in Troy, Mich. “Consumer demand for more customized, durable, and fuel-efficient vehicles is driving the growth of composites,” says Dorney. “More, now than ever, automakers are looking for ways to beat competitors by adding value-enhancers for consumers, such as cost savings, fuel efficiency and dent- and corrosion- resistance. This also includes creating a car or truck that is visually appealing, yet meets their need for practicality.” One of the largest areas for growth is in pickup box applications such as the 2001 Chevrolet 1500 Series Silverado 4×4 Extended Cab and the 2000 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, which combines the utility of a truck and the interior comfort of an SUV. New-for-2001 components include:2001 Chevrolet 1500 series 4WD Extended Cab Silverado — The reinforced reaction injection molded (RRIM) box outer uses an RRIM material that is considerably different that the RRIM material used in the 1980s. The older RRIM formulations were unable to withstand the heat of the ELPO ovens. Dow Automotive has now formulated a resin used in the new RRIM material that is ELPO compatible. The structural reinforced reaction injection molded (SRIM) box inner on the 2001 Chevrolet 1500 Series Silverado demonstrates the composites’ excellent durability. The tailgate inner on the 2001 Chevrolet 1500 Series Silverado uses an SMC/SRIM hybrid assembly. Supplier: Cambridge Industries Inc.2001 Ford Ranger XLT and 4×4 — The new Ranger XLT has a hood tonneau cover and front-end assembly made from sheet molding composite (SMC). The move to composites allows Ford engineers to make styling changes efficiently and affordably. Supplier: The Budd Company Plastics Division2001 Chevrolet C/K Truck Rear Wheel — The new RRIM box outer is the largest automotive RRIM part ever produced (8 ft. long). Supplier: The Budd Company Plastics Division2001 Pontiac Aztek — The headlamp carrier on the Aztek is made from SMC. The SMC molding process allows for what would be several stamped steel components to be consolidated into one or few composite parts, reducing complexity and weight. Supplier: Meridian Automotive Systems2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac — The new Sport Trac features the industry’s first SMC cargo area with an integrated liner and side panels — again replacing what would have historically been a large, steel structure with a dent and corrosion-resistant cargo area. The Sport Trac is 30% lighter than a comparable sheet metal assembly and provides engineers the ability to create styling changes quickly and affordably. Optional factory-installed options, such as the SMC tonneau cover can be added. No bed liner is needed on the Sport Trac, which saves 25 lbs. Supplier: The Budd Company Plastics Division2001 Chevrolet Corvette — With a front floorboard made of natural balsa wood sandwiched between SMC panels, the Corvette is stiffer and lighter than a comparable steel assembly. It weighs 11 lbs., is 15 mm thick, and helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) from the engine. 2001 Yukon Denali & 830 Suburban — The new Yukon and Suburban have composite steps, or running boards, that are lightweight, corrosion-resistant and allow engineers to limit the number of parts needed to make the component, reducing complexity. Supplier: Meridian Automotive Systems2001 Chevrolet Avalanche Ultimate Utility Vehicle — The new Avalanche combines SMC and SRIM for the midgate and tailgate inner panels of the 2001 Avalanche, to offer the best in pickup and SUV amenities: dent- and corrosion-resistance and durability. Supplier: Meridian Automotive Systems2001 Renault Espace — Reinforced thermoset body panels on the Espace are up to 30% lighter weight than comparable steel panels and help reduce overall program cost. Supplier: Venture Industries

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Owens Corning Adds Reverse Auction Platform for Procurement

12th January 2001 0 comments

BayBuilder, a leading Internet procurement price negotiation tool provider, announced that Owens Corning, a world leader in building materials and composites systems, has added the BayBuilder Reverse Auction for Procurement(TM) Platform to create global economies of scale and supply chain efficiencies with its suppliers and trading partners via the Internet. Owens Corning will use the BayBuilder Reverse Auction for Procurement solution to manage a substantial portion of its worldwide purchases from thousands of suppliers. BayBuilder’s service will enable Owens Corning to expand the use of reverse auction technology to the desktop platform resulting in time and cost savings -with a fast return on investment. With sales of $5 billion and over 20,000 employees worldwide, Owens Corning is the leading provider of products, systems and services that create solutions for the building materials and composite markets. This agreement with BayBuilder furthers Owens Corning’s position as an E-Commerce innovator in the building materials industry and demonstrates BayBuilder’s continued customer growth with Fortune 500 companies. “Owens Corning is an early adopter of on-line procurment. We have had much success in on-line bidding in 1999 and 2000, and are very exited to expand our e-commerce tool portfolio to include BayBuilder in 2001. As our chosen desktop solution, BayBuilder reverse auction technology will be available to OC buyers to convert routine requests for quote into a functional online bidding events very quickly and easily,” said Chuck Dana – Vice President, Owens Corning Global Supply Chain Solutions. “BayBuilder’s flexible and scalable solution has proven its effectiveness even on small spends, with total event turnaround cut to days rather than weeks. Its friendliness to buyers and sellers has made it a popular, approachable way to conduct business. Our BayBuilder-driven procurement technology will allow Owens Corning and our network of suppliers to positively impact transactional costs and fulfill our mutual objectives.” BayBuilder President and CEO Abu Rahman said, “The addition of BayBuilder to Owens Corning’s e-commerce portfolio will allow OC to quickly expand the influence of reverse auction technology to the local level. Owens Corning’s purchasing professionals will increase the benefits of integrated reverse auctions byexpanding the reach and effectiveness of the organization’s next-generation purchasing initiatives.”

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Adam Aircraft Announces Price for M-309 Composite Aircraft

12th January 2001 0 comments

Adam Aircraft kicked off the year 2001 by announcing that it will offer the first 20 production M-309 twin- engine aircraft at an introductory price of $695,000. The M-309’s price includes a full glass panel of avionics with instrument flight capability and plush interior seating for six in a pressurized cabin. “This is a major milestone for us,” said John C. Knudsen, president of Adam Aircraft. “Invariably, when someone is interested in the Adam M-309, the first question they ask is ‘What’s the price?’ Now we have a solid price to offer that is extremely competitive with anything that could be considered our competition. We’re very exited to be able to offer such an attractive price. Most people thought it would be much higher.” The centerline-thrust, “push-pull” configuration with Teledyne Continental TSIO 550 engines in the nose and tail of the Adam M-309 is engineered with the latest advancements in safety, aerodynamics and performance. Although the in-line design is not entirely new, engineering convention considers this a safer aircraft to fly because the failure of one engine has very little effect on aircraft performance compared to an engine failure on a conventional twin- engine plane. The advanced, single-cure carbon composite technology incorporated into the Adam M-309 affords a sleek, efficient design, creating a superior performing aerodynamic surface. Along with being corrosion free, composite materials used for the Adam M-309 also result in a larger inside cabin size with the same outside mold line.

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