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Composites Industry News

News for July 2001


Sandwich Structures For Space Systems

19th July 2001 0 comments

An intensive one day seminar on “Sandwich Structures For Space Systems” will be held on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 at the Aerospace Corporation, 2350 E. El Segundo Boulevard, El Segundo, CA (near LAX). The seminar has been organized by The Los Angeles Chapter of SAMPE and The Aerospace Corporation in collaboration with NASA and the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The focus of the seminar is new technology in sandwich structures and failure prevention for space systems sandwich structures by sharing of lessons learned in recent programs. Several materials suppliers are Associate Sponsors for the seminar. Table-top displays will feature recent developments in sandwich structure technology. Recently, a wide variety of new sandwich structure materials have been developed and commercialized. The seminar will present descriptions and properties of these materials and address their efficacy for use in various applications. Also, and very importantly, the seminar will discuss design, manufacture, nondestructive testing and application of sandwich structures with an emphasis on experience sharing/lessons learned to prevent failures in sandwich structures during fabrication, testing and deployment. Of special interest will be the lessons learned from the NASA X-33 sandwich structure tank failures presented by key representatives from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. In addition, a recently developed special nondestructive inspection technique will be demonstrated by The Aerospace Corporation personnel. For further information on this meeting please contact Mr. Jerry Bauer of The Aerospace Corporation

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Thermo Fibertek Changes Name to Kadant

19th July 2001 0 comments

Thermo Fibertek Inc. has officially changed its corporate name to Kadant Inc. Kadant Inc. is a supplier of a range of products and systems for the global papermaking and paper-recycling industries, including de-inking systems, stock-preparation equipment, water-management systems, and papermaking accessories. Through its majority-owned Thermo Fibergen subsidiary, the company also develops and commercializes composite building materials produced from natural fiber and recycled plastic. Kadant is a public subsidiary of Thermo Electron Corporation.

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K2 Inc. Elects Dan Quayle to Board

19th July 2001 0 comments

Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States, has been elected to fill a vacancy on the board of directors of K2 Inc. Commenting on the appointment, Richard J. Heckmann, chairman of the board of directors of K2 Inc., said, “”I have known Dan Quayle for years and have great respect for his insights in business. We will benefit from his knowledge of the international landscape, particularly of the Asia Pacific region. Dan will be invaluable in helping K2 as the company continues to explore new and promising markets worldwide.”” During his tenure as Vice President of the United States, Quayle traveled extensively throughout the world, served as the Chairman of the National Space Council, and headed the Council of Competitiveness, which worked to ensure U.S. international competitiveness into the 21st century. K2 Inc. is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of brand- name sporting goods, recreational and industrial products. The company’s sporting goods and recreational products include well-known names such as K2 and Olin alpine skis; K2, Ride and Morrow snowboards, boots and bindings; K2 in-line skates; Stearns sports equipment; Shakespeare fishing tackle; K2 bikes; and Dana Design backpacks. K2’s other recreational products include Planet Earth apparel, Adio skateboard shoes and Hilton corporate casuals. K2’s industrial products include Shakespeare extruded monofilaments, marine antennas and composite light poles.

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Canadian universities to receive $14.6 million for new research infrastructure

19th July 2001 0 comments

Dr. David Strangway, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), announced an investment of $14.6 million to support the development of advanced research facilities at 29 Canadian universities. The Honourable John Manley, Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in the announcement which took place at the University of Ottawa. Under the New Opportunities Fund, the CFI Board of Directors approved an investment of $12.2 million to support 68 infrastructure projects at 23 universities. The projects will enable 92 new researchers at Canadian universities to have access to a wide range of advanced equipment and installations including $ 75,383 for X-ray equipment at the University of Prince Edward Island to develop polymer-graphite Nanocomposites for use in lithium rechargeable batteries.

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On the Road to Becoming the First Environmentally Friendly Sport-Utility

19th July 2001 0 comments

Hyundai America Technical Center, along with its partner Quantum Technologies Worldwide, Inc. are bringing the future a little closer with major advancements in the world of fuel cells and cutting edge technology that could power the cars of tomorrow. They are doing this by filling the hydrogen storage tank of a fuel cell powered Hyundai Santa Fe to store the clean hydrogen fuel at the never before reached level of 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Until now, no automobile manufacturer has been able to fill a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle tank to more than 3,600-psi. The fuel system developed for the Santa Fe meets the challenging packaging requirements for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. While increasing the travel distance with more hydrogen in the same space, the vehicle maintains maximum safety conditions and allows for minimal intrusion into the cargo and passenger areas of the Santa Fe. The hydrogen tank is tucked up, out of the way so the Santa Fe maintains its 8.1 inches of ground clearance. The tanks are uniquely designed and manufactured with a one-piece permeation resistant seamless liner, a carbon composite over-wrap for strength, and a tough impact-resistant shell. This lightweight, rigid design allows for improved range and safety of hydrogen.

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Avcorp Announces Additional Boeing Contract Extensions

19th July 2001 0 comments

Avcorp Industries Inc. has signed additional contract extensions with Boeing Canada Technology, Winnipeg Division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Production will continue over the next five years for Next-Generation 737 wheel well fairings, 767 aft strut fairings and 777 blocker door retainers at the Company’s Aerostructures Division. At the Integrated Products Division, sheet metal details for the 747-400 and Next-Generation 737 will also continue for 5 years. These extensions are in addition to those previously announced between Avcorp and other Boeing divisions. Avcorp Industries Inc. is a Canadian aerospace industry manufacturer. The Company is a single-source supplier for the design, machining, fabrication and assembly of metal, composite and plastic components for global aerospace markets and comprises two divisions: Aerostructures Division in British Columbia and the Integrated Products Division in Quebec.

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Concorde Completes Supersonic Test

19th July 2001 0 comments

The Concorde took a big step closer to resuming service Tuesday after British Airways completed its first supersonic test flight of the aircraft since last year’s Air France crash near Paris grounded the fleet. A Concorde, with modifications made since the crash, flew a loop over the North Atlantic that duplicated operating conditions of the jet’s London-New York route, reaching a top speed of 1,350 mph — around twice the speed of sound — and climbing to 60,000 feet. “After many hours of work by our engineering team, it’s good to have the aircraft flying again,” BA chief executive Rod Eddington said after the plane landed safely at a Royal Air Force base in Oxfordshire, England. “This is an important day for everyone at British Airways and we look forward to carrying customers again soon.” The British carrier says it hopes to fly its Concordes commercially again by late summer. The supersonic fleets of British Airways and Air France were grounded after an Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris on July 25, killing 113 people. Authorities believe a stray metal strip on the runway ripped one of the jet’s tires, and rubber debris smashed into the fuel tanks, causing a leak and fire that brought the plane down. British Airways has since strengthened the wiring in the undercarriages of its seven Concordes, lined the fuel tanks with Kevlar and made other changes meant to prevent fuel leaks. The French tire maker, Michelin, has also developed a new extra-resistant tire to prevent punctures. “It was absolutely fantastic. The aircraft performed brilliantly and it was a tribute to all who have worked on it at British Airways,” Bannister said as he climbed down the plane’s steps into driving rain. “We are trying to look forward and take Concorde back where she belongs — at 60,000 feet up,” he said, adding that BA would stage another test flight as modification work continues. Air France, which operates five of the planes, said on Monday that it is too early to predict when its commercial service might resume, but it has suggested it hopes to fly again by autumn.

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Pallet Production Will Utilize Breakthrough Thermoplastic Flow Forming

19th July 2001 0 comments

Envirokare Tech Inc. has completed the production mold for its general-duty 48-by-40-inch rackable and fire- resistant pallet. The pallet is made through a unique manufacturing process, called Thermoplastic Flow Forming, or TPF, which allows for 80 percent of the material to be recycled thermoplastics. Envirokare is completing development of this pallet, among other products, through a licensing agreement with Thermoplastic Composite Designs Inc., the developer of the TPF process. Envirokare will now utilize a production run of pallets that will be sent to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) Sardo Pallet and Container Laboratory for testing and certification. Further testing will also be performed to meet the UL 2335 certification requirements under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards 231 and 231c. During the previous stage of testing at VPI, in late 2000, the pallets were subjected to a wide range of tests to determine “”strength”” and “”stiffness.”” In the strength (or ultimate bending) tests, pallets are placed in an unsupported racked position with a 44-inch span between bearing points. The pallets are then subjected to an increase in load until the pallets reach the point at which they can no longer support the load weight. In these tests, the Envirokare pallets exceeded the testing equipment’s 10,000-pound load capacity. In-house testing conducted by Envirokare and Thermoplastic Composite Designs demonstrated results similar to the VPI tests. In one test, a pallet was racked in an unsupported position with a 3,000-pound load for 115 days. The pallet experienced deflection of 0.5625 inches over a 30-day period, which is within the allowable deflection standards as established by the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM, under Standard Test Methods for Pallets and Related Structures Employed in Materials Handling and Shipping, standard D1185-98A. Based on these test results, Envirokare conducted a finite element analysis of the pallet design to further reduce the weight of the pallet, also allowing for additional reductions in the cost of the pallet. The finite element analysis also provided the design team valuable information in reducing areas of stress within the pallet as well as visually enhancing the pallet for market. Envirokare President Steve Pappas said, “”After seven months of additional testing and design modifications, we are confident we have a superior pallet in performance and price to make a significant impact on the material-handling industry.””

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Vitro to cut workforce

19th July 2001 0 comments

Mexico’s Grupo Vitro has restructured its top executive line-up and also plans to reduce its workforce by 20%. These measures are the first in a series of decisions to be taken over the coming weeks aimed at improving the company’s administrative performance. Vitro is a diversified glass group which operates subsidiaries such as Acros Whirlpool and Crisa and supplies industries such as the car, construction, glass-fibre and white goods sectors.

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Composites-Consulting Receives AFRL Study Contract

19th July 2001 0 comments

The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a new study contract to Composites-Consulting, Inc. The contract is for investigation and analysis of factors associated with prime contractors’ design and use of advanced composites. Investigations will cover design and analysis tools, rules, methods, and procedures that affect structural design margins and weight. Examination of these factors also will consider effects on cost of qualifying and using composite materials. The study will address potential for and benefits of improving tools and methods. Composites-Consulting, Inc. is a new firm. The firm’s mission is to assist companies and organizations improve success with composites. The firm offers a wide range of business and technology expertise.

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