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Composites Industry News

News for 16 October 2007


Bond-Laminates Continues to Expand Tepex Capacity

16th October 2007 0 comments

Bond-Laminates is currently planning an additional Tepex production line to manufacture its thermoplastic fibre composites at its existing production site in Brilon, Germany. For the second time in two2 years, Bond-Laminates is significantly extending the production capacity for Tepex. The companies company’s first production facility was commissioned in 2003, with a rated capacity of 400 tons. An additional production line with an annual capacity of 800 tons was commissioned in April this year. By the time the third line (800 tons) is added, Bond-Laminates will have increased its production capacity five-fold within a period of just five years. This rapid increase in production output has been driven by growing demand for the tailor-made advanced thermoplastic composite material Tepex. The rise in demand is also generated as a result of its increased international promotion and global positioning. The company, based in Brilon, Germany, has succeeded in considerably expanding its business worldwide. Its traditional core markets have been in Western Europe. During the past two years it has additionally been enjoying increasing success with Tepex in the USA and in Southeast Asia.

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ExxonMobil Chemical to Supply Compounded Polyolefin Products

16th October 2007 0 comments

ExxonMobil Chemical Company has formed a new specialty compounds and composites business to focus on the development, production and marketing of engineered polyolefin compounds. “The creation of the new business is a significant step in ExxonMobil Chemical’s global specialty products strategy and reflects its commitment to provide high performance and cost-effective polyolefinic solutions,” said Jim McKinley, global specialty compounding manager, ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “A global team of application and development experts has been established to work with industry leaders to introduce products more quickly and effectively into new and existing applications.” The business portfolio includes a new line of ExxonMobil Performance Polyolefins for automotive applications. Products range from soft and flexible compounds to reinforced composites, made possible by ExxonMobil’s wide range of polypropylene, polyethylene, and elastomer base polymers. “ExxonMobil Chemical is committed to ongoing investment in technology and leading-edge compounding facilities,” McKinley said. “We are excited about this opportunity to better serve our customers in established and high growth markets, such as India and China, with a unique portfolio of engineered thermoplastic products.”

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Mine Safety Appliances & Surface Generation Collaborate

16th October 2007 0 comments

Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA) and Surface Generation have successfully used reconfigurable pin tooling technology to develop advanced composite ballistic amour for the global security industry.

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Composites One Presents Advanced Closed Mould Techniques at Composites & Polycon 2007

16th October 2007 0 comments

Manufacturers thinking about converting to closed mould production will be able to see the benefits of those processes at educational sessions presented by Composites One at Composites & Polycon 2007, October 17-18 at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Led by industry experts, the sessions will provide insights into advanced techniques of three closed mould technologies – Light Resin Transfer Moulding (Light RTM), the Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) and Closed Cavity Bag Moulding (CCBM). Attendees will learn how to set up their own closed mould shop and build their own CCBM vacuum bag, become more familiar with LRTM troubleshooting and waxing techniques, understand the benefits of VIP laminate design and analysis software, and find out more about Composites One’s Kit Concepts Faro Technology. Throughout the event, industry experts will be on hand to answer attendees’ questions, explain aspects of each process, discuss equipment and materials, and display finished parts built through closed mould. Sessions will mainly be held in Composites One’s exhibit area in the outdoor Demo Zone. The advanced sessions at Composites & Polycon are the latest in Composites One’s ongoing series of educational programs focused on closed mould technologies. “These events mark an important next step in the advancement of closed mould,” said Marcy Offner, Composites One Marketing Manager. “We believe that tomorrow’s closed mould shop can utilize all three of these processes. It’s critical that our customers learn about various processes so they can make a seamless transition from research and development to actual in-shop production.” For more information about the demos, please visit Composites One Booths #309 and 417 at Composites & Polycon 2007.

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Green Educational Track at Composites & Polycon 2007

16th October 2007 0 comments

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) will include an environmentally friendly educational track at this year’s Composites & Polycon 2007 conference in Tampa. Composites & Polycon 2007 will offer over 100 educational sessions for registered attendees during its three-day run, each led by industry experts. New this year is the track entitled, “Going Green with Composites; A Sustainable Future,” sponsored by PPG Industries. he Green Track features a focus on the development and use of environmentally friendly products and processes within the composites industry and will be presented Thursday, October 18, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The “green” track will include three sessions on October 18th including: ▪ Composites & Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) presented by Paul Nutcher, Green Apple Group ▪ By-Product Synergy Opportunities for the Composites Industry presented by Mike Gromacki and Rick Pauer, Cook Composites & Polymers Co. ▪ The Acceptance of Renewable Material in New Product Manufacturing presented by Wolfgang Unger, FRP, Inc. “ACMA and its members recognize the growing importance of ensuring that composite products are manufactured and employed in ways that are environmentally friendly,” said ACMA President John Tickle. “All aspects of today’s manufacturing environment are coming under increased scrutiny by both government regulators and end users,” he explained. “For the composites industry, environmental friendliness extends from raw materials through production and products’ ability to be recycled,” Tickle said. “For these reasons, we felt it was imperative that we provide Composites & Polycon 2007 attendees with a track that focuses on these issues.”

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Polystrand Showcases New Applications and Video at Composites and Polycon 2007

16th October 2007 0 comments

Polystrand, Inc. will be an active participant next week at Composites and Polycon 2007 in Tampa, with a video showing the company’s facility and fabrication processes, plus a variety of new applications available for inspection and discussion The 10-minute presentation shows fabrication equipment in operation and includes commentary by the CEO of Gordon Composites, Inc., and the President and Product Manager of Polystrand. A variety of new applications will be available for inspection and discussion at the company’s exhibit, including blast-resistant panels for up-armoured tents and a high-strength foot brace for marine applications. Two entries in the Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) Showcase & Competition, the premier event to recognize technology achievement, salute excellence in composites manufacturing, and showcase advancements in product development, get much of their strength from Polystrand reinforcements. Foot Brace for Sail Boats: Installed on the deck in the helm area, this composite structure helps sailors retain their balance while steering a boat during heavy keeling. The product is a thermoformed composite of Polypropylene, PET foam and continuous Polystrand ThermoPro reinforcement. Ballistic Panels for Military Shelters: The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center, partnering with the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites (AEWC) Center at the University of Maine, has developed a Modular Ballistic Protection Shelter (MBPS) that provides soldiers with enhanced protection in their tents. MBPS features sandwich panels strengthened with Polystrand ThermoBallistic reinforcements

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Airbus Delivers First A380 to Singapore Airlines

16th October 2007 0 comments

Airbus has officially handed over the first A380 to Singapore Airlines in a ceremony held at its Delivery Centre Toulouse, France in the presence of over 500 guests. The aircraft was officially handed over to Chew Choon Seng, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Singapore Airlines by Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders in presence of Chief Executive Officer Rolls-Royce Sir John Rose. Singapore Airlines will be the first to fly the A380 on regular scheduled service. Singapore Airlines also used this opportunity to reveal their new, spacious and luxurious A380-cabin-interior, featuring 471 seats in three classes. “This delivery really marks the beginning of a new chapter for the aviation industry and we feel honoured to be the ones opening this new chapter”, said Chew Choon Seng, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines. “With the A380, but also with the new cabin we are offering, our customers will enjoy a completely new way of flying while benefiting from the quietest cabin in the sky. In every class we’ll provide more comfort and more space for relaxation. Our new Singapore Airlines Suites – a class beyond First – will redefine luxury air travel,” he added. “This is a landmark day for all those who worked so hard over the years to make it happen. It is also a tribute to all the engineers and workers who developed the A380, as well as all our customers who selected this magnificent and highly efficient jetliner. We appreciate the confidence they have shown in Airbus and for staying with us through troubled times”, said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. “This is all a testimony to their faith in the product and in Airbus. We are especially thankful and proud that an airline of the standing and reputation of Singapore Airlines is the first to operate this all new greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter 21st Century Flagship.”

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Boeing Reschedules Initial 787 Deliveries and First Flight

16th October 2007 0 comments

Boeing has announced a six-month delay in its planned initial deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner due to continued challenges completing assembly of the first airplanes. Deliveries of the strong-selling Dreamliner are now slated to begin in late November or December 2008, versus an original target of May 2008. First flight is now anticipated around the end of first quarter 2008. “”We are disappointed over the schedule changes that we are announcing today,”” said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. “”Notwithstanding the challenges that we are experiencing in bringing forward this game-changing product, we remain confident in the design of the 787, and in the fundamental innovation and technologies that underpin it.”” Early last month, Boeing announced a delay in the planned first flight of the 787 citing ongoing challenges with out-of-sequence production work, including parts shortages, and remaining software and systems integration activities. The company also acknowledged increasing risk to the delivery schedule, indicating that the margin to accommodate unexpected issues had been eliminated. The newly revised schedule for first flight and first delivery addresses the production challenges and restores margin for the program to deal with issues that may be uncovered in final ground or flight testing. ] “”While we have made some progress over the past several weeks completing work on our early production airplanes and improving parts availability across the production system, the pace of that progress has not been sufficient to support our previous plans for first delivery or first flight,”” said Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “”We deeply regret the impact these delays will have on our customers, and we are committed to working with them to minimize any disruption to their plans.

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New Delft Material Concept for Aircraft Wings Could Save Billions

16th October 2007 0 comments

Building aircraft wings with a special aluminium fibre combination makes them nearly immune to metal fatigue, according to the output of research partly carried out at TU Delft The unusual qualities of this special material (called CentrAl, an abbreviation of Central Reinforced Aluminium) can make a significant contribution to the development of truly energy-efficient, ‘green’ aircraft. Lower fuel consumption and reduction of maintenance costs could lead to worldwide savings as high as €75 billion. Fatigue is a phenomenon that affects materials after long-term exposure to cyclic loading. As a result of varying loads, fractures eventually occur. Delft say that the new, high-quality CentrAl aluminium constructions are stronger than carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) constructions that have recently been introduced in aircraft wings such as the Boeing 787 and that, by using CentrAl wing constructions, the weight can be reduced by another 20 per cent compared to CFRP constructions. The CentrAl concept comprises a central layer of fibre metal laminate (FML), sandwiched between one or more thick layers of high-quality aluminium. This creates a robust construction material which is not only exceptionally strong, but also insensitive to fatigue. The CentrAl technique allows for simple repairs to be carried in a similar way to aluminium construction. This patented new concept is one of the results of an intensive collaboration between the company GTM Advanced Structures, founded in The Hague in 2004 and specialising in new aircraft materials and constructions, the American aluminium company Alcoa, and the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft. During a conference in Delft (Conference on Damage Tolerance of Aircraft Structures: 25-28 September 2007), GTM and Alcoa presented the new concept to international experts in the field of metal fatigue and damage sensitivity of aircraft constructions. Glare FML is already used in the upper fuselage section of the A380.

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