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Composites Industry News

News for September 2007


Construction Started at DSM China Campus in Shanghai

10th September 2007 0 comments

Construction of the DSM China Campus in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai (PRC) has commenced. The China Campus will comprise both all Shanghai offices of the DSM (China) Ltd. Holding and several business groups and the R&D labs of DSM in China. The DSM China Campus will house about 600 people and besides being the headquarter of DSM China, it will be DSM’s biggest and most important research facility outside Europe and the USA During the groundbreaking ceremony, which took place today, Jan Zuidam, Deputy Chairman of DSM’s Managing Board of Directors, said: “”China is important for all three drivers of DSM’s strategy Vision 2010 – Building on Strengths: market-driven growth and innovation, increased presence in emerging economies and operational excellence. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is a major milestone for us in China. The DSM China Campus will act not only as the headquarters of DSM in China, but also as the new incubator of our innovation competences. We at DSM know China not only as a market and production base, but also as a strategic starting point of research and development. It is difficult to overestimate China’s importance to DSM.””

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Umeco Completes Acquisition of J D Lincoln

10th September 2007 0 comments

Umeco, the provider of supply chain and repair and overhaul services and advanced composite materials primarily to the aerospace & defence industries, has completed its acquisition of J D Lincoln Inc, based in California.

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Bringing the Benefits of Composites to Structure Design

10th September 2007 0 comments

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) have signed a three year agreement to develop a pre-standard for Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) for Pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composite Structures. The LRFD standard is an important design tool that will help structural engineers and architects use FRP composites in the design of building and transportation structures, bringing the benefits of composites, such as its strength to weight ratio, resistance to corrosion, low maintenance and long life cycle, to the forefront of the nation’s infrastructure. “”The LRFD standard will give composites credibility and presence, ultimately increasing market acceptance,”” said John Tickle, ACMA President. “”We are thrilled to be partnering with such a highly reputable group as the ASCE. Together we have much to be proud of, as this standard will pave the way to a very bright future.”” “”ASCE has a longstanding and proven history in producing professional standards such as this; standards that advance the practice of civil engineering and allow us to better serve the public’s needs ,”” said Bill Marcuson, Ph.D., P.E., Hon.M.ASCE. “”We commend the ACMA for their dedication, and look forward to the successful outcome of this new partnership.”” The preparation of a consensus pre-standard is a major undertaking that requires the expert knowledge and participation of respected members of the professional community. ASCE, with ACMA’s approval, has selected Dr. Mehdi Zarghamee of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. to serve as the coordinator for the project. As the project coordinator, Dr. Zarghamee will provide leadership to ensure proper coordination and information sharing between the project team members. He will also coordinate the technical progress and authoring of the standard among the project team members according to the scope of work and schedule. At the project’s completion, the pre-standard will be promulgated through the official ASCE Codes and Standards process. The expected release date of the pre-standard is September 2010. ACMA’s Pultrusion Industry Council (PIC) will be leading the new program. Since 1995, ASCE has collaborated with the PIC to collect required information and data to guide the Council toward the goal of developing a design standard.

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Stablcor Enters into Licensing Agreement with Everett Charles Technologies

10th September 2007 0 comments

Stablcor Incorporated, the provider of carbon composite laminates, has licensed the use of its Stablcor technology to Everett Charles Technologies’ Semiconductor Test division.

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Cyclone Awarded Contract by Spirit AeroSystems

10th September 2007 0 comments

Elbit Systems’ subsidiary, Cyclone Aviation Products, has been awarded a contract by Spirit AeroSystems for composite structural components for commercial aircraft. The contract is valued at approximately $30 million dollars and is scheduled for delivery between 2007 and 2011. The contract involves the supply of blocker doors for the aircraft’s engines – a composite structural component – to Spirit AeroSystems. Yoram Shmuely, Co-General Manager of Airborne and Helmet Systems at Elbit Systems, said, “This contract win is yet another sign reflecting the trust and recognition we have established among major aviation suppliers of commercial airplane assemblies and components . We believe this contract with Spirit AeroSystems will pave the way for further business in this fast-growing market characterized by advanced technologies and innovative composite materials.”” With approximately 400 employees, Cyclone’s core business is manufacturing and maintenance of aircraft structures as well as engineering, manufacture, repair and upgrade of aircraft, UAVs and helicopters. Cyclone manufactures both metal and composite structural assemblies for UAVs, military aircraft such as the F-15, F-16 and F-18, and civil/commercial aircraft.

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B/E Aerospace Selected for Boeing 787 Interiors

10th September 2007 0 comments

B/E Aerospace, the manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products, has been selected by four major global airlines to outfit their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with next generation business and coach class seats. The firm portion of these awards is initially valued at more than $100 million, and will increase to more than $150 million after expected orders for oxygen systems, passenger service units and various food and beverage products are confirmed in the coming weeks. The seating programs include supplying Continental Airlines, Air China, Japan Airlines and an undisclosed leading carrier in the Asia-Pacific region with new business class seats for their Boeing 787 aircraft. In addition, B/E Aerospace will provide new generation coach class seating for Continental Airlines on their Boeing 787 aircraft. “”Continental is among the most successful and highly respected global airlines, and is a new customer for our seating products business. As such, our dual class award is particularly gratifying, and validates the investments we have made to develop the most innovative and lightweight seating solutions for each of our customers,”” said Amin J. Khoury, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of B/E Aerospace, Inc. “”Air China, Japan Airlines and the undisclosed carrier, all current customers on different aircraft types, are leading international carriers in the fast growing Asia-Pacific region. We are very pleased that they have selected us to be an even larger part of their future.” Mr. Khoury commented, “Today Boeing provided its quarterly update on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner program and indicated that while the test flight for the B787 has been slightly delayed they expect 2008 deliveries of the B787 to remain on schedule. Our previously provided guidance for the full year 2008 contemplated little revenue arising from B787 deliveries in any event. As such, we are confirming our 2008 financial guidance which calls for 2008 revenues to increase by approximately 25 percent to approximately $2.0 billion and for 2008 diluted earnings per share to increase by approximately 45 percent to approximately $2.25 per share.” In addition to the program awards announced today, B/E Aerospace expects to supply cabin interior products to the vast majority of airlines that have ordered the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. These cabin interior products include premium and economy class seating products as well as a wide variety of food preparation and storage equipment, including beverage makers, ovens, refrigeration and other related equipment for their new aircraft. Moreover, Mr. Khoury continued, “”The Boeing 787 is the most successful new aircraft launch in history, with an expected order book of approximately 1,000 aircraft by the end of this year. Based on the value of our current orders on hand and expected orders we are very pleased with our position on the 787 thus far, and believe that the potential bookings and revenues from these 1,000 Boeing 787 aircraft alone could total approximately $1.5 billion for B/E Aerospace. Further, we expect approximately 1,100 new wide-body and super wide-body aircraft deliveries over the 2008 to 2011 time frame. Unlike most aerospace suppliers, very little of the expected orders associated with these expected deliveries are in our existing backlog. To date, our backlog and revenues have been driven by retrofit programs associated with the existing international wide-body fleet. We expect strong revenue growth in 2008 driven by current backlog exclusive of orders announced today. In addition, we expect continued backlog growth for the next several years as we are awarded programs to outfit the 1,100 new wide-body aircraft expected to be delivered in 2008 to 2011, a small portion of which will be new Boeing 787 aircraft, and as we continue to book retrofit programs over the next several years.”

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AGY Acquires Owens Corning CFM Business

10th September 2007 0 comments

AGY has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Owens Corning CFM (continuous filament mat) manufacturing assets in Huntingdon, P.A. and marble production assets in Anderson, S.C. The CFM addition further accelerates AGY’s strategy in specialty composite materials offering new market potential, manufacturing synergies and an extended composites customer base. The transaction, which has been approved by the Board of Directors of AGY, is expected to close in late 2007 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory and antitrust approvals.

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Carbon Nanotube Capacity Expanded

10th September 2007 0 comments

Bayer MaterialScience is opening a second production facility for Baytubes, its carbon nanotubes, at H.C. Starck GmbH in Laufenburg on the German-Swiss border. The new facility has an annual capacity of 30 metric tons. Together with the pilot production plant for Baytubes already located at the site, this now gives Bayer MaterialScience a total annual capacity of 60 metric tons in Laufenburg. Dr. Tony Van Osselaer, the member of the Board of Management of Bayer MaterialScience responsible for Production & Technology, told customers from all over the world who attended the opening ceremony: “This makes us one of the world’s leading manufacturers of carbon nanotubes and underlines our excellent credentials as a research-oriented company. Carbon nanotubes’ potential for innovation will ensure their long-term market success.” Estimates put the market potential for carbon nanotubes (CNT) in the coming years at several thousand metric tons per year. The main disadvantages of CNT production processes to date have been the high costs of synthesis and the relatively large quantities of unwanted impurities in the product. These two problems have prevented the widespread industrial use of carbon nanotubes. Thanks to a special new synthesis process, Bayer MaterialScience says that it is one of the few manufacturers able to offer commercially relevant quantities of CNT with consistent material purities well above the 95 percent mark. “The investment in Laufenburg represents an important step towards gaining access to large, lucrative industrial CNT applications and securing long-term market share,” said Martin Schmid, head of global Baytubes operations at Bayer MaterialScience. The new, highly automated closed-loop facility is used for production and for development work to optimize processes and procedures. “Our aim is to use the knowledge obtained for the next up-scaling of the production process,” explained Dr. Ralph Weber, Production Manager for Carbon Nanotubes, who shares responsibility for the operation and further development of the facility in Laufenburg with Dr. Theo König from H.C. Starck. In the medium term, Bayer MaterialScience is planning to build a large-scale Baytubes production facility in Germany with an annual capacity of 3,000 metric tons. The image shows the control room of the new Baytubes® production facility showing the top of the fluidized bed reactor.

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Shakespeare Begins Shipping Tuff-Hinge Composite Poles

10th September 2007 0 comments

Shakespeare Composite Structures has begun shipping its new Tuff-Hinge Composite poles, designed for easy servicing of luminaires without lifts or trucks. The Tuff-Hinge poles lay a Tuff-Pole on the ground when you need to re-lamp or perform other service, and raise it when the work is done, all without lifts or trucks. A four-foot Direct Burial portion of the pole is embedded into the ground, leaving Shakespeare Composite Structures innovative hinged base at ground level. Made of 356-T6 aluminum and bonded to the pole’s two sections, the hinge uses a stainless steel hinge pin. The top portion is an “”O”” series composite Tuff-Pole, one of the company’s most popular styles for strength and good looks. The lightweight composite pole simply tilts over, all the way to the ground, for relamping or other luminaire service. The product of the newest technologies in fibreglass and resin systems, along with advanced manufacturing process controls, all Tuff-Poles are engineered with new resin mixes and fibreglass configurations and automated process controls to tighten manufacturing tolerances and quality control. They employ advanced UV inhibitors and coatings that provide even longer lasting protection in extreme weather. Shakespeare has also received RUS (Rural Utility Service, US Department of Agriculture) acceptance of its Lewtex composite crossarms. The RUS acceptance is the first ever listing of a composite crossarm. The Lewtex design is a standard 3½” x 4½” profile that matches existing hardware and brackets. The arm is manufactured hollow, then filled with high-density, closed-cell foam that prevents the entry or migration of moisture through the arm. The crossarms can be field drilled without the need for inserts or other auxiliary materials. Now a division of GenlyteThomas Group, Shakespeare Composite Structures has since the 1950’s pioneered the use of fibreglass reinforced composites in lighting and utility poles.

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Composites Exhibition Continues its Tour

16th September 2007 0 comments

The international travelling exhibition showing a variety of creative objects in composite materials, Composites on Tour, is continuing its European education and awareness programme. The exhibition is currently in Ljubljana and will continue to Paris, Eindhoven and Wenen. The exhibition comprises of the work of the two winners of the International Composites Design Competition, along with another twenty selected entries and a small number of items suggested by the jury. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue to explain and illustrate the entries. The remaining itinerary of the travelling exhibition is: Fuzine Castle Lubljana, SI 3/09 – 30/09/07 Cité de la Science Paris, FR 1/11 – 13/11/07 Dutch Design Week, Klokgebouw Eindhoven, NL 20/10 – 27/10/07 Design Austria Wenen, AT 15/12 – 15/01/08 The International Composites Design Competition saluted designs in which composite materials have been used to the best effect and in an intelligent and innovative manner. The competition was open to professional designers from all over the world: individual designers, design agencies and corporate designers. The entries were divided into two categories. The first category comprises products that were brought to market between 1 January 2003 and 1 September 2006. The second category comprises experimental yet production-feasible prototypes. The winner of each category received EUR 7,500. The winner in the products category was the Big Bench by the Danish duo Poul Christiansen and Boris Berlin (Komplot Design), a sofa that can be extended to a length of 6 metres. The composite materials used in the design give the sofa excellent support characteristics, despite its slim and elegant appearance. The sofa is available in semi-transparent composite or with a lacquered finish in a range of colours. The winner in the prototypes category was Sébastien Dubois from Canada, who designed a prosthetic foot. The main consideration in the design of the artificial foot was to keep production costs as low as possible, so that it can above all be used in developing countries. The design also recently won an Index: Award for design. The 69 entries submitted by 55 participants from 17 countries were judged by an international jury. With Composites-on-Tour-2, the KU Leuven and Design Flanders opted resolutely for an international approach. The competition was open to designers from all over the world and the exhibition will be travelling from Brussels to Paris, Barcelona, Budapest, Ljubljana and Eindhoven. This cross-border strategy promotes international networking between designers and the business community. This type of cross-fertilisation often also leads to innovative product development. Composites-on-Tour-2 also aims to bring the science closer to the general public. The design exhibition is accompanied with a small scientific exhibition that explains how research and development in the field of composites influences everyday life. It shows visitors in an informal and interactive manner how composite materials are made and why they have such unique properties. The design competition and the travelling exhibitions are part of the Composites-on-Tour-2 science communication project, a joint project of Design Flanders and the KU Leuven. This initiative follows on from the first composites project, Composites-on-Tour (2002), which was awarded the European Commission Descartes Prize for Science Communication.

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