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Composites Industry News

News for April 2010


New Cure Monitoring System from Synthesites

5th April 2010 0 comments

Synthesites has recently launched Optimold II, a system for real-time and in-situ cure monitoring in composites manufacturing. Optimold is a process monitoring system with a focus on composite materials manufacturing which includes non-intrusive durable sensors and monitors resin’s electrical resistivity and temperature. An advanced electronic system allows the in-situ and real-time monitoring of the full transformation of thermoset or thermoplastic resins providing qualitative indicators such as viscosity rise, gelation and end-of-cure and quantitative measurements. Synthesites say that comparison to dielectric systems showed that Optimold is powerful particularly after gelation where monitoring is faster, more reliable and less vulnerable to carbon fibres. Furthermore, they say that Optimold is cheaper and simpler with very robust sensors which can be installed in the mould, in the die and in the feeding or the evacuation lines for RTM, LightRTM, Vacuum Infusion, Pultrusion, SMC, BMC and other processes. According to Synthesites, the industrial use of Optimold in an RTM application led to 36% decrease of processing time and 80% increase in the production rate.

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Move into Composites Powers North Coast Companies

5th April 2010 0 comments

Rich Petrovich describes his company’s transformation from an old-school tooling company to a high-flyer in Ohio’s advanced materials industry as “”quite a paradigm shift for us.”” Petrovich is president and chief executive officer of Brooklyn Heights-based North Coast Tool & Mold, founded in 1976, and North Coast Composites, launched in 2003. He says North Coast got involved in high-performance composites about 20 years ago “”but as a tool maker.”” North Coast took a giant step forward seven years ago when it moved into production of composite parts. North Coast Composites, which manufactures carbon, Kevlar and fibreglass parts, primarily for the aerospace industry, shares 65,000-square-foot building with its sister company — and the two work hand in hand, Petrovich says. While Petrovich can point to a number of customers, competitors and suppliers who have gone out of business during the current recession, the Companies of North Coast are growing. In the past year, the company has increased employment between 24 and 27 percent, to 33 employees. 2009 sales were up 75 percent from the year before, and Petrovich expects them to double this year over 2009. Two years ago, North Coast was included in an Ohio Third Frontier-funded consortium managed by the University of Dayton to develop a new process to include nano-enhanced materials in a composite inlet guide vane for military aircraft. The $5-million grant, of which North Coast received a part as a subcontractor, “”has supported our growth in nanocomposites,”” Petrovich says. The company is currently negotiating for serial production of a rudder it helped develop for the new Gulfstream G250 aircraft and is producing low-cost, lightweight containment cases for jet engines.

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Instron Commissions Test Machine at Hexcel

5th April 2010 0 comments

Instron has successfully commissioned an extra-height 600kN universal testing system with the capability for tensile testing advanced structural composites between -80°C and +350°C, at Hexcel Composites in Duxford, UK. Instron and Hexcel have a long-standing relationship with a large number of testing frames already installed at various Hexcel sites across the globe. Hexcel’s Duxford site is equipped with a number of Instron systems ranging from bench top machines to the newest acquisition. “Instron was chosen thanks to their excellent after-care support, servicing capabilities, and ability to meet machine requirements. Instron equipment has been used in the testing laboratory at Duxford for a number of years without issue and the material technicians on site are very comfortable with the operation of the frames and Bluehill software” comments John Rennick, Hexcel’s Laboratory Engineer.

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Berkeley Scientists Report Universal Method for Creating Nanoscale Composites

5th April 2010 0 comments

Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, in collaboration with researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown how nanocomposites with desired properties can be designed and fabricated.

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ACG Prepregs Keep Watchkeeper 450 UAV Flying High

5th April 2010 0 comments

ACG has been qualified by global defence electronics company Elbit Systems to supply materials for the construction of the Thales Watchkeeper 450 (WK450) Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). Thales UK selected WK450 as the aerial platform central to their Watchkeeper surveillance system procured by the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MoD). The use of ACG’s materials on the WK450, a development of the well established Elbit’s Hermes 450 – constructed from ACG’s LTM26EL prepregs, strengthens the ties that exist between ACG and Elbit Systems. The build of the WK450 UAVs is carried out by Lola Composites Ltd, Huntingdon – UK and integrated at U-Tacs, Leicester – UK. Developed by the Group’s global research facility in Heanor – UK for use in the primary and secondary structures of FAR23 approved aircraft and UAVs, ACG say that MTM46 can attain a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 180°C and offers excellent retention of mechanical properties under ‘hot/wet’ conditions. However, of great significance was the fact that MTM46 was developed for Out-of-Autoclave (OoA) processing. Following a low temperature/low pressure initial cure at 80°C, which can make use of low cost tooling, performance is further developed using a free-standing post cure to achieve the required material performance. Combined with excellent handling characteristics and extended out life of 60 days, MTM46 has proved to be an effective solution to the WK450’s structural requirements. The WK450 UAV, fitted with an advanced sensor suite and the Watchkeeper surveillance system, provides 24/7 all-weather, day and night exploitation.

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Innovations at JEC 2010 Conferences and Forums

9th April 2010 0 comments

The agenda has been set for the 2010 Paris Conferences and Forums, which will take place during the JEC Composites Show Paris April 13-15 2010.

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11 Companies Rewarded for their Composite Innovations

9th April 2010 0 comments

This year, 11 companies and their partners will receive awards at the JEC Composites Show (April 13-15, 2010). The programme was created in 1998 with the goal of promoting innovation. Each year, a jury of renowned international experts chooses the best composite innovations, based on their technical interest, market potential, partnership, financial impact and originality. This year, the winners were selected from the following categories: Environment & Recycling, Bio-based Materials, Aeronautics, Building & Construction, Sports and Leisure, Transportation, Wind Energy, Raw Materials, Process and Automation. The decision to give prominence to these projects was based on their atypical nature and various noteworthy aspects. Read through the trade description to discover the eleven winners. The 2010 JEC Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday April 13th at 5:00 pm on the JEC Show and will be open to all visitors. This year stands out for the increase in the number of applications and by their distribution. Participation is worldwide, with applications from 22 different countries in Europe, South Africa, North and South America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Categories tend to be cyclical over several years. There is an increase in Sports and Leisure. Automation in aeronautics is a confirmed trend, and so is the determination to eliminate the use of autoclaves to increase throughput and guarantee production reproducibility. The integration of composites in the building and construction industry is becoming established. This means that works designers and architects are really using composites as full-fledged materials, in conjunction with traditional materials like concrete, steel and wood. Sustainable development considerations are here to stay, as seen in the choice of renewable raw materials for reinforcement fibres and matrix resins and the concern with materials recycling, e.g. by reutilizing them for the same or a similar application. This will become more of a trend with the increased use of thermoplastic composites. The Categories and corresponding winners are as follows: Category: Environment & Recycling Cutting edge possibilities with sustainable and intelligent materials Winner: 3XN architects (DK) Partners: StageOne Freeform Composite (UK); COWI A/S (DK) Category: Bio-based Materials Flax yarn-based prepreg for vibration damping in sport applications Winner: Lineo (Belgium) Partners: Artengo / Decathlon (Oxylane group) (France); Huntsman Advanced Materials (Switzerland); LRPMN d’Alencon (Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Propriétés des Matériaux Nouveaux) (France Category: Aeronautics First welded thermoplastic composite Aircraft primary structure in series production Winner: Fokker Aerostructures (NL) Partners: KVE Composites Group (NL), Ten Cate (NL) and Ticona GmbH Category: Building & Construction Intelligent composite “seismic wallpaper” Winner: D’Appolonia S.p.A. (Italy) Partners: Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. (Germany); APC Composit AB (Switzerland); Karl Mayer Malimo Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH (Germany) and several associations, laboratories and end-users in Europe (30 partners in the project). Category: Sports and Leisure Carbon wheel for the road bicycle market Winner: Corima S.A. (France) Partners: Hexcel Composites (France); Evonik (Germany) Category: Transportation High-performance LFT PP pallet Winner: Lomold Pty Ltd. (South Africa) Partners: Chuan Lih Fa Machinery Works Co. Ltd. (Taiwan); KHS Consulting cc (South Africa); Addcomp Holland BV (NL) Category: Wind Energy Wind turbine made of 100% natural materials Winner: LTP (France) Partners: Groupe Depestele – Teillage Vandecandelaère (France); ACT ENER (France); Université Le Havre (Laboratoire Ondes et Milieux Complexes) Category: Raw Materials Han-3D-Fabrics and Han-3D-Composites. New type of fabrics to avoid the problem of delamination and lack of resistance in general adhesives Winner: Advanced Fiber Materials Technologies Co., Ltd. China Partners: OCV Reinforcements (China); Shandong Shuangyi Group Co., Ltd. (China) Category: Process Assembly by structural adhesive bonding Winner: S.A.B.C.A. (Belgium) Partners: Biteam AB (Belgium); Premium AEROTEC GmbH (Germany); Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS) (Australia) Category: Automation (2 innovations tie for first place) Cured Laminate Compensation (CLC) process – an innovative composite manufacturing solution for saving composite material and increasing production throughput Winner: Magestic Systems Inc. (USA) Partners: Lockheed Martin (USA); Nikon Metrology (Belgium)

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Single-Shot, LFT Pallet Wins JEC Transportation Innovation Award

9th April 2010 0 comments

A single-shot, high-performance composite pallet developed by the Lomold Group has been named a winner in the Transportation category by JEC in its annual Innovation Awards Program.

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NetComposites Supports Environment & Recycling JEC Award Winners

9th April 2010 0 comments

The Environment & Recycling JEC Award winner is a demonstration part built for an exhibition organized during the Copenhagen climate conference.

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Biteam Shares JEC 2010 Process Innovation Award

9th April 2010 0 comments

Biteam will share this year’s JEC Process Innovation Award for together with partners from the MOJO project.

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