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Composites Industry News

News for January 2010


HITCO Awarded LOI for F-35 Lightning II Program

14th January 2010 0 comments

Lockheed Martin has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to award HITCO Carbon Composites a contract to produce wing skins and nacelle skins for the F-35 Lightning II Program.

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Goodrich to Supply Composite Components for Eight Virginia-Class Submarines

14th January 2010 0 comments

Goodrich Corporation has received a contract worth around $49 million (US) from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding to provide a number of composite components for the next eight Virginia Class nuclear fast attack submarines, collectively referred to as Block III. Goodrich’s Engineered Polymer Products team will manufacture components to support the construction of one ship per year during 2009 and 2010, rising to two ships per year from 2011 to 2013. The components include the bow dome, and sonar and weapons equipment. “”These contract awards continue the core work that is the foundation of our submarine business,”” said Jim Pollock, Vice President for Goodrich’s Engineered Polymer Products team. “”We have been able to expand our composite product content on the Virginia-class Block III multi-year buy, and will remain focused on securing additional content for Block III as well as developing composite solutions for Virginia-class Block IV and the Ohio-class replacement submarine. We will continue to invest in our people, processes and technology to provide innovative world-class solutions for submarines,”” continues Pollock. The Virginia-class submarines are said to be the first U.S. Navy combatant designed for the post-Cold War era. Image ©Goodrich Corporation

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Flow International Receives Multiple Orders for Aerospace Projects

14th January 2010 0 comments

Flow International Corporation Advanced segment will celebrate new orders over the next 18 months worth an estimated $11 million (US). The orders are for Composite Machining Center abrasive waterjet and routing machine tool systems and are expected to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months. The majority of the purchase orders are from Airbus supplier partners working on multiple Airbus programs. “”As waterjets continue to become integral to the aerospace industry’s adoption of composite materials, we are proud to again be selected as the only provider of composite machining technology,”” said Charley Brown, President and CEO, Flow International. “”Flow has a long history and clear leadership position in developing and supporting abrasive waterjet cutting systems for major composites programs.”” These new orders are in addition to the previously reported backlog of approximately $20 million, as of the second quarter ended October 31, 2009, for Flow’s Advanced segment.

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Composite Windows Could Cut Costs

14th January 2010 0 comments

A new research project aims to use composite materials in order to eliminate thermal bridges, condensation and mould in our living rooms.

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Applied Nanotech Secure Sporting Goods Contract

14th January 2010 0 comments

Applied Nanotech Holdings has entered into a License and Research and Development agreement related to its carbon nanotube composite technology (epoxy/CNT) with a prominent sporting goods manufacturer. This agreement follows on from a successful research & development project with the same manufacturer, which in October 2008 resulted in a license agreement for tennis and badminton racquets. The purpose of this research agreement is to extend the previous license agreement by tailoring Applied Nanotech’s patented epoxy/CNT nanocomposite technology for use in a specific new sporting goods application in order to further improve the product performance. Applied Nanotech has received $250,000 for the research portion of this agreement. Upon successful completion of the project, the unnamed manufacturer has an option to license the resulting technology for certain predefined terms, including an initial license fee and ongoing royalty payments, on an exclusive basis in specific territories and on a nonexclusive basis worldwide. “Our aim is to provide our partner with fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) technology with mechanical improvements that will allow them to design and introduce new products, which are lighter and more attractive,” said Dr. Zvi Yaniv, CEO of Applied Nanotech, Inc. “Currently we achieved over 30% improvement in flexural strength of FRPs, which is equivalent to the realization of between 10% and 20% lighter products while preserving their mechanical strength.” “Composites are becoming an increasingly important area of our business,” said Doug Baker, CEO of Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc. “We are pleased that our partner is continuing its high level of interest in our technology. Expansion of our agreement from tennis and badminton racquets to other sporting good applications dramatically increases the revenue potential for us.” The project is expected to be concluded, and the initial license payment received, no later than November 30, 2010.

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Glass Fibre Manufacturers Start Anti Dumping Procedure

15th January 2010 0 comments

Following a complaint made by the European Glass Fiber Producers Association (APFE) against a number of continuous filament glass fibre products from China, an ‘anti-dumping’ investigation is likely to take place led by the EU. According to EuCIA and EuPC this case could have several effects on the Composite Industry. Together they will meet representatives of the European Commission to get a clearer idea about the investigation. Based on the existing official information and further clarifications from the European Commission, EuCIA considers that import duties on glass fiber from China will very likely lead to price increases in the market within a short period of time. EuCIA say that they are committed to investigating whether dumping does takes place, and based on their findings will either support or act against these proceedings. The consequences of the EU investigation could potentially lead to higher import duties that are likely to affect the whole chain. Past similar experiences within the polymer and other industries have shown that in some cases, import duties can reach figures as high as 20%, thus increasing the cost of raw material in Europe. It is thought that the current low price of Chinese fiberglass has stimulated the use of fiberglass throughout Europe. Eucia believe that the potential increase in price could be one of the deciding factors to encourage companies to relocate production outside of Europe. Due to the high number of stakeholders involved in the process the European Commission requested interested parties (users, producers, importers, etc) to make their interest known. EuCIA advises company users to take a collaborative stand and verify with the European Commission officials whether the company has been registered as user in this proceeding. Additionally, any company can express its opinions about anti-dumping of fiber glass via a questionnaire and receive further information from the European Commission. The deadline for sending the users’ questionnaire to the European Commission is 25 January 2010. Notice of initiation of anti-dumping proceedings (Official Journal of the European Union): http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:2009:307:SOM:EN:HTML

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Composites UK Recognises Achievements

15th January 2010 0 comments

The trade association for the composites industry, Composites UK, has announced a Charity Awards Dinner coinciding with the 10th Annual Conference on the 5th May 2010 at The Studio in Birmingham to celebrate the achievements of the industry over the last 12 months. The association is taking nominations from all UK companies working with composites on the following areas:   ▪   Industry Innovation of the Year   ▪   Health, Safety and Environment (Sponsored by Cray Valley)   ▪   Trainee or Apprentice of the Year “The UK Composites industry is at the forefront of technological development and exciting product application both at home and overseas. In an ever-increasingly competitive environment it is important to celebrate our successes. As such the Composites UK awards will showcase some of the key advances made by UK companies over the last 12 months,” said John Ward, Chairman, Composites UK Ltd The winner of each of these categories will be presented with a trophy and prize money amounting to £250, as well as recognition in a special ‘Awards’ section on the new Composites UK website and bulletin, and featured on the Composites UK board at JEC 2011. The Awards Dinner is being organised to compliment the 2010 Composites UK conference with an aim to develop and strengthen the UK composites industry. Award submissions are open to all Composites companies in the UK and further details and nomination forms are available from the library section of the association website at www.compositesuk.co.uk.

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Tesla Celebrates 1,000th Roadster

15th January 2010 0 comments

Electric motorcar manufacturer Tesla Motors has built its 1,000th production vehicle, a special edition “Millennial White,” Roadster, VIN 1,000. The vehicle features a unique interior and carbon fibre accents and is currently on display at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Detroit, Michigan. The Tesla is built from light materials, including a carbon fibre body in order to help give the vehicle a high power to weight ratio. “”A year ago right here in Detroit we had delivered about 150 Roadsters, so VIN 1,000 is a humble but important milestone for us,”” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. To celebrate this milestone, Tesla will be donating the $175,000 (US) suggested retail price of the vehicle to a number of charities. In addition to this news, Tesla has showcased its latest model at the NAIAS, the Model S. Telsa say the electric Model S can carry up to seven passengers, will cost around $49,900 (US) and will be in production during 2012.

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ContiTech and BASF Reach New Milestone in Lightweight Construction

15th January 2010 0 comments

ContiTech Vibration Control, working in close cooperation with BMW and BASF, has been able to create what is thought to be the world’s first transmission cross beam manufactured from polyamide.

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Sp-High Modulus Plays Pivotal Role in Prestigious Race

19th January 2010 0 comments

SP-High Modulus will supply materials, engineering and expertise for the M34, which will compete in the Tour de France à la Voile. The craft will feature a range of materials, including an epoxy resin system, Corecell M-Foam core and an E-glass carbon/glass fabric especially made for this project. SP High Modulus has also worked alongside Aster Composite Company on the hull and deck process, as well as working with Isotop on the carbon/epoxy rudder, keel and bowsprit. Archambault won the design competition, beating off around thirty other entries. Their winning design, M34, is one metre longer than its predecessor, the Farr 30, at 10.34 metres, and is said to be more powerful due to a greater sail area/displacement ratio. The new design will also be able to sail longer offshore legs, allowing for the opportunity to create the first transatlantic race with a crew on a ‘one design’ boat. The Tour de France à la Voile is an annual yachting race around the coast of France. The race is unique in that every team uses the same boat so that their sailing skills are judged above all else. Since the event’s establishment in 1978, only six monotypes have been used. So when the brief was issued in September 2008, one of the criteria was that the boat should be sturdy enough for up to ten year’s racing. Thirty boats, at a rate of five units a month, will be needed to meet the race date of July 2011. The manufacture of the first M34 unit began this month.

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