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Composites Industry News

News for May 2011


Scott Bader Plants Achieve OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001

6th May 2011 0 comments

The quality assurance and operations teams of Scott Bader in the UK and The Middle East have gained additional key ISO and OHSAS accreditations. The Scott Bader Middle East production site in Dubai has now gained ISO 14001 accreditation, while the UK site has added OHSAS 18001 to its ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditations. All Scott Bader chemical plants manufacture intermediate specialty chemicals and unsaturated polyester resins and gelcoats. With Scott Bader Middle East gaining this latest ISO 14001 accreditation, all five of Scott Baders specialty chemical plants located in the UK, France, Croatia, Dubai and South Africa are now fully accredited to both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. This investment in obtaining both ISO accreditations reflects the corporate commitment of Scott Bader to maintaining quality standards while minimising the impact of their business activities on the environment. The manufacturing site in Northamptonshire, UK achieved its OHSAS 18001 accreditation by adopting some of the best practices from the Scott Bader Amiens, France site which has been OHSAS 18001 accredited for several years. The Group aims to provide the highest levels of health and safety in the workplace, with considerable management focus on ensuring the well-being of all of its employees; this is in line with Scott Baders strong people-focused culture and philosophy. Mr Philip Bruce, Group Managing Director stated: The Group board is delighted that the Scott Bader Middle East and the UK sites have now obtained these two very important ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accreditations. We are very committed to developing high performance, high quality chemical products which are also as environmentally friendly as possible. With respect to the health and safety of our employees and visitors to any of our sites, we make no compromises, particularly in the key safety critical areas in our chemical plants, warehouses and research laboratories.

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Richmond Aerovac Introduces New Carrier/Release Film

6th May 2011 0 comments

Richmond Aerovac has introduced a new Non-Bondable PVF replacement material which can be used in a variety of applications where PVF was traditionally specified. According to Richmond Aerovac, the new material, P720X, can be used in lieu of PVF as a contact material for fibre placement, automatic tape placement and drape forming applications. The material is approved through major aerospace process specifications for use in contact with traditional aerospace tape or fibre placement applications where the preform is built up on a polymer contact sheet and subsequently drape formed or cut to net shape prior to cure. The P720X is designed as a carrier film and barrier layer to protect the preform during processing and is designed to be discarded prior to final component cure. The 0.002 (50 micron) thickness matte white material is available in a range of roll sizes and can also be slit and rewound to suit individual customer project requirements.

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Dieffenbacher Awarded Major Order for Russian Hybrid Car

11th May 2011 0 comments

The Russian company e-AUTO has placed an order with the German press manufacturer Dieffenbacher for 2 manufacturing lines for the production of fiber-reinforced plastic components.

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Honda Racing Team Chooses Amber Composites as Official Prepreg Supplier

11th May 2011 0 comments

Amber Composites materials have been chosen for extensive use in Honda Racing’s British Touring Car, and the companies have signed a long-term technical supply agreement.

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DIAB and 3A Composites Enter Licensing Agreement for PET Core Materials

11th May 2011 0 comments

DIAB and 3A Composites have entered into a licensing agreement for manufacturing of PET core materials.

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Project Develops Low Cost Blended Carbon Fibre Yarns and Fabrics

12th May 2011 0 comments

A multi-partner UK project, Fibrecycle, has developed a new generation of high performance, low cost co-mingled carbon fibre yarns and fabrics, with funding support from the Technology Strategy Board.

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Carbon Chassis from Lamborghini Made Using Araldite RTM System

12th May 2011 0 comments

The long awaited successor to the Murciélago, the Aventador LP700-4, recently unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, is the first flagship from Lamborghini to feature a production carbon fibre chassis, manufactured using an Araldite resin system by Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM). Lamborghini has been working with carbon fibre composites for 30 years, being responsible for the first carbon fibre component on a production car and the first carbon fibre tub on a road car. Composites were also used to produce all of the body panels and several portions of the Murciélago’s spaceframe structure, when it was in production between 2002 and 2010. In order to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations, Lamborghini’s corporate strategy is now directed at increasing the power-to-weight ratios of its cars, reducing the overall weight and thereby reducing vehicle emissions. To achieve this goal, the company has identified carbon fibre composites as a key technology. It is committed to become a ‘Centre of Excellence’, promoting collaboration and developing best practices to maximise the use of composite materials in production vehicles, as well as driving technological advancement in this area forward. The company’s current R&D activities are aimed at the development of composite-intensive primary structures that meet weight, cost and production rate requirements, to fulfil the corporate strategy. This involves the evaluation of non-conventional technologies as well as the development of new ones, and Lamborghini is focusing on liquid resin processes (VaRTM and RTM), oven-cure prepregs, preforming technologies (braiding, non-crimp fabrics and thermoforming), and advanced compression moulding. The first project to come out of the company’s new corporate strategy is the Aventador LP700-4’s carbon composite chassis. Designed, developed and manufactured at Lamborghini’s headquarters at Sant’Agata Bolognese, where all the bull signed cars are manufactured, this carbon chassis is also expected to be built into other Lamborghinis in the future. Lamborghini produced the bulk of the chassis with the support of Huntsman Advanced Materials, who provided an Araldite resin system especially adapted for Lamborghini’s ‘RTM-Lambo’; a Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) processing technique. The entire passenger cell of the Aventador, including the roof, weighs just 147.5kg. “”The Araldite resin system developed by Huntsman has been extremely well adapted for the ‘RTM-Lambo’ technique. It has excellent mechanical and curing properties and a suitable viscosity profile versus time, allowing us to meet rigorous performance and cost requirements,”” explained Luciano De Oto, Head of Lamborghini Advanced Composite Research Center (ACRC). “”To fulfil increasing production rates as we move forward with our strategy to deploy more carbon fibre in the future generations of our high performance cars, this RTM process is the answer.””

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Collier Research Releases HyperSizer v6

12th May 2011 0 comments

Collier Research Corporation has released HyperSizer v6 structural sizing and analysis software for reducing weight, maintaining strength, and improving the manufacturability of complex composite and metallic designs. “”One of the biggest roadblocks to effective composite design is the inability of engineers to adequately explore optimized layups simultaneously with other design variables,”” says Craig Collier, President of Collier Research. “”This results in design inefficiencies and compromises.”” To address these issues, HyperSizer is designed to integrate with FEA solvers in a continuous, automated iterative loop, to ensure structural integrity and enhance manufacturability. HyperSizer can be used from preliminary design to final analysis. New features in HyperSizer v6 include: ▪ Manufacturability Optimization – The capability to identify, define, and control ply-count compatibility, laminate sequencing, interleaving, and ply-drop minimization. ▪ Post-Buckling Analyses – Automated compression, shear, and compression-shear post-buckling analyses have now been added. ▪ Panel Concepts – Two novel, damage-tolerant composite architectures are now available, providing more structural sizing variables and optimization flexibility. HyperSizer integrates with FEA software, such as Nastran and Abaqus, and with composite CAD tools, such as CATIA and FiberSIM. “”Given the increasing emphasis on more complex materials, engineers need to improve and automate their design processes to reach even higher levels of efficiency,”” says Collier. “”It’s no longer good enough just to spot-check. Each part needs to be examined as a system. HyperSizer allows engineers to more fully explore the entire design space.”” “”It’s challenging to cut weight while maintaining strength and controlling cost,”” says Tom Ashwill, technical leader in Sandia National Laboratories Wind Energy Technology Department. “”HyperSizer has the capability to systematically optimize the placement of a variety of different materials throughout the blade to maximize load resistance and minimize weight and thus cost.””

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Record Breaking Exhibitor Numbers at SAMPE 2011

12th May 2011 0 comments

Over three hundred and fifty exhibitors will demonstrate their innovative and cost-saving manufacturing processes for the advanced materials community at SAMPE 2011. The four-day conference and three-day trade show is organised by SAMPE, the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering. SAMPE’s Orange County Chapter is the host committee coordinating the technical program. “”The record breaking number of companies and the overwhelming number of requests for exhibition passes demonstrates the great interest in our SAMPE Marketplace,”” Gregg Balko, CAE, and SAMPE’s executive director stated. “”And we are pleased by the early conference registrations. We fully expect this to be our largest conference ever.”” The SAMPE 2011 exhibition at Long Beach Convention Centre opens at 10:00 a.m. on the 24th May and runs until 12:00 PM on the 26th. NetComposites will be visiting the show and available to discuss our media, consultancy and research activities. Please contact us to make an appointment.

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Partnership to Research Thermal Conductivity in 3-D composites

12th May 2011 0 comments

A partnership between the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials (UD) and the Institute fur Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University will research ways to tailor thermal conductivity in 3-D polymer composites.

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