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Composites Industry News

News for July 2001


SPE’s 2001 Automotive Composite Conference

27th July 2001 0 comments

“Plastic Composites – An Automotive Necessity” is the theme for The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) 1st Annual Automotive Composite Conference and Exposition. The event, scheduled for September 19th and 20th, 2001 at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan, is gaining great support from industry and individuals. Businesses are offering financial support and individuals are recognizing the conference as an excellent avenue for presenting their technical expertise. “This conference is very timely and important with the current government regulations and consumer demands for lightweight, safe, and fuel efficient vehicles,” said Fred Deans, Chairman for the Composites Conference. “Consumers also want vehicles with unique styling, performance, and decorative enhancements that can only be achieved with plastic composites. Understanding plastic composite materials, applications, and processing technologies is a necessity for today’s automotive engineers, product developers, and executives.” Sponsors for the conference to date include Azdel, Inc., Bayer Corporation, The Budd Corporation, Continental Structural Plastics, LNP Corporation, Composite Products, Inc., Hollinee, Owens Corning, and MTI Thermoplastic Composites. Sponsors contribute financial support for the event in exchange for attendance passes, display opportunities and advertising and publicity exposure via Conference promotions. Sponsorship is a great way to gain industry visibility, reach key industry engineers, product developers, and executives in the automotive composites market, and promote the use of composites. Companies interested in sponsorships should contact the Composite Conference Sponsorship Co-chairs Michael Connolly (248) 322-7300 (michael_connolly@huntsman.com), or Dan Buckley (802) 492-3599 (Dbuck@vermontel.com). Over 40 Technical Papers from leading OEM’s, Suppliers, and Consultants have been submitted. Papers will be categorized as Applications, Materials, Processes, Applications and Supporting Technologies. Key topics to date include: – Light weight SMC Applications and Processing Technologies – Natural Fiber Composites for interior Applications – In-Line Compounding & Injection Molding of Long Fiber Thermoplastic Composites – Effect of Fiber Length on Surface & Performance of Automotive Applications – “Sandwich-Type” Composites for Large Scale Automotive Production – Analytical Tools to Optimize Composite Applications – Low-Density GMT Composite Materials & applications – Long-Fiber Injection Molding of PU Composites – Increasing Impact Performance of Short Fiber Composites – Advancements in Adhesive Bonding of SMC Applications – Low Cost LFT-D Process, Large Scale Production of Long Fiber Thermoplastic Composites – Expanding Opportunities for Composite Automotive Structural Applications The first day of the conference will include technical sessions focused on applications and trends for composites in automotive interiors, exteriors, chassis/structures, and powertrain. The second day will cover composite material developments and processing advances. Both days will include displays and presentations from composite material suppliers, molders/processors, OEM’s, and Tier 1 suppliers.

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Aerovac Appoints New Managing Director

27th July 2001 0 comments

Aerovac Systems Limited, Europe’s leading supplier of composite processing materials has announced the appointment of a new managing director with effect from 1 September, 2001. Following the departure of Mike Cooke from 31 August 2001, to relocate with his family to the South West of France, present financial director, Kai Arter will assume the role of UK managing director at the company’s Yorkshire head quarters. “” Whilst it will be sad to leave many good friends after 14 great years with Aerovac and UMECO, I am pleased to be leaving the company in such good shape and such capable hands. What’s more, I am happy to say that I will be retaining a part time involvement in the business,”” says Mike Cooke. “” Aerovac has a considerable manufacturing and distribution facility at Toulouse and I will remain actively involved in assisting Kai to develop and strengthen our continental European sales and procurement activities.””Kai Arter joined Aerovac as financial director almost three years ago and has since played an important role in some of the company’s most significant developments. These include its acquisition by aerospace distribution and services group UMECO Plc in 1999, the development of the £1.1million, purpose built distribution centre in West Yorkshire in 1999-2000, and the recently formed strategic partnership with Richmond Aircraft Products in California. “” Mike will certainly be a hard act to follow. He has been with the company since its very early days and his knowledge of the industry is second to none,”” says Kai Arter “” Fortunately his expertise is still going to be available to us and he leaves the company in a very strong position. We have had two record trading years under UMECO ownership and an excellent start to the current financial year so I am thoroughly looking forward to the challenge of helping the company to continue to grow market share at the expense of our competitors.”” Founded in 1980, Aerovac supply a wide range of composite processing materials and accessories to industries such as aerospace, motor racing, marine, wind power and electronics.

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ECOCOMP – First International Conference on EcoComposites

27th July 2001 0 comments

September 3-4, 2001; Queen Mary University of London, UK. The programme for the conference has now been published and registratiuon is open. Conference topics include: – Natural fibres and composites – Wood fibre composites – Bio-derived resins – Biodegradable composites – Recycling of composites – Life cycle studies – Ecodesign and applications Ecological awareness has resulted in a renewed interest in natural materials and issues such as recyclability and environmental safety are becoming increasingly important for the introduction of new composite materials and products. Environmental legislation as well as consumer demand are all increasing the pressure on manufacturers of materials and end-products to consider the environmen-tal impact of their products at all stages of their life cycle, including recycling and ultimate disposal. Hence, a ‘cradle-to-grave’ approach emerges. These environmental issues have recently generated considerable interest in the development of composite materials based on renewable resources such as natural fibres as environmentally friendly and low-cost alternatives for glass fibres and the use of plastics based on renewable resources for the development of true biocomposites. Currently a large number of interesting applications are emerging and especially the automotive industry is looking seriously into the use of eco-composites as a way to serve the environment and at the same time save weight and cost. The objective of EcoComp is to promote the exchange of information on new developments in the area of eco-composites. Poster Papers from both academia and industry are still invited

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Kevlar Expansion Plans

27th July 2001 0 comments

DuPont will expand its Kevlar para-aramid fiber production facility in Richmond, Va. A new production line, based on proprietary DuPont fiber technology, will be added at the site, increasing production capacity for DuPont Kevlar brand fiber by the end of 2002. Total investment for this expansion is expected to be $50 million. “”The Kevlar high- performance fiber market is seeing incredible growth as demand from our core customers continues to increase and new product applications are developed,”” said Diane Gulyas, vice president and general manager – DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems. “”DuPont is committed to the Kevlar(R) business as a key contributor to our sustainable growth mission, so we are taking every action we can to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”” The company has successfully completed the first phase of expansion projects that began in early 2000 and increased production capacity for Kevlar(R) fiber globally by approximately 15 percent. The second expansion phase, announced today, will address a nearly two- year trend of growing demand for high-performance, high-strength para-aramid fibers – demand that has exceeded global manufacturing capabilities. This capacity expansion is based on innovative technology developed and patented by DuPont and used in the company’s European operations for the past three years. As applied at Richmond, the technology will include design enhancements from the European operations that will provide unique process and product capabilities to support the continually growing needs of Kevlar customers. “”Adding Kevlar(R) fiber capacity through enhanced technology is critical to maintaining our leadership position in the market for aramid products and technologies and reinforces our commitment to grow with our marketplace partners,”” Gulyas said. Kevlar is a global business serving a wide range of market applications delivering innovation, technology and solutions in environments where high-strength and lightweight performance are demanded. The business serves a global marketplace from offices in all major regions of the world and has manufacturing facilities in Northern Ireland, Japan and the United States.

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Stork and Tebodin win production facility order from Teijin Twaron

27th July 2001 0 comments

Stork NV unit Stork ICM BV and Hollandsche Beton Groep NV unit Tebodin Consultants & Engineers said they have agreed a deal with Teijin unit Teijin Twaron BV for the expansion of its monomer and para-aramid polymers production facility in the Dutch city of Delfzijl. Under the agreement, Stork ICM will be responsible for all construction activities and corresponding purchasing activities, while Tebodin Consultants & Engineers will perform all the detailed engineering activities. Teijin Twaron will invest a total 200 mln eur in expanding production of its Twaron para-aramid fiber, some 80 mln of which will be used at the Delfzijl production site. Stork spokesman Koos Huurdeman declined to specify which part of the 80 mln eur order is for Stork, but noted that the company has also submitted an offer to take part in an additional project to expand Teijin Twaron’s fibre facility in Emmen in the Netherlands. According to Teijin Twaron spokesperson Caroline Mackay, Kvaerner ASA would also be involved in the Emmen expansion, but she was unable to provide any further details.

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Cytec Agrees to Acquire BP Carbon Fiber Business

27th July 2001 0 comments

Cytec Industries Inc. has signed a Definitive Agreement to acquire the assets of the carbon fiber business of BP. The acquisition includes two manufacturing sites in Greenville, SC and Rock Hill, SC. The transaction is subject to normal closing conditions. Terms were not disclosed. The BP carbon fiber business had sales in the first half of 2001 of $17 million of which 50% were sales to Cytec Fiberite Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cytec Industries Inc., primarily for aircraft brake and military aircraft applications. Cytec Fiberite uses carbon fiber to reinforce an engineered resin matrix and produce a composite. Commercial and military aircraft manufacturers are increasingly replacing metal in aircraft with composites to achieve the same strength with less weight. David Lilley, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “”Cytec Fiberite is a global leader in advanced composites and structural film adhesives for the aerospace industry. Our acquisition of this business is important to ensure that Cytec has a high-quality, low-cost, uninterrupted supply of carbon fiber for its customers. “”As a producer of carbon fiber, Cytec’s materials scientists can now work even more closely with our customers to rapidly develop and qualify new, high performance composite materials for aerospace and other emerging high growth applications.

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3 KW Fuel Cell For Scooters and Back Up Power

27th July 2001 0 comments

Manhattan Scientifics’ German-based NovArs unit has successfully developed and tested a small, ultra-light 3 kilowatt fuel cell system. Because of its lightweight and compact size, the proprietary fuel cell system is highly portable. This makes it ideal for small vehicles such as electric scooters, golf carts as well as emergency home generators, RVs and other recreational use such as camping. The new hydrogen-fueled 3 kilowatt system (1 kilowatt = 1,000 watts) is based on the basic design and concept of the previously announced NovArs fuel cell system currently being tested by Electrolux (US), Aprilia, S.p.A. and the U.S. Army. The new, higher-powered unit is capable of providing emergency power for essential elements in a typical American home. The earlier announced NovArs fuel cell currently being tested on bicycles and vacuum cleaners was 670 watts or less than 1 kW. The new unit is also capable of powering fast electric motor scooters. The fuel cell uses advanced composite materials and unique technologies to minimize size and weight. The total system including fans, valves, electronics, cables and tubes weighs 5.9 kilograms (13 pounds). The unit with all peripherals, not including the hydrogen source, measures 340 mm x 246 mm x 158 mm (13.4 in x 9.7 in x 6.2 in). Versions of this configuration can be scaled down from 3,000 to 1,000 watts to fit a wide range of market needs.

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Pultronex Corporation USA Distribution Agreement

27th July 2001 0 comments

Pultronex Corporation has granted U.S. Distribution Rights to an independent sales and marketing organization located in Scottsdale, Arizona to streamline sales in the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, Pultronex Distribution U.S.A. has sole distribution rights to the U.S.A and will actively sign on sub-distributors to distribute products in exclusive geographical territories. Pultronex Distribution U.S.A. principal George Filippi stated, “” In my 30 plus years in product distribution, I have seen few opportunities of this magnitude. We recognized the qualities of these products, and determined that product awareness and recognition were the most critical needs at this time. Our roll-out model will outline the establishment of sub-distributors throughout the United States who will create a sub-structure allowing access from all facets of consumer demand. Our research has indicated that there is a growing need for alternatives to wood products for both longevity and environmental issues, and we believe that the fiberglass products currently being produced by Pultronex will satisfy this demand.”” Pultronex Corporation C.E.O Kelly Delhon states, “”We are very excited to be working with the new team at Pultronex Distribution U.S.A. Their principals bring a proven track record with over 40 years of commercial and industrial distribution. I anticipate that this agreement will lead to faster and more efficient penetration into the U.S markets as well as create substantial cost savings for the company. This relationship has already allowed the company to eliminate nearly $250,000 in annual overhead. Pultronex Distribution U.S.A. will work closely with us to build onto our existing infrastructure and create growth at a rate we couldn’t have achieved on our own.”” Founded in 1998, Pultronex Corporation manufacturers and markets high-tech fiberglass products for decking, earth erosion, railing and scaffolding applications.

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UK Government Minister Opens Halgavor Bridge

27th July 2001 0 comments

An innovative new bridge with a deck made from glass reinforced plastic and surfaced with recycled tyres means pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will be able to cross the road in safety. The ground-breaking National Cycle Network Millennium Bridge at Halgavor in the UK was officially opened by Transport Minister David Jamieson last week. The GBP565,000 bridge, links Bodmin with the National Trust’s property at Lanhydrock and Bodmin Parkway railway station and forms part of the 180 mile Cornish Way developed by Cornwall County Council for Sustrans. It is one of only eight millennium bridges to be built in the UK on the National Cycle Network. and is the first of its type to be funded publicly and built over a trunk road. The innovative GRP decking was fabricated at the Vosper Thornycroft shipyard in Southampton. It was delivered to the site and slotted into place in one piece during a 24 hour road closure in January. Mr Jamieson said: This is an innovative suspension bridge, which has combined new ideas with environmental awareness and local people’s safety. The Highways Agency, contactor Balfour Beatty, designers Flint and Neill Partnership, architects Wilkinson Eyre and others have all worked together and delivered an exciting and innovative structure with which the project team can be justifiably proud.

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The Global Outlook for Natural Fiber Reinforcements 2001

27th July 2001 0 comments

Intertech’s conference, “Wood and Natural Fiber Reinforcements 2001,” will be held December 3-5, 2001 at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Conference Co-Chairs for 2001 are Dr. Habib J. Dagher – Director, Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center, University of Maine and Robin Jacobs – Vice President, Marketing, U.S. Plastic Lumber. In addition, two optional interactive pre-conference workshops on compounding technology and natural fiber markets are planned for December 3. This international business conference is designed for leading suppliers, producers and end-users of reinforced materials to discuss the diverse opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the booming wood and natural fiber reinforced composite market. Attendees will learn about the latest developments in cultivating quality natural fibers, exploiting underused or waste wood, mat forming and compounding techniques (including moisture control and drying processes), and the impact these developments will have on the use of calcium carbonate, talc, mica and fiberglass in construction and automotive markets. Attendees will also get a comprehensive assessment of the growing list of infrastructure applications for advanced engineered wood composites, including the latest results in durability and fatigue testing. Participants will learn about new technical and market developments in the rapidly expanding wood and natural fiber reinforcement markets and will have the opportunity to discuss key issues impacting these evolving markets with speakers and attendees from leading companies and institutions from around the world. Intertech organizes international conferences and performs market assessments and strategic planning studies in the fields of minerals, composite materials and specialty chemicals. The firm produces approximately 25 industrial and advanced technology conferences each year in Western Europe, North America and Asia. Speaker recruitment for the conference is now underway. To submit a topic for consideration, or to request a complete conference brochure, please contact J. Scott Stephenson, Conference Director, Intertech, 19 Northbrook Drive, Portland, Maine 04105 USA. Telephone: +(207) 781-9800, Fax: +(207) 781-2150,

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