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Composites Industry News

News for June 2004


Honeywell Inject $20M into Spectra Armour Industry

11th June 2004 0 comments

Honeywell to invest $20 million into its Spectra fibre business to meet increasing demand from the armour industry.

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Huntsman Presents New RTM System Based on Benzoxazine Chemistry

11th June 2004 0 comments

Huntsman Advanced Structural Composites Business Unit presented a paper at the recent SAMPE exhibition to develop a new RTM system.

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Reichhold Installs Surface Analyzer for SMC / BMC Applications

11th June 2004 0 comments

Reichhold are to invest for the future in closed moulding applications with the purchase and installation of the Ondulo system from Techlab.

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Thermally Conductive Polymers Targeting $1 Billion Metal Replacement Market

11th June 2004 0 comments

Principia Partners are producing a report looking at why thermal conductivity is one of the last remaining areas where plastics have not been effective in replacing metals. Any application that required heat transfer was restricted to a traditional metal or ceramic. These materials offered acceptable thermal conductivity, but also presented significant design and manufacturing drawbacks. Additionally, the high thermal conductivity of certain metals was often wasted in designs where the heat transfer was not conduction limited. Several engineering resin suppliers and technical compounders have been recently developing heat-conducting thermoplastic compounds that will have thermal conductivity as high as 60W/mk. Initial developments have been concentrated on heat-resistant engineering polymers such as LCP, PPS, PEEK and polysulfones. Newer developments are based on medium temperature resistant polymers such as ABS, PBT, polycarbonate, and nylon. There seems to be an opportunity for PP and PS in non-electronic applications such as food packaging heating and cooling products. The heat transfer requirements are targeted by this new group of thermally conductive compounds made with carbon, metal, and ceramic fillers. Parts moulded out of this new generation of materials can replace metals and ceramics in some applications, and non-conductive plastics in others. Uses include custom-moulded heat sinks on circuit boards, as well as tubing for heat exchangers in appliances, lighting, telecommunication devices, business machines, and industrial equipment used in corrosive environments. Lighting applications also include reflectors, laser-diode encapsulation, and fluorescent ballasts. Automotive headlamp reflectors are also in development. Lou Rossi, Senior Partner, says, “”Early success has been made in bases/frames, ceramic replacement, encapsulation, hard disk drive coils, heat exchangers, heat sinks, and sensors/switches. Injection moulded thermally conductive polymer compounds will continue replacing metal at an increasing rate in brand new applications for plastics, much like the early days of metal replacement for the plastics industry starting 30 years ago. The path is being paved by traditional engineering plastics companies and technical compounders who are innovating with the customer in mind.”” Principia Partners is conducting the industry’s first study focused on thermally conductive polymers in North America. The new report titled Thermally Conductive Polymers 2004: The Next Metal Replacement Opportunity leverages Principia’s well-established expertise in materials and processing markets. The report is scheduled for completion in January 2005.

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Goodrich Corporation to Supply Sonar Domes for Virginia Class Submarine

11th June 2004 0 comments

Goodrich Corporation was selected by Northrop Grumman Newport News to supply six Virginia class submarine sonar bow domes. The agreement includes the fabrication, testing, and delivery of the bow domes at a rate of one per year beginning in 2005. The contract award is possible because of the innovative multi-year contract strategy enacted by the Navy in January 2004. The bow dome is a large, hydro-dynamically shaped composite structure that houses and protects the highly sophisticated sonar transducer sphere — the “”eyes and ears”” of a submarine. The bow domes are manufactured at Goodrich’s Engineered Polymer Products division in Jacksonville, Florida. Goodrich has been supplying sonar domes, windows, and acoustic materials to the U.S. Navy for over 35 years. This is the second order for bow domes received from Northrop Grumman Newport News in the past three years. The first order was awarded in August 2001 for three bow domes. Delivery of all three domes will be complete by the middle of this year. “”We are extremely pleased to continue our successful supplier relationship with Northrop Grumman and to be part of the world’s premier submarine program,”” stated Edward Hart, President of Goodrich’s Engineered Polymer Products division. “”Our employees take great pride in designing and manufacturing quality advanced composite products for the U.S. Navy.”” In addition to supporting the U. S. Navy with its advanced acoustic products, Goodrich is also providing its Sonar Composite Domes and Sonar Dome Rubber Windows internationally to such countries as Japan, Bahrain, Egypt, Australia, and Taiwan under Foreign Military Sales agreements. Goodrich’s Engineered Polymer Products division specializes in researching, developing, manufacturing, testing and servicing acoustic and structural composite products. The division’s technology is in use in both military and commercial applications.

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Alcan Granted Global Exclusivity by Cyclics on CBT Resin

11th June 2004 0 comments

Alcan Composites and Cyclics Europe GmbH are to co-operate for the development and commercialization of Cyclics’ CBT resin in key strategic markets.

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Chinese to Partner Boeing on 7E7 Dreamliner

11th June 2004 0 comments

The China Aviation Industry Corporation are to provide parts and assemblies for Boeing airplanes, including the composite rudder for the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner.

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New RIM Technique to Reduce Costs of Decentralized Wind Power

11th June 2004 0 comments

The manufacturing technique used to make large truck beds, fenders and bumpers will soon be put to use producing medium-size wind turbine blades. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Golden Field Office, has awarded a $1.5 million development grant to a world-renowned Concord-based boatbuilder and an Amherst-based wind power engineering consortium that grew out of the UMass Wind Furnace project of the 1970s. The collaborative of engineers and manufacturers headed by Dr. Woody Stoddard, of Amherst, a wind energy expert and Senior Engineer at Composite Engineering, Inc. in Concord, hopes to adapt the industrial “RIM” technique to the manufacture of 7.5-metre windmill blades. Their ultimate goal is to make widespread decentralized wind power truly cost effective in the 21st century. If they are successful, it may mean the beginning of a solid alternative to, and independence from fossil fuels for mankind’s energy needs for farms, ranches, small businesses, and municipal utilities. The group will design and manufacture prototype wind turbine blades using a method called Reaction Injection Moulding, or RIM. RIM has been used for the last 30 years to make durable large-scale plastic products such as truck fenders, vehicle dashboards, and cab roofs for farm combines. RIM’s accuracy, low cost, repeatability and high material strength will now be applied to wind turbine blades, and the engineers are confident that RIM-made blades will be stronger, lighter, and more efficient than those currently in use and, with mass production, can be made at a much lower cost. Wind turbine blades must weather huge forces. In contrast to airplanes and helicopters, which can avoid encounters with storms, high winds and turbulence, stationary wind turbines must stand fast against such forces over an average lifetime of 20-plus years. In addition, wind turbines are often sited in high wind areas in order to harvest maximum wind power. The resulting mechanical stresses can be huge, and deriving a reasonably long life from the blades has been a continuing challenge for the wind turbine industry. Traditionally wind turbine blades have been produced by fibreglass hand-lay-up, a laborious process that results in strong but costly blades. This process has not changed substantially since the rebirth of wind energy in the 1970’s, and is true even for the largest “super-rotor” blades now being produced by utility wind turbine manufacturers such as General Electric in the U.S., Vestas in Denmark, and Nordex in Germany.

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GKN Wins First Integrated Aircraft Canopy Contract

11th June 2004 0 comments

GKN Aerospace has been awarded with the contract to supply a fully integrated (framed) FRP canopy system for the Boeing F-15C aircraft. This contract award marks a vital step forward for the Company in fulfilling its long term strategic goal to become the only independent supplier of total, integrated canopy systems. The F-15C integrated canopy contract represents the first time a single contract for the supply of an integrated military aircraft canopy system has been awarded. Marcus Bryson, President and CEO, GKN Aerospace, Europe said: “This important contract win is in line with our strategic plan for the growing aerospace business. We have brought together our extensive expertise in both aerostructures and transparencies to offer a single point of contact for the prime airframe manufacturer. Our next step is to implement this strategy across larger scale military and civil aerospace programmes, enabling the complex task of canopy system development, manufacture and integration to be easily outsourced for the first time. “ With the purchase last year of Pilkington Aerospace and its integration within GKN Aerospace’s existing transparencies operation, GKN is now the world’s leading supplier of military aircraft transparencies and the second largest supplier of transparencies to the civil aerospace market. By integrating these operations, the company is positioning itself as the only independent supplier of total canopy systems. This F-15 contract represents the first success for the Company in its drive to achieve this goal.

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Dow Automotive Materials Provide Performance Benefits for Cadillac SRX

11th June 2004 0 comments

Betafoam low-density acoustical foam from Dow Automotive helps manage road and chassis noise, vibration and harshness in the 2004 Cadillac SRX. The higher-density structural foam provides stability and crash/energy management benefits to the A-pillar and longitudinal rails. Betafoam, a two-part polyurethane foam, is typically injected into body cavities during vehicle assembly, where it cures almost immediately, providing an acoustical seal or near-immediate reinforcement of the vehicle’s body structure. For the Cadillac SRX, the Dow Automotive team provided application development, design, material expertise, product testing and evaluation at Dow Automotive’s lab in Auburn Hills.

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