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Composites Industry News

News for May 2006


Interplastic Thermoset Resins Divisions Receive ISO 14001

21st May 2006 0 comments

Interplastic Corporation’s Thermoset Resins Division has received ISO 14001:2004 certification for the Division’s Hawthorne, California and Kent, Washington, manufacturing facilities.

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SAMPE Announces 2006-2007 International Executive Cabinet Officers

21st May 2006 0 comments

SAMPE has announced the 2006-2007 International Executive Cabinet, presented and approved at Board of Directors Meeting during the recent SAMPE ‘06 in Long Beach, California. The Cabinet will be made up of: Mr. Raymond L. Miller, President (Technical Sales Representative, Northern Fiber Glass Sales, Inc., Hampton, NH, USA). Mr. Bob Griffiths, Executive Vice President (Consultant and Director, ERG Ltd., United Kingdom). Dr. Linda L. Clements, Senior Vice President (Director of Materials R&D, 2Phase Technologies, Inc., Dayton, NV, USA). Dr. William B. Avery, Vice President (Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA, USA). Mr. Serge Dellus, Vice President-Europe (Head of Advanced Technologies Development Center, Dassault-Aviation, France). Mr. Sakuya Iwai, Vice President-Pacific Rim (President, Tokyo Technologies, Inc., Japan). Mr. Steven Rodgers, Secretary (Director of R&D, EDO Fiber Science, Salt Lake City, UT, USA). Dr. Allan S. Crasto, Treasurer (Head, Nonmetallic Materials Division, University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, OH, USA) Dr. Tia Benson Tolle, Immediate Past President (Chief, Structural Materials Branch, Air Force Research Laboratory, WPAFB, OH, USA).

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Carbon Fullerenes Now Have Metallic Cousins

21st May 2006 0 comments

Scientists have uncovered a class of gold atom clusters that are the first known metallic hollow equivalents of the famous hollow carbon fullerenes known as buckyballs. The evidence for what their discoverers call “hollow golden cages” appeared today in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The fullerene is made up of a sphere of 60 carbon (C) atoms; gold (Au) requires many fewer—16, 17 and 18 atoms, in triangular configurations more gem-like than soccer ball. At more than 6 angstroms across, or roughly a ten-millionth the size of a comma, they are nonetheless roomy enough to cage a smaller atom. “This is the first time that a hollow cage made of metal has been experimentally proved,” said Lai-Sheng Wang, the paper’s lead corresponding author. Wang is an affiliate senior chief scientist at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and professor of physics at Washington State University. The experiments were buttressed and the clusters’ geometry deciphered from theoretical calculations led by Professor Xiao Cheng Zeng of the University of Nebraska and co-corresponding author. Wang, who worked in the Richard Smalley lab that gave the world buckyballs, is part of a large cluster of researchers who have spent much of the past decade attempting to find the fullerene’s kin in metal. But their search has proved difficult because of metal clusters’ tendency to compact or flatten. Experiments at the PNNL-based W.R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory elicited the photoelectron spectra of clusters smaller than Au32, which had been theorized as the gold-cage analog to C60 but ruled out by Wang’s group in an experiment that showed it as being a compact clump. They instead turned their attention to clusters smaller than 20 atoms, which earlier work by Wang’s group showed were 3-D, but larger than 13 atoms, known to be flat. The spectra and calculations showed that clusters of 15 atoms or fewer remained flat but that all but one possible configuration of 16, 17 and 18 atoms open in the middle. At 19 atoms, the spaces fill in again to form a near-pyramid. “Au-16 is beautiful and can be viewed as the smallest golden cage,” Wang said. He pictures it as having “removed the four corner atoms from our Au20 pyramid and then letting the remaining atoms relax a little,” and thus opening up space in its centre. It and its larger neighbours are stable at room temperature and are known as “free-standing” cages – unattached to a surface or any other body, in a vacuum. “When deposited on a surface, the cluster may interact with the surface and the structure may change.” Wang and his co-workers suspect “that many different kinds of atoms can be trapped inside” these hollow clusters, a process called “doping.” “These doped cages may very well survive on surfaces,” suggesting a method for influencing physical and chemical properties at smaller-than-nano scales, “depending on the dopants.” Wang’s group has not yet attempted to imprison a foreign atom in the hollow Au cages, but they plan to try.

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JER Receives Eight Container Order

21st May 2006 0 comments

JER Envirotech International has received an order from Gulf Coast Composites for approximately 332,800lbs of its patented wood-plastic composite compounds. “”After conducting extensive tests on JER’s WPC compounds, we have concluded that the technical properties of JER’s compounds make it the perfect material to produce our environmentally-friendly extruded composite products,”” stated Loren Hill, president and chief executive officer of Gulf Coast. “”We are pleased to be the supplier of choice for Gulf Coast,”” stated Tom McMullen, North American sales manager of JER, “”I am confident that this relationship will be a win-win for both of us as we grow our respective businesses.”” Gulf Coast Composites manufactures a range of light-weight composite boards in many dimensional lumber sizes, shapes, and colours, whilst JER is a producer of wood-plastic (or alternative fibre) composite compound and panel boards.

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2Phase Technologies Awarded $2M Army Aviation Contract

21st May 2006 0 comments

2Phase Technologies has been awarded a $2.0 million follow-on contract from the US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) for the development of Reconfigurable Tooling Systems. “The technology developed through this Army funding will greatly improve on existing repair technologies, which in most cases are both time-consuming and costly,” said Dr. John Crowley, President and CEO of 2Phase. “2Phase’s breakthrough technology will permit aging or damaged rotorcraft to get back into service quickly, without excessive expense or compromises in repair quality.” Dr. Crowley went on to say, “Senator Harry Reid was essential in securing this contract and should be congratulated for obtaining funding for work that will significantly enhance our country’s overall military preparedness while benefiting both Nevada’s economy and its educational opportunities.” Sen. Reid responded, “”This contract will help make sure the Army can keep its equipment in top condition, and that will help the Army keep us all safer. I’m not surprised that a great idea like this would be developed in Nevada. 2Phase Technologies is a great example of our state’s ingenuity.”” Dr. Linda Clements, 2Phase’s Director of Materials R&D, explained more about the impact on Nevada. “During this final year of the project we plan to expand our Nevada staff further—creating more jobs in the Dayton area—involve more Nevada firms in the effort, and further increase our efforts at UNR and UNLV. In addition, as we commercialize the technology developed during this contract, we will require a significant commitment to manufacturing commercial systems, both at 2Phase’s facility in Mound House and by subcontracts to other Nevada companies.” The repair systems in development make use of 2Phase Technologies’ patented state-change material to create integrated tooling and process repair equipment.

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New Long-Glass Fiber Reinforced ABS

21st May 2006 0 comments

Dow Automotive has launched Magnum Brace, a new long-glass fibre reinforced ABS product targeted for applications such as instrument panels, door modules, tailgate inner structures, air ducts and other structural parts. Magnum Brace is a long-glass fibre reinforced concentrate which can be diluted at the injection moulding machine to the required glass content level for each application. The material is globally available and has seen its first commercial application by a major North American OEM on an air duct. Compared to long-glass fibre reinforced polypropylene, Dow say that Magnum Brace only requires minimum glass fibre content to achieve superior mechanical performance. A consistent high stiffness over a wide temperature range enables construction of thinner-walled and reduced weight applications. Its base resin eliminates warpage and it requires no pre-treatment for further processing.

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Saertex Distribution Agreement in Dubai

21st May 2006 0 comments

The Saertex Group has signed a distribution agreement with Logistics Company Limited – Dubai, a leading distributor of raw materials for the composite industry in the Middle East. Logistics Company Limited will be Saertex’s exclusive distributor for the Middle East market for glass, carbon and aramid non-crimp-fabrics for the composite industry. “Logistics Company Limited extends our coverage throughout the Middle East,“ stated Global Sales & Marketing Director Marc Schrief. “They will support us in regions such as United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.”

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PPG Installs Waste Glass Recycling Unit

21st May 2006 0 comments

PPG Industries has installed a $1.6-million unit to recycle waste fibre glass at its fibre glass manufacturing plant in Hoogezand, the Netherlands. The investment will enable the plant to recycle more than 90 percent of its waste fibre glass, enabling PPG to conserve raw materials and avoid landfill costs. The facility recycles waste fibre glass through two melting furnaces at the manufacturing plant, according to Vicki Holt, PPG’s senior vice president, glass and fibre glass. “PPG’s investment in the recycling unit is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to the environment,” Holt said. “The investment also reflects PPG’s commitment to the fibre glass business. The recycling unit will enable us to reduce costs and strengthen our competitiveness in the global fibre glass industry. “The recycling system will lead to a significant reduction in our use of raw materials, which will preserve natural resources and reduce our transport costs. And it will help decrease the amount of waste disposed at landfills.” The waste recycling unit is a prototype system for use at other PPG fibre glass plants around the world, Holt said. The Hoogezand plant is also a PPG fibre glass research and development centre for thermoplastic fibre glass products and processes.

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Low-Cost Processing of Carbon Nanotubes

21st May 2006 0 comments

Engineers at the Fraunhofer Technology Development Group TEG in Stuttgart have devised a method that enables carbon nanotubes to be processed at low cost. Ever since they were first discovered, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have inspired the imagination of scientists and entrepreneurs alike. They are extremely conductive, robust and lightweight. While it is no longer difficult to manufacture nanotubes as a raw material, there are still very few finished products, as CNTs do not bind readily with other materials and resist incorporation in the majority of production processes. Project Manager Ivica Kolaric and his team at the Stuttgart CNT applications laboratory are currently producing their semi-finished CNT products in paper form. The sheets look like black art paper and cost just a few euros per square meter. “”We are not tied to any particular shape, though””, stresses Kolaric. The CNT composite system can be mixed with many different materials and combines just as easily with plastics as with textiles. Reinforced tennis racquets are only one of many potential applications. The researcher believes that the greatest potential for creating new products at the present time lies in harnessing the electrical properties of nanotubes to generate heat. The material is not only extremely light and robust, but can also very efficiently heat up surfaces of any size. In their various experimental applications for CNTs, the Stuttgart engineers have embedded them in kidney belts or used them to de-ice mirrors, achieving a high degree of efficiency. “”The potential applications are virtually unlimited – they range from electric blankets and heatable aircraft wings that no longer ice up, through to wallpaper heating for cold walls””, claims Kolaric. Among the first products to contain semi-finished CNT products from the TEG are the Völkl DNX tennis racquets. They have proved an outstanding success: the original plan was to manufacture 90,000 racquets, but they are selling so fast that production will probably be ramped up. “”Carbon nanotubes are used to reinforce the frame at the points subjected to the greatest stress and improve the racquet’s ability to absorb shocks””, explains Kolaric.

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ACM Likely To Produce Composite Parts for 787

28th May 2006 0 comments

Certain composite material components of Boeing’s all-new 787 Dreamliner will most likely be sourced from the US airplane makers’ joint venture company in Malaysia, Asian Composites Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (ACM). The Kedah-based ACM is in the running to provide composite parts for the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing’s vice president and general manager of the 787 programme, Mike Bair, said Tuesday. “”We hope to reap the advantages of its capability and look forward to a long alliance with it (ACM),”” he said. ACM currently produces advanced composite structures for wings of all Boeing jetliners in production. Earlier this month, ACM general manager Dr Nazily Noor said the company had made a bid to supply composite components for the 787 aircraft. Dr Nazily said that ACM would have to invest another RM10 million to RM15 million to install new machines and extend the plant should it win the bid. The result of the five-year contract valued at US$30 million to US$50 million was expected to be known in three to four months, said Dr Nazily. Bair said more than 50 percent of the 787 composed of composite materials, which was two to three times more than other commercial airplanes. ACM is a joint venture company between Boeing Company and Hexcel of the United States and Naluri Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd of Malaysia, with each holding a 25 percent stake.

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