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Composites Industry News

News for April 2000


Ex-NASA Official Sounds Off on X-33 Fuel Tanks

18th April 2000 0 comments

A former director of NASA’s Advanced Programs and Advanced Technologies likened the space agency’s plan to test the X-33 space plane as a waste of time. “What NASA wants to do is fly with an aluminum tank and that won’t prove anything,” said Ivan Bekey, a former NASA official, while testifying before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. The X-33 is a small-scale prototype of a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle, which was set to test-launch last year. Bekey said that without a lighter hydrogen-carrying fuel tank, testing the X-33 would defeat the purpose of developing a cost-effective vehicle. Reducing the tank’s weight is critical to fuel efficiency. NASA’s hope for the X-33 is to reduce the present cost of going into space of $10,000 per pound to $1,000 per pound. NASA is developing composite metal fuel tanks that will be 30 percent lighter but just as strong as aluminum ones. NASA’s Associate Administrator for Aerospace Technology, Samuel Venneri, said NASA intended to continue developing the lighter tank, but did not want to wait. He said the agency would use an aluminum tank for test launching so as not to hold up the vehicle’s overall development. When engineers found metallic layers peeling off of a metal composite fuel tank during a test in November, it forced NASA to push back the X-33 test launch. The X-33 is a NASA and Lockheed Martin $1.7 billion cooperative development project. The vehicle is intended to take the place of the Space Shuttle in ferrying people to space stations at hypersonic speeds.

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Brunswick Technologies Rejects Company Sale to Saint Gobain

18th April 2000 0 comments

Brunswick Technologies Inc. the manufacturer of composite reinforcements, today announced that it has received from Saint-Gobain Reinforcement Division an unsolicited expression of interest to negotiate a sale of the Company to Saint-Gobain. The Board of Directors of the Company has determined that the Company is not for sale at this time. Examples of products manufactured with BTI engineered reinforcements include: ballistic armor, boats, snowboards, railcars, truck panels, wind blades, airframe structures, automotive parts, marine pilings, bridges, and offshore oil and gas production equipment. BTI has manufacturing facilities in the Maine, Texas and the UK.

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Dunlop Aviation implements ISO 14001 environmental management system

26th April 2000 0 comments

Dunlop Aviation has implemented ISO 14001 environmental management system as part of its commitment to the highest standards of business practice, This will further assist Dunlop Aviation in continuously minimising waste and reducing energy usage, important factors in the highly competitive global markets in which Dunlop Aviation operates. Dunlop Aviation received considerable help in setting up the system from Coventry City Council’s Environmental Advice Services which points out the saving which can be made by adopting the programme. The company is a leader in the design and manufacture of aircraft wheels, brakes and braking systems. The company also produces composite structures.

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Lockheed Martin Team Successfully Tests JSF ‘Fastenerless’ Inlet Duct;

26th April 2000 0 comments

The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) team completed a successful pressure test of its “fastenerless” inlet duct design. The all-composite duct offers major advantages in costs and operational capabilities by eliminating fastener penetrations through the inlet. This results in a smooth inner surface, providing excellent aerodynamic and signature performance and eliminating maintenance associated with fastener corrosion and fuel-leak repair. “Compared to inlet ducts in today’s operational fighter aircraft, we estimate the new duct can be produced in half the span time and at two-thirds the cost,” said Frank J. Cappuccio, vice president and program manager of the Lockheed Martin JSF. A combination of advanced composite material and process technologies allowed the fabrication of a cost-effective, one-piece duct segment that can be assembled in the JSF airframe with minimal fasteners. The pressure test was a major step toward validating the use of integral composite attach flanges to eliminate thousands of through-the-duct fasteners. The Lockheed Martin JSF team includes Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Flight evaluation of the demonstrator aircraft is scheduled to take place in 2000.

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CertainTeed Corporation Offers $8.00 per share for Brunswick Technologies, Inc

26th April 2000 0 comments

CertainTeed Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain announced that it intends to commence a tender offer for all of the approximately 5.2 million outstanding common shares of Brunswick Technologies, Inc. not already owned by Vetrotex CertainTeed Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of CertainTeed, at a price of $8.00 per share, in cash. This offer represents a premium of approximately 46% over BTI’s closing price on Friday, April 14, 2000. Vetrotex, CertainTeed’s fiber glass reinforcements business, currently owns about 14% of the outstanding shares of BTI. This offer is announced after CertainTeed’s repeated requests to negotiate a transaction were deferred by BTI’s directors. CertainTeed believes that the offer delivers significant and immediate value to BTI shareholders. Additionally, the combination of Vetrotex and BTI can achieve benefits for both companies by bringing a well managed, financially stronger and more diverse company together with BTI at a crucial time in its development. CertainTeed prefers to meet with representatives of BTI to pursue meaningful negotiations but, if not, CertainTeed believes that BTI shareholders should be given the opportunity to consider and act upon the offer.

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Brunswick Technologies Board Issues Statement On Unsolicited Certainteed Offer

26th April 2000 0 comments

Brunswick Technologies Inc, issued the following statement regarding an announcement by CertainTeed Corporation, that it has commenced a formal offer to acquire all outstanding BTI shares for $8.00 per share in cash. “BTI’s Board of Directors will evaluate the CertainTeed offer and make a recommendation to stockholders in due course. The Company urges stockholders not to take any action with respect to the CertainTeed offer until the Board makes its recommendation.” BTI develops and manufactures engineered reinforcements for the composite industry. Examples of products manufactured with BTI engineered reinforcements include ballistic armor, boats, snowboards, truck panels, wind-blades, automotive parts, marine pilings, bridges, and offshore oil and gas production equipment. BTI has manufacturing facilities in Maine, Texas and the UK. CertainTeed Corporation is a leading manufacturer of roofing; vinyl and fiber cement siding; vinyl windows; vinyl fencing, deck and railing; ventilation products; piping products; fiber glass insulation; and fiber glass products for reinforcing plastics and other materials. The company is headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and has more than 7,000 employees and 45 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States.

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Primix “Engineered Composite Railroad Tie” On Fast Track

26th April 2000 0 comments

The Primix Corporation Railroad Tie has recently undergone extensive testing, for a third time, at a third independent testing facility. Once again, test results have verified that the Primix tie’s design and strength are unrivalled when compared to its wood, concrete, or plastic tie competitors. This validated Primix’s own claims regarding the total superiority of its “Revolutionary Engineered Composite Railroad Tie” and strengthened Primix’s position as the “railroad tie of the future … today”. Also, the Primix Tie is being shipped, at the request of a major international company, to the National Railroad Test Facility in Pueblo, Co. There, the same test results will be verified, documented and made readily available to all Class I Railroad Companies. The support of all the test data coupled with the fact that Primix has had test ties, in track, for over four years, (which look as good as the day they were installed) only helps to strengthen the Primix Corporation’s position as the future supplier of cross- ties to the railroad industry.

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CARH Opens WorldStar Production in the Far East

26th April 2000 0 comments

Composite Automobile Research, Ltd has entered into a unique purchase agreement for the Master License in the country of Pakistan. The purchaser of the Master License is Automotive Technology Opportunities Inc., (ATO), a Nevada corporation headquartered in Springfield, Ill. WTA has concluded that Pakistan can sustain the building of approx. 90 factories, by way of population. Automotive Technology Opportunities Inc. plans to order and pay for their first factory no later than May 31, 2000. It is further anticipated that as each factory is brought on-line in Pakistan that it will be retrofitted to become a 3 car per day facility versus the standard 1 car per day factory. It is anticipated that the first factory will be located in the city of Lahore, one of the most densely populated regions of the country. Composite Automobile Research and World Transport Authority Inc., serve the emerging world’s transportation needs through in-country manufacturing facilities utilizing local semi-skilled labor to produce the WorldStar((R)) line of utility vehicles.

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Ceramics Process Systems Corp – ISO 9001 Certification

26th April 2000 0 comments

Ceramics Process Systems Corporation announced its quality system has been certified to conform to the ISO 9001 quality standard by TUV Essen, an internationally recognized certification company. Grant Bennett, President said: “We are very pleased to achieve certification to the ISO 9001 standard which encompasses business processes from design and development through production. Increasingly customers prefer to work with suppliers whose quality systems conform to the ISO 9001 quality standard; this is particularly true for European customers. We have recently begun shipment of production quantities to customers in Europe and we expect our growth in Europe to accelerate.” CPS develops, manufactures and markets advanced metal-matrix composites for housing and providing thermal management of high-density electronics. The Company’s products are primarily used in high-density microprocessor assemblies, wireless basestations, motor controllers, and satellite communications.

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Exel to acquire business operations of Fiberspar Performance Products

26th April 2000 0 comments

The Finnish sporting goods manufacturer Exel Oy has entered into an agreement to acquire the business operations of the US company Fiberspar Performance Products from Fiberspar Inc. The acquisition price is expected to be around FIM25m, of which goodwill accounts for some FIM10m. Fiberspar Performance Products manufactures and markets composite windsurfing masts and booms, yacht battens, ice-hockey sticks and other composite sports equipment and accessories worldwide.

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