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Composites Industry News

News for 2001


Composites One Names New Marketing Director

19th January 2001 0 comments

Composites One is pleased to announce that Greg Shymske has been promoted to the position of Director of Marketing. Shymske has been with Composites One since early 2000 in the position of Great Lakes Region Sales Manager Shymske brings to the position considerable marketing experience. He formerly held various sales and marketing positions at Owens Corning where he was employed for nearly 20 years. In his new role with Composites One Shymske will focus on strategic marketing and supplier relations

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Pyrograf-III Carbon Fiber

19th January 2001 0 comments

Pyrograf Products, Inc., (PPI) a subsidiary of Applied Sciences, Inc., is pleased to announce that Pyrograf-III carbon nanofiber is now available in product development quantities from PPI’s pilot plant. Pyrograf-III is a patented, very fine, highly graphitic carbon nanofiber. Pyrograf-III has a typical average diameter between 0.05 and 0.2 µm and a length estimated to be 50 -100 microns. The diameters of carbon nanofibers fall within a narrow distribution, the average of which can be varied over a range from 100 nm to 350 nm. Pyrograf-III is much smaller than conventional continuous or milled carbon fibers (5 -10 µm) but significantly larger than carbon nanotubes (0.001 – 0.01 µm). The main attribute of the Pyrograf-III carbon nanofiber is its ability to provide significant electrical resistivity at acceptable filler levels in a variety of organic and ceramic composites. In addition, Pyrograf-III carbon nanofiber can simultaneously provide enhanced mechanical properties of certain organic matrix materials, particularly non-polar matrices such as rubber and polyolefins, along with electrical conductivity over a broad range. A number of unique, non-composite applications proprietary to PPI’s customers are also under development. Research to develop additional fiber types is ongoing. Additional technical information can be obtained by contacting Mr. D. Burton,

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Vinyl Polyester Resins Introduced by Reichhold

26th January 2001 0 comments

Reichhold, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of polymer resins for composites, has introduced a revolutionary new family of Vinyl Polyester resins. Marketed under the DION VPE 7100 trade name, Reichhold’s patent-pending vinyl polyester resins provide fabricators with a blend of strength, toughness, corrosion resistance, high temperature performance, ease of fabrication and low styrene content that has never before been offered to the industry. The resins provide very low-monomer content (less than 35%), helping fabricators control emissions and workplace styrene levels. In addition, the low viscosities provide easy fabrication by conventional methods, whether thixotropic or unthixed versions are needed. The glass-wetting properties are evident not only during fabrication, but also in final laminate appearance and mechanical properties. Laminates based on DION VPE 7100 provide strength and toughness comparable to high-performance vinyl ester resins at both ambient and elevated temperatures.Testing has demonstrated that the corrosion resistance of thixotropic DION VPE7100-00 resin is equal to or better than the best corrosion-resistant isophthalic resins in most acidic, aqueous and bleach environments. It is clearly superior to isophthalic resins in certain alkaline conditions. DION VPE100 resins are ideal for most applications requiring high laminate strength, toughness and heat resistance, including corrosion-resistant FRP equipment, structural laminates for severe corrosion applications, tooling and marine laminates. Two versions are presently available. DION VPE7100-00 is prepromoted and thixotropic. It is designed for flowcoater, sprayup and hand layup fabrication. DION VPE7100-05 is unpromoted and unthixed, and is ideal for filament winding, RTM, and other applications requiring the fabrication flexibility of unpromoted resin. For more information on VPE resins, visit the VPE website

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Electron Beam Curing Research Facility Established in Dayton

26th January 2001 0 comments

The University of Dayton recently established a “Laboratory for Research on Electron Beam Curing of Composites”, which is being operated in collaboration with scientists from Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The facility is located at the National Composite Center (NCC) in Dayton, Ohio. The 3 MeV electron beam accelerator is specially designed as a unique research instrument and will be dedicated to basic research on unsolved problems in electron beam (e-beam) processing of composites. This research will be essential to establishing the e-beam curing method as a qualified, low cost means for fabricating large scale composites for aerospace, automotive, and other structural applications. E-beam technology has been used commercially for many years in such procedures as sterilizing medical equipment and curing thin polymer films and coatings. However, no dedicated basic research facility previously existed in the U.S. which had the proper equipment to research e-beam curing of composite structures. For more information on the facility or e-beam curing in general, see http://www.udri.udayton.edu/ebeam/ or contact laboratory coordinator Dr. Don Klosterman at 937-229-2794.

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Interplastic Reaches Licensing Agreement With Microban

26th January 2001 0 comments

Robert DeRoma, Senior Vice President announced that Interplastic Corporation has signed a license agreement with Microban Products Company to incorporate Microban antimicrobial products into a special line of Thermoset Resins Division’s Silmar and CoREZYN brand polyester, vinyl ester resins and CoREZYN gel coats. These new resin and gel coats have been especially formulated for solid surface, cast polymer, and sanitary ware products. The Microban antimicrobial additives formulated into these resins and gel coats inhibit the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria and inhibit mold and mildew on the product. A feature that has major benefits to manufacturers of cultured marble, solid surface, and sanitary ware. Interplastic Corporation is a specialty chemical company headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is focused on the production and istribution of unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins and gel coats to the composites and cast polymer industries. Its distribution division is a national, full service supplier to these same industries.

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Lufthansa Technik Acquires Composite International

26th January 2001 0 comments

Lufthansa Technik AG (LHT) is acquiring Composite International, Inc., based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is setting up a new workshop for servicing high-grade aircraft components in Shenzhen, China. This “double coup” is a further step toward LHT’s expanding its role in the business of servicing airframe-related components (ARCs) and strengthening its presence in the U.S. and Asia, two of the world’s most important markets. Coupled with the operation in Hamburg, the two facilities will form an ARC network that will overhaul and repair thrust reversers, engine cowlings and other composite components on a worldwide basis. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a growing aviation center, Composite International Inc. has over the past ten years become a significant player in the servicing of aircraft components in North America. Its equipment, which includes two autoclaves, enables it to do complete repairs and overhauls of aircraft structural elements. The company currently has 60 employees working in a shop area of some 107,000 square feet. Its customer list includes such names as Boeing and Northwest. It is planning to lay on additional staff and to concentrate on North America’s growing ARC-servicing business. The operation in Shenzhen is being set up as a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen and two Chinese companies. It aims to meet the needs of airlines based in China and throughout the Asian region. Its ARC shop and servicing center for wheels and brakes are due to start operating in the second half of 2001. Lufthansa Technik has become the market leader in Europe in the servicing of airframe-related components thanks to its extensive airline experience gained from decades of serving Lufthansa and to the fact of its having developed on its own a number of state-of-the-art repair procedures. Today more than 180 customers worldwide send their thrust reversers and engine cowls to LHT’s ARC shops in Hamburg, where in a shop area of some 86,000 square feet its staff of 150 specialists service high-grade aircraft components for airline customers throughout the world.

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Fuel Cell Powered Vacuum Cleaner Prototype

26th January 2001 0 comments

Manhattan Scientifics, Inc. announced that it has entered into a joint agreement with Electrolux LLC and Lunar Design, Inc. to develop an evaluation prototype of a fuel cell powered vacuum cleaner for the home. Manhattan Scientifics is to design and build the prototype fuel cell to power a unique portable vacuum cleaner. This advanced home appliance is intended to free the user from electric cords and A/C wall plugs while providing full power cleaning performance. The unit’s light weight and low noise coupled with total freedom of movement throughout the home or business are potentially strong distinctive features in the market share battle for high-end vacuum cleaners. The company announced last month that it has entered into an agreement with Aprilia, S.p.A., one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of motor scooters and motorcycles, to develop a fuel cell powered concept bicycle. Aprilia unveiled the bicycle, a version of Manhattan Scientifics’ Hydrocycle(TM) bicycle, in December at the Bologna Motor Show in Italy. The power system for Electrolux will use Manhattan Scientifics’ mid-range fuel technology developed by its partner company, NovArs GmbH, located near Passau, Germany. The fuel cell’s unique design uses advanced composite materials and sealing technology to minimize size and weight making it ideal as a power source for portable equipment. The system is a hydrogen/air system using hydrogen as fuel. It is anticipated that it will supply 1000 watts of power at ambient pressure with minimum ancillary equipment. The hydrogen fuel is stored in a lightweight carbon fiber reinforced pressure essel. This fuel supply can be refilled within seconds with a replacement tank via a quick connect/disconnect feature. Electrolux can use its worldwide in-the-home customer service network to deliver refilled hydrogen bottles to customers. Disconnect and replacement will be similar to bottled propane and butane replacement currently used for barbeque grills and heaters. The Electrolux units will be significantly smaller and lighter in weight. Electrolux LLC is not affiliated with and should be distinguished from Electrolux AB of Sweden.

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Conoco Posts Another Record Quarter

26th January 2001 0 comments

Conoco said that higher prices, increased production and strong refining margins produced record-setting results for the fourth consecutive quarter. “Great strides were made in our emerging, high-technology carbon fibers and natural gas refining businesses by bringing them closer to commercial realization,” said Conoco Chairman and CEO Archie W. Dunham. Business highlights for the quarter included construction on the 8-million-pound carbon fibers plant in Ponca City, Okla., with mechanical completion expected in late 2001. Plans are under way to scale-up future larger plant design to the commercial production levels required for anticipated customer demand. In December, the company opened its first international carbon fibers sales office in Tokyo to assist customers in their evaluation of the new carbon fiber.

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BTG Grants BP License for Innovative Material

26th January 2001 0 comments

BTG, the global technology commercialization company, announced on 19 January that it has granted British Petroleum (BP) exclusive worldwide rights to a patent portfolio known as “Hot Compaction.” Using this technology, BP will be able to manufacture a new generation of formable, self-reinforced and lightweight thermoplastic composites targeted at a plastics automotive market thought to be over $10 billion. The technology came from several years of research conducted by a team of three scientists at the University of Leeds; Professor Ian Ward, Dr. Peter Hine and Mr. Keith Norris. Recognizing its commercial potential, BTG acquired the technology, funded the initial development, and filed patents worldwide, which ensured fast-track development for Vantage Polymers, an incubation company set up to develop the technology further. “BTG’s expertise in constructing water-tight patents allowed us not only to derive value from the technology, but also to harness the innovation of the manufacturing process,” said Professor Ian Ward. BP is making significant investment and expects their first production line to be fully commissioned in 2001 at its Gronau, Germany site, and potential customers are already being targeted. In addition to interior and exterior car components, the Hot Compaction composite has many applications, including packaging, consumer goods, building materials and protective gear for sports. The additional feature of radar translucency has a potential application for the aerospace and defense industry. The product provides a superior alternative to many conventional materials, as it is made out of one material, polypropylene, and is fully thermoplastic. http://www.btgplc.com. Since the agreement was made, but before it was public, it has also been announced that BP is looking to sell is plastic fabrications and fibres operations (which currently includes the self-reinforced composites operation) for an estimated GBP 400m, as part of a strategy to focus its chemicals business on petrochemical intermediates

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WTA Signs LOI for Indonesia

26th January 2001 0 comments

World Transport Authority Inc. announced that it has signed a letter of intent with P.T. Ori Polytec Composites (PPC) for a Master License for their inexpensive, rugged composite utility vehicle covering the Republic of Indonesia. Located just south of the Philippines, Indonesia consists of over 1,800,000 square miles of archipelago between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The aggregate opulation of Indonesia is approximately 224 million people. P.T. Ori Polytec Composites is an Indonesian company, which manufactures filament wound, poltrusion-molded and fiberglass-molded products. The company has 30 years experience, much of it automotive, and currently employs approximately 475 employees.

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