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Composites Industry News

News for July 2001


North American Composites to Acquire Worum Fiberglass Supply Company, Inc

27th July 2001 0 comments

North American Composites, a distributor servicing the composites industry from its locations across the United States and Canada, has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Worum Fiberglass Supply Company Inc. from Brenntag, Inc. Worum Fiberglass, a pioneer in the composites industry founded in 1959, is currently one of the largest composites distributors in the North Central region. Worum Fiberglass has locations in Minnesota (St. Paul), Wisconsin (Germantown), Nebraska (Omaha), and Manitoba (Winnipeg). “The joining of Worum Fiberglass with NAC will form the dominant composite distributor in the North Central region and further demonstrates our strategy of ‘Delivering Performance’ to our customers and suppliers,” said Mark J. Brost, Vice President & General Manager of North American Composites. “We welcome the Worum Fiberglass employees who have developed this robust business and look forward to having them become our partners.”

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Sea Ray to build boats using closed mold process

27th July 2001 0 comments

Sea Ray, a boatbuilding division of Brunswick Corp, has signed an agreement with UK-based Plastech for hull and deck tooling, molding presses and injection equipment for Resin Transfer Molding (RTM). Sea Ray said now has exclusive rights to Plastech’s patented Multiple Insert Technology (MIT) closed molding and plans to implement full automation within the work cells this year. The company said it has been validating the technology for use in its manufacturing facility for over three years. Mike Hungerford, marketing services specialist for Tennessee-based Sea Ray, said the validation process includes full-scale boats, which are being test driven in all conditions. Sea Ray wants to accumulate hundreds of hours of testing before the company goes to full production. Hungerford said that 2002 model-year 182 Bowriders would soon be produced using the technology even though Sea Ray is just now receiving all the components of the production system from England. Sea Ray is studying other technologies for the production of larger boats, said Hungerford. Plastech, based in Gunnislake, Cornwall, was founded in 1984 and holds many patents. “”From our research and extensive testing, we found Plastech’s technology to be a common sense approach that gives us the controls we need to produce consistent and repeatable quality,”” said Sea Ray’s Jeff Skuda, vice president of manufacturing technology. “”Although closed molding processing is not new to the boat manufacturing industry, it was paramount for us at Sea Ray to select a process that would produce hulls and decks with repeatable part thickness,”” Skuda continued. “”That’s why Sea Ray took a lot of time to find the right technology to meet our stringent quality standards. MIT, which features rigid bolster technology, offers close and repeatable dimensional tolerances while giving us optimum control of part thickness.”” “”Our MIT process introduces a superior level of automation and quality for boat manufacturing,”” said Alan Harper, president of Plastech. “”This raises the bar in the industry and gives Sea Ray a distinct competitive advantage.”” Harper also explained another benefit of MIT tooling is the ability to mold complex structural shapes – a must for Sea Ray for intricate computer-assisted hull and deck designs currently being shaped with automated five-axis mill routers. “”We are excited to grant a technology transfer license to Sea Ray because of their long-standing reputation for producing the world’s finest fiberglass pleasure boats. There’s no better company in the world to showcase the quality results achieved through our patented MIT. tooling.”” Hungerford said an advantage of MIT over other closed-mold boatbuilding systems is that the multiple inserts used by Sea Ray create the opportunity to produce more hulls in a shorter span of time. Harper said that the multiple inserts allow for much of the preparation to be done outside of the mold, thereby speeding up the process. Hungerford said that as many as six hulls could be produced in one 10-hour shift using a single “”bolster,”” or molding cell. Less people are needed to manage the process than in conventional open-mold boat factories, and this translates into a savings of two-thirds in man hours, said Hungerford. Other advantages include a 90 percent reduction in emissions, and a completely consistent hull shape, reducing fitting out time. Hungerford said that Sea Ray has years of experience using low-pressure closed molds for smaller boat parts, having produced 40-50,000 components over the years. Sea Ray manufacturers fiberglass boats from 5.5 metres to 20.7 metres.

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Composites within the Automotive Industry

27th July 2001 0 comments

Various factors in the automotive sector have combined to create a favourable climate for the development of materials and fabrication techniques for polymer-based composite body panels and structures. This new report from Rapra Technology Limited, one of Europe’s leading independent plastics and rubber consultancy and publishing houses, reviews the use of composites in the automotive industry and describes the materials and processes used in the fabrication of components and structures. ‘Composites in Automotive Applications’ begins with an overview of the automotive market trends in Europe and North America. The author, Professor C.D. Rudd (Nottingham University) subsequently reviews the drivers for lightweight materials and the role of safety features as a marketing tool for new vehicles. He then looks at the cost of developing designs based on the large-scale use of composites. Further section covering materials discuss the quest for automotive weight reduction, focusing on the role of steel, aluminium and discontinuous fibre products. Materials covered in the report include thermosets (i.e. resins), vinyl esters, polyurethanes and thermoplastic resins concentrating on glass mat thermoplastics, polypropylene, polyamides, polyether ether ketone and polyphenylene sulphide. The following part of the report is devoted to the processing of thermoset matrix composites, looking at SMC compression moulding, liquid moulding, preforms, filament winding and pultrusion. The review concludes with a look at the future trends the automotive composites market. Rapra Review Reports contain a state-of-the-art review, written by an acknowledged expert in the field together with several hundred of the most relevant references and abstracts identified from the Rapra Abstracts database. Thus they provide both a concise, readable introduction to the subject and the means of investigating key points in greater depth.

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International Filament Winding Seminar 2002

27th July 2001 0 comments

The dates have been selected for the International Filament Winding Seminar 2002 as March 20-22, 2002 in Salt Lake City, UT at the Quality Inn City Center. This will be the 11th year since the group of instructors has put on this in-depth Seminar covering filament winding and fiber placement technology since the first offering in 1992. Advanced Composites Seminars core instructors consist of: Dr. Scott Beckwith (BTG Composites LLC, Murray, UT), John Green (The Green Sales Guy, Inc., Sandy, UT), Axel Seifert (Material S.A., Brussels, Belgium) and Dr. Brian Spencer (Spencer Composites Corporation, Sacramento, CA). The 3-day annual event will feature extensive coverage of all areas of technology associated with filament winding/fiber placement manufacturing with the following areas covered by the team of well-known instructors: – Process materials (fibers, resins, towpregs, peripheral materials) – Design methodology, analysis techniques and failure criteria – Overview of the process and equipment technology – Test methods for filament wound structures – Tooling approaches commonly used – Processing `tricks-of-the-trade’ – Winding software program technology – In-depth software, design and analysis examples – Corrosion products design (pipes, fittings, and tank systems) – Examples of various applications and market products In addition to the planned 3-day course activities, the Seminar will involve invited industry presenters and Table Top Exhibits. As in the past, an extensive notebook of the event activities and presentations is provided to the attendees. Both advanced composite materials and conventional FRP composites applications will be covered during the Seminar.

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Infrastructure Composites Report

31st July 2001 0 comments

The “Infrastructure Composites Report-2001” forecasts that the Infrastructure Sector of Industrial Markets for “Emerging” FRP composites applications will grow by over 500% between 2000 and 2010.

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