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Composites Industry News

News for April 2000


Hexcel Reports 2000 First Quarter Results

26th April 2000 0 comments

Hexcel Corporation today reported net income for the first quarter of 2000 of $2.6 million. This compares with net income of $5.2 million for the first quarter of 1999, and a net loss of $2.7 million for the fourth quarter of 1999. Planned deliveries of commercial aircraft by The Boeing Company declined from 620 aircraft in 1999, to 490 aircraft in 2000. The company’s first quarter 1999 net sales reflected the peak of Boeing’s commercial aircraft production. However, as Hexcel delivers its products on average six to nine months ahead of the delivery of an aircraft, it began to see the impact of reduced Boeing production rates by the end of the second quarter of 1999. The impact was further amplified as Boeing and its subcontractors adjusted inventory in their supply chain. As a result, the company’s performance in the second half of 1999 was distinctly lower than that seen in the first half of the year. Consequently, comparisons of the company’s quarterly performance to the fourth quarter of 1999 provide a more insightful analysis of the company’s improved underlying performance trend than comparisons with the first quarter of 1999. Commenting on Hexcel’s first quarter 2000 results, Mr. John J. Lee, Chairman and CEO said, “The commercial aerospace market appears to have flattened out and the impact of customer inventory reductions appears to be behind us. While we don’t expect any significant improvement in sales of our carbon fiber products in 2000, performance has stabilized. The outlook for our industrial markets remains one of growth — particularly in automotive and wind energy applications. Demand for lightweight electronic fabrics continues to grow”. Hexcel Corporation is the world’s leading advanced structural materials company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance reinforcement products, composite materials and engineered products for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense, electronics, and industrial applications.

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Bangladesh, India in Race for Investment in Jute Sector

26th April 2000 0 comments

Bangladesh and India are in the race to attract a one billion U.S. dollars foreign direct investment (FDI) in the jute sector, local English newspaper Financial Express reported Wednesday. The report said that Bangladesh might be deprived of the big chunk of FDI because of a skilful lobby of India to grip the investment. An American firm has planned to set up a thermoplastic jute composite plant in either of the two countries and the mentioned investment will span a period of five years. In addition to Bangladesh and India, China is also in the competition for the FDI when the U.S. firm decides whether to produce flax, sisal or hemp instead of jute fibers, the report said. The American company, which was said to be “extremely committed ” to the project, has already made required technology, financing and marketing arrangements for the plant, the report said, without giving the company’s name. While senior official in the just defunct International Jute Organization (IJO) R. Mandal was quoted as saying that India is in the most advantageous position to get the investment, Bangladeshi experts believe that the country is supposed to attract the U.S. investment as the country has a vast scope to diversify jute products and a huge surplus volume of raw jute at comparatively low cost, the report said.

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Car parts from chicken feathers?

26th April 2000 0 comments

When a poultry processing plant in Southwest Missouri closed, who would have thought that the former plant’s waste would become the new plant’s main business? Soon trucks will be delivering loads of raw feathers from other poultry processing plants to be converted into feather fibers. Featherfiber Corporation, the new owner, is refurbishing the plant. As well as items such as filters, diapers, clothing, paper, absorbent pads and wipes, insulation and upholstery padding, the feather fibers and the quills can also replace some of the plastic or fiberglass in products such as auto dashboards, door panels, ceiling lining, and other internal molded parts.

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Fiberglass Snoopys

26th April 2000 0 comments

ST. PAUL, City plans to honor “Peanuts” creator and St. Paul native Charles Schulz with a display of fiberglass Snoopys. The city has proposed a series of Snoopys decorated in various artistic styles to be put on public display this summer. As many as 50 of the beloved beagles could be included. Schulz, 77, died of cancer on Feb. 12, the eve of publication of the last Sunday “Peanuts” comic strip.

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

26th April 2000 0 comments

It has been pointed our to us that our story regarding the X-33 hydrogen tank last week was factually incorrect, the most important point being that the fuel tanks had carbon fiber reinforced composite facesheets and a composite honeycomb core, not a metallic composite structure. This article was based on a news release from a respected worldwide news service, and reported on the opinions of a former NASA official. Our apologies for the error.

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