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Composites Industry News

News for April 2008


AlSiC-9 Base Plates for IGBT Offer High Reliability and Extended Service Life

22nd April 2008 0 comments

CPS Corporation has launched AlSiC (Aluminum Silicon Carbide), a metal matrix composite intended for base plates for insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) used in high-power traction, power control, Hybrid Electric Vehicle power systems, and fly-by-wire applications. The low isotropic coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) value of AlSiC-9 (8 ppm/°C: 30 – 100°C) is compatible with the thermal expansion value of the die or substrate used in IGBT applications. CPS say that the AlSiC CTE match reduces the mechanical stresses on IGBT die and substrates that is induced by thermal power cycling, which improves reliability of substrate attachment and reduces die cracking failures. This eliminates the need for stress compensation material layers that are required in copper baseplate assemblies, simplifies assembly and reduces thermal resistance.. According tp CPS, in high power applications, IGBT modules assembled with AlSiC baseplates have a service reliability of many tens of thousands of thermal power cycles over Cu equivalent systems.

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Intertape Introduces Products Developed Specifically for Composites

22nd April 2008 0 comments

Intertape Polymer Group has launched a new line of Anchor Marine Products developed specifically for the marine and composites industry. Its newly featured product, Anchor Orange Mask, is a performance masking tape designed to provide excellent adhesion to semi-permanent release agents. “The marine and composites industry has asked for a tape that works with semi-permanent release agents and Anchor Orange Mask delivers the solution,” explained Cindy Stoner, IPG Marine Market Manager. She says that Anchor Orange Mask provides a vivid colour for product differentiation, tear resistance after gel-coating, residue free clean removal, excellent adhesion to backing when layered, and short term UV resistance. “”We see opportunities to leverage our unique technical capabilities in support of the marine industry. Intertape provides unsurpassed tape technology which allows us to respond to the ever changing needs of the marine and composites industry where new product development is critical,” stated Dean Blockowitz, IPG Vice President of Industrial Tapes.

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M.C. Gill Qualifies New Bulk Cargo Compartment Floor Panel for Airbus Aircraft

22nd April 2008 0 comments

Gillfab 4523, a low smoke sandwich panel with facings of modified phenolic resin reinforced with a combination of woven and unidirectional glass fibres and Nomex honeycomb core, has been qualified. This panel has high impact resistance and is qualified to Airbus Technical Specification No. 5360 MIM 000500, Issue 6, FAR 25.853 and ABD 0031, Type BCC3. This new panel exhibits a 71% increase in impact strength over its predecessor, Gillfab 4223. Gillfab 4523 is suited for the rough treatment it will endure in the bulk cargo hold area meaning more flights between repairs. Another key benefit is that Gillfab 4523 inserts are the same as those qualified with Gillfab 4223 so change-outs will be seamless. M. C. Gill say that Gillfab 4523, their next generation bulk cargo floor liner, is a step ahead of similar products and exceeds Airbus Specification impact requirements by 33% with minimal increase in weight.

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Ashland Buys New Trucks with Arotran 720 Low-Density SMC

22nd April 2008 0 comments

Ashland Distribution, a division of Ashland Inc, recently took delivery of 40 new International TranStar1 Series regional haul tractors with engine hoods made from Ashland’s own Arotran 720 low-density sheet moulding compound (SMC). “Every year we purchase a number of heavy trucks to keep our fleet up-to-date,” said Kevin Dinan, fleet manager for Ashland. “These trucks meet our needs extremely well and feature parts that are made from Ashland products.” Each year Ashland replaces about 10 percent of the more than 400 tractors that comprise its fleet. “We thought this was a great way to support a company that is using our products in their manufacturing process,” said Cedric Ball, global marketing manager for transportation, Ashland Composite Polymers. The truck hoods were produced using Arotran 720 resin by Core Molding Technologies Inc., of Columbus, Ohio. Core Molding produces fibreglass reinforced plastics (FRP) parts and sheet moulding compound (SMC). “Core is known in the industry for producing high quality fibreglass reinforced moulded products and SMC for a variety of markets,” said Ball. “Our Arotran resins provide the International tractors with proven performance, tough Class A finish and lower weight per part,” said Ball. The Arotran 720 resin formula uses patented nanoclay technology to save approximately 21 pounds when compared to standard composite truck hoods. That relates to additional hauling capacity for the trucks. “Any weight the manufacturer takes off of the truck is a step toward overall weight reduction and better fuel efficiency. The payload capability may be incremental, but it all comes together to reduce the delivery cost,” said Dinan.

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Amber Composites and Arkema Collaborate on Prepreg Systems

22nd April 2008 0 comments

Amber Composites and Arkema have entered into a collaborative agreement to develop the next generation of high performance prepreg systems based on Arkema’s Graphistrength multi-wall carbon nanotubes and Amber’s proprietary resins.

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Carbon Nanotube Measurements

22nd April 2008 0 comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has published detailed guidelines for making essential measurements on samples of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The new guide constitutes the current best practices for characterizing one of the most promising and heavily studied of the new generation of nanoscale materials. The nanotubes are essentially cylinders of carbon atoms with a wall only one atom thick and a diameter of a couple of nanometers—but lengths up to several million times their diameter. Because of their unique electronic, thermal, optical and mechanical properties they are being studied for a wide—and expanding—range of applications, including ultrastrong fibers for nanocomposite materials, circuit elements in molecular electronics, hydrogen storage components for fuel cells and light sources for compact, efficient flat-panel displays. One basic problem is assuring the quality and purity of SWCNT materials. All known techniques for producing these tiny tubes also produce large quantities of nanojunk: simple graphite and carbon soot often encapsulating small metal particles used to catalyze the nanotube synthesis process. (See, for example, “NIST Laser-Based Method Cleans Up Grubby Nanotubes”, Tech Beat Dec. 1, 2006.) Accurate, reliable and preferably rapid measurement techniques are needed to optimize production processes to create more product and less impurities. These will help to control cleaning and purifying processes and ultimately to improve the confidence of buyers and sellers of SWCNT materials. Beginning in 2003, NIST and NASA researchers started addressing the problem by sponsoring a series of workshops devoted to nanotube measurements. The NIST “Recommended Practice Guide” on Measurement Issues in Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes grew out of second workshop in 2005, and represents what industry, government and academic researchers regard as the most useful and accurate measurement techniques for characterizing the purity of SWCNT samples. The techniques discussed include thermogravimetric analysis; near-infrared spectroscopy; Raman spectroscopy and optical, electron and scanned probe microscopy. Researchers from the NASA Johnson Space Center, the University of California at Riverside, Boston University and the NASA Langley Research Center contributed to the guide. The techniques described in the guide were proposed as the basis for international standards for nanotube characterization. A collaborative effort that includes the US, China, Japan, and Korea is now underway under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop these techniques into standards that will help ensure uniform characterization metrics used when buying and selling nanotubes. The editors caution that in the fast-moving field of carbon nanotubes, characterization methods will need to be updated periodically. The NIST Recommend Practice Guides are a set of publications devoted to specific, challenging measurement issues faced in industry and research. Online copies of Measurement Issues in Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes and other guides in the series are available at The “How To Measure” Book Series.

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New Project Develops Future Generations of Plastics

22nd April 2008 0 comments

A multi-partner UK project, FuturePlas, is developing the next generation of innovative, sustainable self-reinforced plastics, with funding support from the Technology Strategy Board.

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Grieve Installs Combination Airflow Jumbo Walk-In Oven

30th April 2008 0 comments

Grieve has installed an electrically-heated, 350ºF (~176ºC) jumbo combination walk-in oven, used for curing composite parts at their customer’s facility. Workspace dimensions measure 10’W x 40’D x 8’H. 160KW are installed in Incoloy sheathed tubular elements to heat the unit, while two 20-HP recirculating blowers with total 49,500 CFM capacity provide combination airflow to the load. This Grieve oven features 4” insulated walls throughout, removable top-mounted heat chamber (shown removed in photo), aluminized steel interior and exterior, front and rear double doors with air-operated opening assist plus an 8” x 10” double pane Pyrex window in each door, 1/4” thick plate floor and four interior oven lights. The unit was split into six sections for installation clearance at the customer’s factory. The oven is equipped with all safety equipment for handling flammable solvents, including explosion venting door hardware, 2600CFM powered forced exhauster and motorized dampers on intake and exhaust for accelerated cooling. The unit is built to NEMA 12 electrical standards. Controls on this Grieve jumbo combination walk-in oven include a digital programming temperature controller, strip chart recorder, SCR power controller and ten digital countdown timers.

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Angstron Introduces Low Cost Nanomaterial

30th April 2008 0 comments

Angstron Materials LLC has developed a new alternative to nanotubes, called nano-graphene platelets (NGPs). Similar to carbon nanotubes, Angstron say that the properties and characteristics of NGPs outperform all other nanomaterials on the marke and is intended for aerospace, automotive, energy, marine, electronics, construction, medical and telecommunications applications. The new material demonstrates thermal conductivity five times that of copper, a capability that provides fast thermal dissipation. NGPs also provide electrical conductivity similar to copper yet the material’s density is four times lower, resulting in lighter weight components. Angstron say that they can produce oxide free pristine NGP products in thicknesses ranging from 0.34 to 100 nanometers and widths of 0.5-20 microns in length. Exceptionally high length-to-thickness aspect ratios of up to 10,000 are available. In addition, Angstron can modify the chemistry of the nano-platelet surface to fine-tune electrical, thermal, mechanical, optical, magnetic, chemical and other key performance properties while maintaining precision control of platelet dimensions and other physical parameters. Angstron is currently working with companies to develop products for batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, light weight structural components as well as electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio magnetic indicator (RMI), electrostatic discharge (ESD), lightning strike and composite applications.

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M.C. Gill Corporation Receives Boeing Supplier of the Year Award

30th April 2008 0 comments

M.C. Gill Corporation has been honoured as one of Boeing’s Top Suppliers for 2007. The 2007 Suppliers of the Year were selected from a pool of 250 Boeing Performance Excellence Award winners. These companies — a select group among Boeing worldwide suppliers — hold 2007 Boeing Performance Excellence Awards for achieving silver or gold levels of performance, based on quality and delivery metrics over a 12-month period. Chairman and CEO; Stephen Gill, and Vice President Marketing and Business Development, Irv Freund accepted the award during a ceremony held in San Diego, California. “”Boeing grows by delivering on what our customers want today and anticipating what they will need in the future,”” said John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations and Technology. “”By achieving and maintaining exceptional levels of performance, these suppliers are helping to ensure future success for both Boeing and themselves.”” Gill shared the good news with employees at M.C. Gill Corporation headquarters saying “out of all of Boeing’s worldwide vendors, 11 companies were singled out for being the “Best of the Best”. We are one of those! Irv and I are proud to have had the privilege of accepting this award on behalf of all the employees of M. C. Gill Corporation. We both agree, this is a career highlight.”

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