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Composites Industry News

News for September 2009


Evonik’s New Single-Component Resin System

25th September 2009 0 comments

This year’s SAMPE will give Evonik Industries the opportunity to showcase its newly developed polyaryl ether amide resin system, Calidur. According to manufacturers, the product has enhanced fibre adhesion, which allows it to improve the mechanical properties of bonded fibre materials to create components with both high compressive strength and shear strength. Because of these improvements, Calidur should be suitable for use in structural components; the material boasts high temperature resistance, low moisture absorption, and good resistance to chemicals, as well as low exotherm and minimal shrinkage in the curing process. In addition to this, Evonik say that fabrics treated with Calidur also are significantly more flame retardant than those treated with conventional epoxy resins. As a result, the product is suitable for interior aircraft applications in the aerospace industry, especially since the system is formaldehyde free.

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U.S. Passes Advanced Vehicle Technology Act

25th September 2009 0 comments

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009, which favours the increase of energy efficiency through the use of plastic and composite materials in vehicle design. American Chemistry Council President and CEO, Cal Dooley, welcomed this decision. “”The American Chemistry Council (ACC) praises the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 3246, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009. This important legislation will create a comprehensive research and development program to spur innovation in the design of fuel efficient vehicles and components,” said Dooley. “”Consumers are continuing to seek new ways to reduce their energy consumption, in particular, through more energy efficient vehicles. ACC member companies are working with their automotive manufacturing partners to create innovative vehicle components that reduce weight, lower emissions and increase fuel efficiency without compromising passenger safety,” Dooley concluded.

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Carbon Fibre at the Heart of McLaren’s MP4-12C

25th September 2009 0 comments

The McLaren MP4-12C is revealed as the first in a range of high-performance sports cars from McLaren Automotive. The MP4-12C features extensive use of carbon fibres, most notably its carbon composite chassis. At its heart, the MP4-12C features what McLaren call the carbon ‘MonoCell’. Weighing at less than 80kg, not only does this cell help the vehicle’s overall weight reduction, the carbon fibre chassis brings high torsional rigidity, low perishability, ease of repair and extreme dimensional accuracy. McLaren say that this inherent lack of flex means the front suspension system, which is mounted directly onto the MonoCell, requires less compromise for flex of the suspension itself, therefore making it easier for them to improve ride quality. The MonoCell has also been designed to offer greater occupant safety, acting as a safety survival cell, just like a Formula 1 car. The carbon composite MonoCell brings McLaren additional production benefits as it is produced in a single piece, taking only four hours to complete. “The whole 12C project is based on the concept of the MonoCell. This means that McLaren can launch into the market with greater performance than our rivals and a safer structure. To put it into perspective, if the costs and complexity of producing a McLaren F1 carbon fibre chassis are taken as a factor of 100, the 12C chassis production costs are reduced to a factor of seven or eight, without degrading the strength or quality of the carbon fibre structure. And this step-change in technology could make its way into more mainstream cars,” said Santoni, McLaren Automotive Body Structures Function Manager. Other composite features, such as carbon ceramic brakes, were included in this design, giving increased performance and decreasing the overall weight of the car The McLaren MP4-12C is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.8 litre 90° V8 engine producing around 600bhp. It will cost between £125,000 and £175,000, and will go on sale in early 2011. “With the McLaren MP4-12C we are determined to deliver the best car in its sector by almost any measure. It is our philosophy to push what is possible in car design and engineering and bring innovation and engineering excellence to the performance car world. We have an incredibly dedicated team at McLaren who continue to drive this company to ever greater achievements, and the 12C represents the passion within, as the first of this new range of performance cars from McLaren,” concluded Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Chairman.

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ACG Materials for 45th Anniversary Ford Mustang

25th September 2009 0 comments

Pregreg materials from ACG have been used in the manufacture of Ford’s new 45th Anniversary Mustang. Only forty-five of the Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Ford Mustangs will be built.

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Huntsman Launches REACH Customer Help Portal

25th September 2009 0 comments

Huntsman Advanced Materials have just made REACH information available directly to its customers and distributors via its new REACH web portal. ‘Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals’ – REACH – is a European scheme set-up to ascertain the effect of substances on human health. Martin Schneiter, Huntsman Chemicals Sustainability Director said: “We are not a consulting agency, but we recognise that for a number of medium to smaller size companies REACH is causing administration problems, and as a chemical manufacturer we want to help them as much as we can.” “Everyone has to comply with REACH and complete chemical safety reports. It is complex, but we have been investing in chemical safety over the decades and it is an investment that we want to share with our customers. It does take time, and as part of our commitment to customers we want to help them,” Schneiter added. The Huntsman REACH portal allows the exchange of all REACH-related information and data, as well as dissemination of news between Huntsman and everyone that the company deals with. Every direct customer and distributor is given an ID user number to access specific information related to the completion of the REACH process. Customers can use the portal to find out about the end uses that Huntsman proposes specific to their requirements that are required for the mandatory REACH Supply Chain Communication process. The site also allows customers to give feedback about their use of Huntsman materials. Martin Schneiter said: “Quite simply REACH is here to stay. Any company in the supply chain that does not comply with REACH cannot survive. Huntsman intends to do everything in its power to help its customers operate and thrive within the new REACH environment. Any customer dealing with Huntsman can have confidence that we will do everything in our power to prevent any disruption of their business.”

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Airtech Expands Production Capabilities

28th September 2009 0 comments

Airtech continue their company development through the expansion of its Luxembourg manufacturing facility. The 8000sqm addition will accommodate extra warehouse space and production capacity, including a separate area dedicated to custom engineered products. This expansion is due to be phased-in during the next few weeks. Airtech say that the additional line will greatly increase the capacity and capability of producing vacuum bagging materials to customer-specified shapes. This latest development complements the additional office space which was completed in 2007 and is testament to the continued growth of the composite market. Thanks to the doubling of the size of the Airtech Europe plant, Airtech say that customers will benefit from a larger range of services. The expansion is a major milestone in corporate site development strategy.

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