Composites in the News Last Week

April 2, 2012

JR East E4 series Shinkansen bullet train. Photo courtesy of Sui-setz.

Headline:

Filmmaker James Cameron and Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson will both reach the deepest point on Earth by the end of the year. Find out more about their famous composite submarines in this week’s top industry story.

Sub-Headline A:

Ford is making room at its Dearborn, Mich., facility to accommodate a larger hybrid-electric car engineering team.


Sub-Headline B:

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology developed a glass reinforced polyurethane sandwich material to reduce train component weight.

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Aerospace:

Cessna Aircraft is developing a joint venture with China’s Aviation Industry Corp., to manufacture planes for domestic and international markets.

GKN Aerospace is using laser technology to automate repairs to composites structures.

Dassault Systemes in France joined the U.K. National Composites Centre team.

Automotive:

The upcoming 2015 McLaren F1 will replace fiberglass and aluminum parts for carbon fiber.

Audi will soon release a new plastic coil spring on future cars to help reduce vehicle weight.

Zircotec developed a new anti-stick coating that reduces F1 down-force losses.

SAE published a book with high-level insight for carbon fiber use in the auto industry over the next 5 years.

The U.K. has a small auto manufacturing boom but economists are skeptical that it will continue.

Business:

ACMA’s COMPOSITES and COMPOSITES EUROPE team up to develop education sessions and webinars for the U.S. and European markets.

TenCate is acquiring Calif.-based Performance Materials Corporation Baycomp.

The DOE stated it will provide financial support to back development of thermoplastic composites.

Reichhold is increasing prices of all its European composite products.

Zoltek and Magna are collaborating with the aim to speed automotive adoption of FRP.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a new report that the manufacturing industry suffered a larger decline between 2000-2010 than it did during the Great Depression.

President of AGY, a U.K. fiber supplier, spoke with Product Design & Development about the future of yarns in the composite industry.

Energy:

Work on what will be Africa’s biggest wind farm is slated to begin in June.

Florida’s first wind farm, located in Palm Beach, has been approved despite resistance for its proximity to the Everglades.

A new forecast by Navigant Consulting projects wind growth through 2016.

The Obama administration agreed to speed up approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes.

A new Lucintel report expects the wind market to reach $5.5 billion over the next four years.

Infrastructure:

Calif.-Bay Area Transportation will contribute $750 million to electrify the current Caltrain lines and support state high-speed rail project. California High Speed Rail (Ca HSR) will present state plans to local officials on April 5.

Innovative Composites opened a new facility in Orangeburg, S.C., to build composite modular housing. It also released a new composite shelter for emergency response teams to build deployment shelters in less than two minutes.

GEOTEK, a manufacturer of PUPI crossarms, received a rebate for implementing facility upgrades.

Marine:

American Fiber Green Products, Tampa, Fla., may soon provide Florida with a boat recycling depot for abandoned boats.

Military:

Goodrich will showcase new advanced composite helicopter structures at the Army Aviation Association of America, April 1-4.

Quickstep Holdings, manufacturer of advanced composites on the F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, reports higher stock prices after completing first round production parts for the F-35.

The  Composites Consortium announced the winners of its achievement awards, which included university and advanced manufacturing companies.

Product:

Plataine, a composite optimizing software, connected its Total Product Optimization (TPO) software with Fibersim software to enhance engineering design.

BASF is developing injection molded thermoplastic parts with steel cord fabrics.

Owens Corning launched FoodContact glass fiber solution, aimed at helping kitchen appliance and food processing equipment manufacturers comply with regulations.

Norplex-Micarta introduced a new high-strength tubing for thick wall applications.

University:

Wind turbines that use human-like learning to improve efficiency are on the cusp, thanks to researchers at two Chinese universities.

University of Cincinnati researchers established real-world wind turbine performance metrics, recently published in the Journal of Renewable Energy.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a new technique to turn plastic bags into carbon fiber using extrustion-based fiber spinning.

South Korea’s Jeonju Institute of Machinery and Carbon Composites and UK-based Sheffield University’s Advanced manufacturing Research Centre will collaborate on benefits of microwave oven curing over autoclave.

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