Structural health monitoring: NDT-integrated aerostructures enter service
SHM moves from structural testing to an FAA-qualified inspection alternative, to reduce cost, streamline operations and mature toward lighter, more robust smart structures


IP vigilance: Good business?
CW editor-in-chief Jeff Sloan observes that in the composites industry, where much of what is considered to be trade secrets and proprietary knowledge really isn't, a better course might be to share that knowledge and, thus, advance the industry as a whole.

By the Numbers

CW Business Index at 50.4 – First growth in two months
Steve Kline, Jr., the director of market intelligence for Gardner Business Media Inc. (Cincinnati, OH, US), the publisher of CompositesWorld magazine, outlines the results of the CompositesWorld Business Index survey for June 2015.

Composites: Perspectives and Provocations

Additive manufacturing: The past, present — and future — of composites
A regular CW columnist and the chief commercialization officer for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), Dale Brosius offers this insightful look into why it's unwise to use the terms "3D printing" and "additive manufacturing" interchangeably.

Composites: Past, Present and Future

AFP/ATL evolution: Dual-process workcells
Independent contractor and occasional CE columnist Carroll Grant draws attention to a recent phenomenon in the development of automated lamination equipment: machinery capable of operating interchangeable AFP and ATL heads.

Composites: Design & Testing

Designing with composites: Optimizing for performance and manufacturing
David Leigh Hudson, the director of product and market strategy for the Fibersim product portfolio at Siemens PLM Software (Waltham, MA, US), the need in the field of composite part design for a serious commitment to what he terms "concurrent engineering" processes.

Inside Manufacturing

Composites extend service of corrosion-prone oil and gas pipelines
Corrosion-resistant aramid fiber/thermoplastic liner gives new life to deteriorating steel subsea pipelines.


Composites lighten driving simulator dome
A first for its codevelopers, Pagnotta Engineering Inc. (PEI, Exton, PA, US) and JRL Ventures (Cape Coral, FL, US), this low-mass enclosure spawned a new product venture for the pair in research-oriented driving simulation systems.

Focus on Design

Carbon composite spring: Big performance, small package
Disc spring stack is lighter, reduces friction and can be performance-tuned.


Aeroengine Composites, Part 1: The CMC invasion
As pressure for commercial aircraft fuel efficiency continues to mount, ceramic matrix composites evolve as they battle metals for application in the engine hot-zone and elsewhere.

Products and Literature

· Automated composites manufacturing with cure tracking

· Gel coat proportioner

· Glass fiber sizings assessed in new book

· Laminate software updated

· Modular rheometers

· Structural adhesives product line expanded

· Thermoplastic for aircraft interiors

· Ultrasound inspection hardware upgrade

· Unidirectional carbon fiber prepreg tapes just 15 gsm


Designing SHM systems
SHM systems must be designed properly, including self-diagnostic ability to ensure they function as designed.

Structural health monitoring: Decades of demonstrations build confidence in local SHM
Current momentum in local structural health monitoring development can be credited to a great deal of developmental effort on the part of these system developers.

Structural health monitoring: The toolbox
There are a broad range of SHM technologies that take advantage of a variety of sensing mechanisms. Here's a short sketch of each, accompanied by tables that indicate current uses and developmental progress.

Work in Progress

In-mold sensors: In-situ process monitoring for RTM
Technology for monitoring the molding process from within the mold cavity, a practice familiar to injection molders, is making an appearance in resin transfer molding.