Features

A critical market sector: Downhole composites in oil and gas
Tremendous secrecy and non-disclosure has kept this profitable composites application out of the spotlight, while it has enabled the current shale oil energy boom.

Editorial

Welcome to CompositesWorld magazine
CW editor-in-chief introduces the inaugural issue (published online and in print) of CompositesWorld magazine, the new, combined publication that, beginning Jan. 1, 2015, replaces its predecessors, High-Performance Composites and Composites Technology.

By the Numbers

CW Business Index at 51.0: Fastest growth since June
Gardner Business Media's director of market intelligence Steve Kline, Jr., presents the CW Business Index for November 2014.

Composites: Perspectives and Provocations

Composites in sporting goods: Been there, done that?
Dale Brosius, a regular CW columnist and head of his own consulting company, which serves clients in the composites industry worldwide, wonders if market saturation been reached for advanced composites in the once dynamic sporting goods sector.

Composites: Past, Present and Future

Hidden potential: An indifferent year for M&A belies a rich vein of opportunity for acquirers
Guest columnist David Schofield, cofounder and managing director of Future Materials Group (Cambridge, UK), an independent strategic advisory firm, sees much unseen and, therefore, untapped potential.

Composites: Trends

Carbon Fiber 2014: Will supply meet demand?
CompositesWorld’s Carbon Fiber 2014 conference (Dec. 9-11, 2014, in La Jolla, CA, US) had just kicked off as this issue went to press, but the CW staff captured the following highlights from day one of this annual event.

Composite Materials Market Forecast in North America
Dr. Sanjay Mazumdar of market research firm Lucintel presented a paper at the 2014 CAMX event, titled “Status of Composites Industry 2015: Market Potentials and Mega Trends.”

Frac’ing revolution demands more of downhole composites
An unprecedented US onshore energy boom during the past decade has brought the country to near fossil-fuel energy independence.

Growing materials library seeks composites industry submissions
If you’re a designer for Adidas, Motorola or Toyota, where do you get information about cutting-edge material developments?

Hotel’s event pavilion faithful to past with composite facelift
A composites-intensive exterior cladding project in the UK, now complete, has transformed the High Bullen Hotel’s former tennis facility into its new Palazzo event pavilion.

Making epoxy composites recyclable by design
Connora Technologies and Adesso Advanced Materials have garnered much attention for their hardeners which make epoxy resins recyclable, marketed as Recyclamine and Cleavamine, respectively.

Regenerative braking system for railcars relies on composite flywheel
A new flywheel-based regenerative braking system, the Digital Displacement hydraulic pump-motor transmission system from Artemis Intelligent Power, has demonstrated that it can reduce the carbon footprint of trains.

Tools for collecting, managing and using autocomposites data
As the composites universe expands into new markets and applications, resins and fiber reinforcements of many types are, increasingly, landing on the desks of design engineers who have little or no experience with composites.

USC architectural forum spotlights composites versatility for designers and students
In November 2014, CW attended “Performative Composites: Sailing Architecture,” hosted by the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture.

Inside Manufacturing

Dark knights: Sleek trimarans surveil the seas
Epoxy-infused patrol boats outperform less nimble and more costly conventional naval craft.

Applications

Back-country boating: Carbon fiber ultra-lightens Adirondack pack canoe
Placid Boatworks (Lake Placid, NY, US) makes modern composite versions of classic, but relatively heavy, Adirondack pack canoes, using vacuum-infused carbon fiber. Here's how.

Multi-material rudder: Trailing-edge parts replaced in single-stage process
TCB Composite (West Haven, UT, US) molds replacment parts that keep legacy US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter aircraft, affectionately dubbed Warthogs, in the air.

Focus on Design

Articulated composite booms extend reach of concrete-pumping arms
A 25% weight reduction vs. legacy steel yields economics that justify upfront cost of carbon fiber.

Outlook

Composites in commercial aircraft engines, 2014-2023
The drive to boost aircraft operating efficiency continues to fuel adoption of polymer matrix composites in jet engines.

Plant Tour

Plant tour: ATK Aerospace Structures, Clearfield, Utah
High-volume, high-precision fiber and tape placement for the aerospace industry are among many specialties for this composites manufacturing behemoth.

Products and Literature

· Autoclaves for economical operation

· Blast process for adhesive deflash

· Commingled carbon/thermoplastic yarns

· Custom mold tool castings

· Fiber measurement

· Filament winding systems

· Glass roving for SMC

· Granulators & grinders for filled composites

· Laser-based part marking system

· Modifiers, toughening agents

· Multiaxial noncrimp fabric

· New benzoxazine resins

· Nomex honeycomb core

· Off-angle fabrics with scrim

· Polyurethane applications

· Polyurethane prepregs

· Production simulation software

· Resin additives and modifiers

· Vacuum bag processing aids

Work in Progress

Benzoxazines for OOA tooling
Can infusible formulations of this newer resin system produce aerospace-capable tools?

Sub-8-minute cycle times on carbon/epoxy prepreg
Globe’s Generation 2 RapidClave system passes another out-of-autoclave milestone.

Testing Tech

Tensile testing of composites: Simple in concept, difficult in practice
Dr. Daniel O. Adams, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Composite Mechanics Laboratory at the University of Utah, and the vice president of Wyoming Test Fixtures Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT, US), takes over for his father, Dr. Donald F. Adams, as the anchor writer in CompositesWorld magazine's revamped CW Design and Testing column. First subject? The challenges of tensile testing unidirectional composites.