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Composites tackle concussions
The launch of the first commercial composite football helmet and new research thrusts show FRPs could play a critical role in mitigating head injuries.
Materials selection for automotive is a meritocracy
CompositesWorld's editor-in-chief Jeff Sloan caught up with CAMX 2015 keynote speaker Dr. Gary Smyth, executive director of Global Research and Development at General Motors (GM, Detroit, MI, US), for a pre-show interview and came away with some interesting comments about the role composites will play in automotive manufacturing.
By the Numbers
CW Business Index at 42.9 – Lowest since December 2012
Steve Kline, Jr., the director of market intelligence for Gardner Business Media Inc. (Cincinnati, OH, US), the publisher of CompositesWorld magazine, presents the CompositesWorld Business Index for the US composites industry through August 2015.
Composites: Perspectives and Provocations
Is a composites technical talent shortage looming?
Regular CW columnist Dale Brosius, also the chief commercialization officer for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI, Knoxville, TN, US), calls for more schools with curricula that mint engineers with undergraduate degrees in composites.
Composites: Past, Present and Future
Selling your business, Part 1: The best price with the best deal
Adrian Williams, co-founder and managing director of Future Materials Group (Cambridge, UK), begins a two-part advisory for owners of composites manufacturing businesses interested in placing their companies on the market.
Atmospheric plasma heading toward commercialization for carbon fiber manufacture
RMX Technologies (Knoxville, TN, US) reports that its atmospheric plasma technology, in development for four years, is close to commercialization and could boost oxidation capacity.
Brazil #1 in South American wind energy market
GE Wind Energy (Fairfleld, CT, US) will soon supply 156 wind turbines (worth about US$427 million) to Brazilian renewable energy developer Casa dos Ventos Energias Renovaveis SA, for its Ventos do Araripe III wind complex, scheduled to begin commercial operation in April 2017.
Briefs: October 2015
News briefs from Renishaw, Airbus and GS Composite
CNT-enhanced prepregs: commercial & production-capable
N12 Technologies’ NanoStitch and Surface Layer System (SLS) products are part of a new generation of nanomaterials aimed at delivering macro-level benefits in products produced at commercial scale.
Correction: October 2015
Correction to information published in September 2015 CW.
Dielectric properties measurement drives this NDT system to composites market
Material-Wave Interactions Laboratories (MWI Lab, Tempe, AZ, US), a 2010 spin-off of nondestructive material inspection technology developed at Arizona State University (Tempe), is coming off a period of substantial R&D and is preparing to put its product into the composites fabrication and maintenance and repair market.
European 2015 offshore wind mid-year growth tops previous full-year record
According to the European Wind Energy Assn.’s (EWEA, Brussels, Belgium) mid-year report, “The European Offshore Wind Industry — Key trends and Statistics, 1st Half 2015,” wind farm operators there installed more new capacity in the first half of 2015 than in all of 2014.
European Space Agency authorizes new Ariane 6, Vega C launch vehicles development
The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed contracts for the development of the Ariane 6 new-generation launcher, its launch base, and the Vega C evolution of the agency’s current small launcher.
Largest-ever civil aircraft composite part: A350-1000 wingskin
The wings for the first Airbus A350- 1000 commercial aircraft have entered the assembly stage at the Airbus (Toulouse, France) manufacturing site in Broughton, North Wales, UK.
Scaled Composites/ Vulcan Aerospace predict 2016 debut for LEO launch aircraft
A year ago this month, at the inaugural Composites & Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX) event in Orlando, FL, US), Scaled Composites’ (Mojave, CA, US) affable president Kevin Mickey spoke on a range of fascinating subjects, one of which was the massive Stratolaunch aircraft project his company is involved in, funded by billionaire Paul Allen in collaboration with Scaled Composites’ founder Burt Rutan.
US wind energy: Offshore promise remains unfulfilled, onshore strong
On the occasion of the laying of the first foundation for the first turbine in the first-ever offshore wind farm in the US, located three miles southeast of Block Island, RI, US (5 turbines, 30 MW, expected online in 2016), an article published by the US Energy Information Admin. (Washington, DC, US) by authors Rachel Marsh and Cara Marcy noted that this small beginning presages what could be profoundly significant opportunities to harvest wind energy off the US coast and ensure a long and steady demand for the composite materials and equipment necessary to build the massive blades that turn the turbine rotors.
CFK-Valley Stade Convention 2015 report
The composites industry in Germany is preparing for the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Composites: Design & Testing
V-notched shear testing of composites
Dr. Daniel O. Adams, professor of mechanical engineering and director, for 18 years, of the Composite Mechanics Laboratory at the University of Utah, and VP of Wyoming Test Fixtures Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT, US), reviews the most popular V-notched shear test methods for composite materials.
Reformable composite equestrian saddle
This carbon fiber/polyethylene terephthalate (PET) saddle tree features an intralaminate heating element that enables horse owners to reconfigure saddle shapes as horses grow, greatly reducing long-term saddle-fitting costs.
Super "skinny" water skiff
Hell’s Bay Boatworks’ (Titusville, FL, US) latest design for a sportfishing customer does an unprecedented job of shaving weight and boosting toughness of flatboats for shallow-water operation.
Focus on Design
Composite pontoons undergird update of 1820s-vintage floating bridge
Modular composite flotation system triples potential lifespan of New England town’s signature single-lane auto/pedestrian timber bridge.
Fokker Aerostructures: Hoogeveen, The Netherlands
This Dutch aerospace supplier leverages its founder’s pioneering spirit from a century ago to lead the way, today, in thermoplastic aerocomposites.
Materials Sciences Corp.: Multifunctional composites
MSC draws on four decades of experience and computer modeling expertise to develop novel composite materials with the potential to make a big impact.
Products and Literature
Football participation tops in high school
Professional American football garners much of the media limelight, but thumbnail statistics published by USA Football illustrate the potential magnitude of the football helmet market outside the pro ranks.
Head safety initiative to fund research
Sponsored by the National Football League, GE (Fairfield, CT, US), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, MD, US) and sports apparel maker Under Armour (Baltimore, MD, US), the 2015 Head Health Challenge III will reward up to US$3 million to companies and organizations that deliver novel materials to address and mitigate concussion risks in football and other sports.
Work in Progress
Carbon fiber auto body panels: Class A paint?
As tougher emissions standards loom, this supplier’s study sheds light on the challenges of applying flaw-free primer and paint to production CFRP exterior body panels.
Composite rebar strengthens riverbed “catfish houses”
Basalt-reinforced polyester rebar eliminates rust and spalling and extends the useful life of concrete catfish spawning and habitat units in Chicago River environmental restoration effort.
Optimizing composite aerostructures production
Israel Aerospace Industries ramps production while reducing costs and improving quality thanks to integrated optimization software.