Features

Laser projection: Envisioning more than templates
Advanced systems offer ply-placement verification, aids to faster assembly and manufacturing process and quality control.

The rise of HP-RTM
Decades of development have propelled it to prominence but its future demands industrial solutions for handling cost, complexity and process control.

Editorial

What is the genesis of automated tape laying technology?
CW Editor-in-Chief Jeff Sloan seeks and finds the roots of automated tape-laying technology in the work done by close associates of legendary composites-industry pioneer Brandt Goldsworthy.

By the Numbers

CW Business Index at 52.6 – Fastest growth since June 2014
Gardner Business Media Inc.'s director of market intelligence, Steve Kline, Jr., reports the CompositesWorld Business Index for March 2015.

Composites: Perspectives and Provocations

US wind energy: Parity with fossil fuels is getting closer
CW columnist and composites industry consultant Dale Brosius says a recent report issued by the US DoE offers reasons for optimism about US composite-industry prospects in the wind energy industry even without the stimulus from the Production Tax Credit.

Composites: Past, Present and Future

Why South Carolina? Why now?
CW guest columnist Tom Lemire (T.F. Lemire Consulting Inc., Irvine, CA, US), comments on the aerospace industry's current attraction to this particular spot on the US map and wonders if it's the beginning of a trend.

Composites: Trends

Carbon/epoxy overbraided, RTM’d spring carrier beam
Munich Composites (Ottobrunn, Germany) won a JEC Innovation award in the Transportation Category for its carbon fiber air spring carrier part.

Core collaboration for Solvay and 3A
Solvay and 3A Composites announced at JEC Europe a collaborative effort to develop and manufacture specialty foams and sandwich materials for lightweighting in the advanced transportation market.

Coriolis celebrates aerospace history, anticipates automotive future, at JEC
Coriolis Composites (Queven, France) held a press event at its stand to celebrate its 15th year at the JEC Europe event.

Dow: 60-second epoxy is in range with liquid compression molding
Dow Automotive Systems (Horgen, Switzerland) made big news at JEC Europe 2014 with the introduction of VORAFORCE, its ultralow-viscosity, fast-cure epoxy for automotive molding.

Exelis wins center wingbox strut contract for Airbus A350-1000
Aerospace composites fabricator Exelis (Salt Lake City, UT, US) has won a multimillion-dollar contract from Airbus (Toulouse, France) to produce composite center wingbox struts

Fraunhofer ICT develops lightweight cylinder casing
Car manufacturers may be able to achieve weight savings with cylinder blocks that feature parts made of fiber-reinforced plastics.

Glass/epoxy RTM process yields “four-in-one” auto suspension blade
Hutchison (Levallois Perret, France) caused a stir at JEC Europe with its Trifunctional Auto Suspension.

Hexion is Hexion again, with a 60-second epoxy in hand
Resins manufacturer Hexion (Columbus, OH, US), which has spent the past few years going by the name Momentive, is back to being called Hexion.

Jushi initiates, AGY expands, US-based glass capacity
Two of the biggest names in fiberglass manufacturing made big announce- ments at JEC Europe 2015.

News Briefs: JEC Europe 2015
Briefs on Hexcel, AkzoNobel, Ashland.

Round-the-world flight progress: Solar Impulse 2
Energized only by sunlight taken in by the solar panels arrayed on its horizontal surfaces, the electric-prop-driven, all-composite-airframed Solar Impulse (Si2) aircraft had completed nearly one-half of its much publicized ‘round- the-world trip as CW’s May issue went to press.

Trends in automation: ATL and AFP technologies increase speed, flexibilty
Many automated production solutions were on offer at JEC Europe 2015, and several companies made announcements.

Trent jet engines: Rolls-Royce increases blade R&D, begins work with FACC
Rolls-Royce (London, UK) showed signs that it’s serious about composites development in a recent report that Bristol, UK, will be the location of a composite technology center for advanced commercial jet-engine fan systems.

Zoltek’s Hungarian plant to add carbon fiber production capacity
Zoltek Corp. (St. Louis, MO, US) has worked out a deal with the Hungarian government to expand capacity.

Inside Manufacturing

Thermoplastic composites “clip” time, labor on small but crucial parts
Preconsolidated carbon fiber/PPS and PEEK and automated thermoforming enable six-figure production of connectors for the Airbus A350 XWB.

Applications

Armored-vehicle and rapid-transit pods
Composite crew/passenger compartments drop vehicle weight but boost functionality.

Massive, bondline-free tooling block
A candidate for the biggest “bun” from high-density urethane foam?

Polyamide improves impeller performance
Direct-to-milled-tool process simplifies large deck mold development.

Focus on Design

Uncompromising composite hyperbaric oxygen chamber closes the gap
Flexible filament-wound composite reduce weight and cost, increase performance of first portable high-pressure oxygen-delivery system.

Products and Literature

· 3D fabrics, fire-resistant composites

· 3D foam core for complex shapes

· Application-optimized roving and chopped strand

· At JEC Europe 2015: Airtech International

· At JEC Europe 2015: Chem-Trend

· At JEC Europe 2015: Chomarat

· At JEC Europe 2015: DD-Compound

· At JEC Europe 2015: DSM Composite Resins AG

· At JEC Europe 2015: Hexcel

· At JEC Europe 2015: PlastiComp

· At JEC Europe 2015: SGL Group

· At JEC Europe 2015: Technical Fibre Products (TFP)

· At JEC Europe 2015: TenCate Advanced Composites

· At JEC Europe 2015: The Teijin Group

· At JEC Europe 2015: The Ultran Group

· At JEC Europe 2015: Victrex

· Carbon/glass fiber-based flexible heating fabrics

· Compression molding for thermoplastic or thermoset composites

· Concave-surface-capable automated tape layer

· Cost-effective press

· Epoxy for AFP of aerospace primary structure

· Epoxy, BMI fabric prepreg “tiles”

· Field repair: Step-sanding tool kit and more

· Fully automated gel coat tinting/matching

· Glass fiber for high-pressure cylinders

· Laminating resins, binders and bonding pastes

· LIghtweight rubber damping material

· Measuring fabric impregnation in three dimensions

· MMA bonding systems for ground transport

· Multi-scale modeling platform

· New epoxy for automated fiber placement

· New fiber sizings for thermoplastics

· New glass forms among products introduced by Owens Corning

· New range of MMA structural adhesives

· Noncrimp fabric-and-core combinations

· Software for virtual allowables development

· Solvay resins added to Digimat platform

· Thin-film damping material for laminates

· Three-dimensional shaped foam cores

· Universal holding fixture for fast automatic positioning

· Vinyl hybrid liquid resins

· VOC-free resins for pultrusion, winding, infusion, and wet layup

· Water-based sizings for the fiber/thermoplastic resin interface

· Water-based, semi-permanent release agent

Work in Progress

3D Printing: Niche or next step to manufacturing on demand?
With and without fiber reinforcement, additive manufacturing is making an impact, but to what end?

FRP challenges conventional frame-and-drywall construction
A multinational builder and a machinery manufacturer join forces to bring an automated composite panel molding system to the residential construction market.