COMPOSITES POLYCON 2006

ACMA's and ICPA's trade shows converge in America's middle, St. Louis.

Billed as the largest composites trade show in North America, COMPOSITES & POLYCON 2006 opened Oct. 18 for a three-day run in the America's Center convention hall in St. Louis, Mo. The show, sponsored jointly by the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. and the International Cast Polymer Alliance, combines the organizations' previously separate trade shows, mirroring the recent incorporation of ICPA under the ACMA umbrella. In an unusual move, show organizers limited the exhibits portion of the event to the first two days, reserving the final day for educational activities. Technical papers totaled 52 and attracted 935 attendees, while the show's 85 technical sessions filled a total of 2,289 seats.

At the show's opening party, the evening of Oct. 18, ACMA president Bill Kreysler presented the "President's Award"to Molded Fiber Glass Companies' (Ashtabula, Ohio) VP of research Pete Emrich. "Pete is well known for his sharp intellect, broad knowledge of materials and ability to view manufacturing challenges from a fresh, unique perspective,"Kreysler said during presentation ceremonies. ACMA past president and current MFG president Richard Morrison added that Emrich is "dedicated to the proven scientific process.”

Emrich began his career 29 years ago with MFG as a process engineer and earned promotions over the years to chief process engineer, director of research and VP of engineering. Today, he supports technical processes and determines future strategy at all 14 MFG entities.

Louis H.T. Dehmlow, former president of Great Lakes Synergy Corp. and founder of distributor Composites One (Arlington Hts., Ill.) was awarded, posthumously, the ACMA's Lifetime Achievement Award. Royce Newman (Venetian Marble Inc., Richmond, Va.) and Terry McCabe (Interplastic Corp., St. Paul, Minn.) were inducted into the ACMA Hall of Fame.

ACE, Pinnacle Awards Winners

The ACMA conferred its annual Award for Composites Excellence (ACE) honors this year in seven categories. Strongwell's Bristol Div. (Bristol, Va.), took Best of Show for the Chamberlain Bridge, an all-composite, double-leaf bascule bridge recently installed in Bridgetown, Barbados. The bridge superstructure was constructed using Strongwell's COMPOSOLITE system components and custom building panels, while various sizes of the company's EXTREN square tubes were used to create the architectural railings. The bridge measures 8.9m wide, 11.7m long and almost 1m deep (29.1 ft by 38.5 ft by 3.3 ft). The bridge was fabricated by Strongwell and shipped in four sections that were assembled on site. Strongwell also won the ACE award in the Infinite Possibility category for its GRIDFORM FRP bridge deck panels. Fabricated from pultruded grating I-bars, fiberglass plate and pultruded shear connector bars, the lightweight panels replaced steel rebar in a reinforced concrete deck for a vehicular bridge in Greene County, Mo., reducing installation time by 70 percent and labor costs by 75 percent, compared to a traditional steel and concrete bridge deck.

Dana Corp.'s Plumley Div. (Paris, Tenn.) won the Most Creative Application award for its bi-polar plate assembly for PEM (proton exchange membrane) hydrogen fuel cells, compression molded from Bulk Molding Compounds Inc.'s (BMCI, W. Chicago, Ill.) carbon fiber/vinyl ester BMC and bonded together using BMCI's patented conductive adhesive.

In "Process Innovation,"the winner was Smart Pipe (Houston, Texas) for its self-monitoring composite pipe restoration system, which enables onsite fabrication and installation of reliner without excavation and replacement. It's "portable factory"uses a continuous process to wrap a thermoplastic liner with glass fabric, add braided carbon fiber axial "pulling tapes"from A&P Technology (Cincinnati, Ohio) and fiber-optic monitoring cables and then insert the completed liner into the pipe.

The Technical Innovation in a Corrosion Application honors went to Daniel Co. (Upland, Calif.) for its DanELAST Zero Leakage FRP Damper, a precision-engineered glass-reinforced plastic zero-leakage damper that features highly corrosion-resistant parts for air movement and controls. Dampers also are fire retardant and UV resistant.

Superior Quality in an Open Molded Part went to the FUSION Pool, part of a new line of composite pools and spas developed by Trilogy (Fayetteville, Tenn.). The patent-pending modular components can be field-assembled, and pool systems can include tanning ledges, fountains and spillovers.

CE Composites (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) received the People's Choice Award for its COMBAT'S DA BOMB T-Ball Bat, billed as the only all-composite bat on the market. Its patented design features an A&P Technology braided sleeve pulled over a foam core in a room-temp open molding process.

Meanwhile, at the ICPA's General Session (Oct. 19), The R.J. Marshall Co. (Southfield, Mich.) took Best of Show at the ICPA's 17th Pinnacle Awards with its entry, the Globuleux Pedestal, a complete sink and cabinet combination made entirely of solid surface castings, with warm wood colors like walnut and cherry. The cabinet doors are made with Spectrastone, an R.J. Marshall filler.

Onix Futura (Laredo, Texas) took the Most Sustainable Market Growth and Attractiveness award for its Elegantissimo Series Cultured Marble Vanity Top, which features fillers that create silver veins in the product.

The Most Creative Application, U.S. Marble's (Remus, Mich.) Poker Table, also serves as a dining table when its multicolor inlay cap is installed. A combination of solid surface and gel-coated surface allows the table to be cast in a single pour.

Marbled Elegance (Santa Clara, Calif.) was recognized for its bathroom installation called Blending Materials for a Unique Look � a tub deck, skirt, splashes with a window wrap, two-bowl vanity top, pony wall and cap with a neo-angle custom shower pan and walls.

On the Exhibition Floor

In the America's Center exhibit hall, the CT staff noted many newsworthy developments. The following is a representative sampling:

ACS International Inc. (Tucson, Ariz.) introduced trademarked Featherlight fillers, comprising hollow polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) polymer microspheres. The stretchy, compressible spheres stabilize the coefficients of thermal expansion (CTEs) of cultured marble and cast polymer parts, providing good thermal shock properties and, thus, fewer stress cracks, while dramatically decreasing part weight. acstone.gocomp.biz/4

Airtech International (Huntington Beach, Calif.) exhibited its low-cost, 12m/39-ft wide Big Blue vacuum bag. Made of blended nylon and proprietary materials, the bag material eliminates the need to heat-seam smaller bags together for vacuum molding of large parts, notably boat hulls and decks, decorative building panels and other supersized, nonaerospace products processed at 250�F/121�C or less. airtech.gocomp.biz/43

Alcan Baltek Corp. (Northvale, N.J.) demonstrated Baltek SB, a kiln-dried, end-grain balsa core product with high strength and high stiffness-to-weight ratio, which bonds well with all types of resins and adhesives and is produced from a renewable resource. Also on display: Airex T90 polyethylene terephthalate (PET), an easily machinable and thermoformable closed-cell structural foam, suitable for many fire-critical applications. alcanbaltek.gocomp.biz/39

AOC (Collierville, Tenn.) highlighted the versatility of its resins with two technical papers presented at the event's educational sessions: The first, by AOC corrosion specialist Scott Lane, discussed vinyl esters in laminates for chimney liner applications. The second, presented by Suhas Kolhatkar (Composite Designs & Technology, Pune, India) described the fabrication and installation of a huge roof for a public building in Manama, Bahrain (for an in-depth description of the Bahrain project and other innovative architectural applications, see p. 34). aoc-resins.gocomp.biz/31

Ashland Performance Materials (Dublin, Ohio) touted AROTRAN 610, a powder-primable sheet molding compound (SMC), and PLIOGRIP 500 epoxy adhesive, both designed to be processed simultaneously with metal parts in automotive applications. Also new: ENGUARD WG-TS, a series of white gel coats for tub/shower applications that allows processors to use low spray pressure and conforms to guidelines from the American National Standards Institute and the Canadian Standards Assn; MAXGUARD CG-CM-0006 and CG-CM-0008 marble clear gel coats that have reportedly good color clarity and a glass-like surface and meet the ANSI 124.3 cultured marble standard; HETRON FR620T-20M polyester resin for architectural applications, designed for good wetting, minimal shrinkage and fire code compliance (Class 1) without the addition of antimony or other fire-resistant additives. Ashland Composite Polymers also announced the recent global ISO 9001:2000 certification of its manufacturing sites, development laboratories and business practices. ashchem.gocomp.biz/39

New XTEND 19CMS semipermanent mold release from Axel Plastics Research Laboratories (Woodside, N.Y.) is designed to prevent excessive mold residue that forces production stops for cleaning. Developed for closed molding and difficult release challenges posed by styrene and monomer buildup in tools, this version of XTEND is intended for rotational casting, compression molding, RTM, and open molding of non-gel coated or primer gel coated parts. The solvent-based formulation can be sprayed or wiped on at ambient temperature or up to 72�C/160�F. axel.gocomp.biz/26

Bayer MaterialScience LLC (Pitts-burgh, Pa.) introduced its Baydur STR reaction injection molding (RIM) system, for processing long glass fiber-reinforced rigid polyurethane structural foam. The process employs a fiberglass chopper attached to a robot-mounted polyure-thane dispensing mixhead, which dispenses the glass and polyurethane via an open-pour method, followed by mold closure and part formation. Also on display: Stabilicore, a new material made using an automated spray application of modified Baypreg F resin over a core of paper honeycomb between fiberglass skins. It's said to be adaptable to a variety of thicknesses and applications, including load-bearing applications, such as auto floor panels. bayermaterialscience.gocomp.biz/12

Binks (Glendale Heights, Ill.) spotlighted its Low Emission Laminators (LEL) gel coat system for cultured marble applications, but pointed out that the product is seeing increased use in wind turbine blade and marine applications. One blade fabricator reportedly replaced high-pressure airless gel coating equipment with Binks LEL External Mix Systems and Air Atomized Gel Coat Outfits, reducing material costs by 25 percent and gel coating time from 45 to 24 minutes per part. Also new: the Rhino automatic air spray gun, for multigun finishing applications or fixed-gun spray systems in high-production ceramic coating environments. binks.gocomp.biz/11

Featured in the Chemique (Atlanta, Ga.) booth was SOLFRE 2, a new bonding agent developed for large surface area bonding applications. This polyurethane can be sprayed, rolled or extruded, offers a choice of working time, requires no heat, is solvent-free and available in a clear formulation. It's said to be compatible with honeycomb and composite substrates and is designed to replace epoxy, hot-melt and contact adhesives. chemique.gocomp.biz/1

CMS North America Inc. (Caledonia, Mich.) had a full-size Poseidon cutting machine on display, a CNC machining center designed for composites and non-ferrous materials. The machine can be customized to any width, supplied in lengths up to 100 ft/30.5m with a rail configuration, and fitted with traditional machining heads or waterjet cutting systems, says the company. cmsna.gocomp.biz/12

Collano Inc. (Greenville, S.C.) was a first-time exhibitor at the show. The company, based in Switzerland, demonstrated its wide range of adhesive products, including adhesive films, reactive adhesives, hot melt adhesives and water-based adhesive and coating systems. Collano A2101 is a fire-retardant, two-component reactive system that can be specified for architectural applications in public buildings with fire protection regulations. collano.gocomp.biz/3

CVD Diamond Corp. (London, Ontario, Canada) exhibited its diamond cutting and drilling tools, created by chemical vapor deposition (CVD, in which a very thin film of diamond is deposited on a tool body in a microwave plasma-assisted process). The company says CVD is preferable to other diamond technologies because the vapor can coat very steeply raked tools and tool life is significantly longer than carbide.

cvddiamond.gocomp.biz/25

DeFelsko Corp. (Ogdensburg, N.Y.) introduced the PosiTector 200 coating thickness gage for measuring the thickness of coatings on nonmetal substrates, including composites and plastics. It can measure the total thickness of a coating system or up to three individual layer thicknesses in a multilayer system.

Also new is the PosiTest Pull-Off Adhesion Tester, which measures adhesion of coatings to metal, wood and composites. defelsko.gocomp.biz/1

Eastman Machine Co. (Buffalo, N.Y.) has created new cutting software for processing balsa, foams and honeycomb cores with its cutting machinery. Based on a powerful algorithm system, the new control was devised to meet customer requirements. Now in prototype service, it will be offered on the open market in 2007. eastmancuts.gocomp.biz/36

Elliott Co. of Indianapolis (Indian-apolis, Ind.) is expanding its sales and production from its initial insulation focus to composite shapes and structures, a growth market for the foam maker. Its 6-lb/2.7 kg (ElFoam P600) foam has been pultruded inline as foam core rods up to 8 ft/2.44m long in various diameters. elliottfoam.gocomp.biz/8

Fiber-Line (Hatfield, Pa.) exhibited its line of fiber coatings and sizings for a wide variety of fiber types and composite applications. Coatings are available that are compatible with thermoplastic, polyester and epoxy resin systems as well as fire-retardant and self-extinguishing coatings used in severe environments. The company also sells a black coating for fiberglass for that carbon fiber "look."fiber-line.gocomp.biz/4

Fibre Glast Developments Corp. (Brookville, Ohio), introduced its 2007 Product Catalog, which contains the full range of products offered by the company, including its System 2000 epoxy resin systems, carbon and Kevlar fabrics, vacuum pumps, infusion supplies, cutting tools, fabric racks, composite workstations, foam and plug building tools and other products, plus the company's instructional video library. fibreglast.gocomp.biz/3

In its ACMA show debut, FlackTek Inc. (Landrum, S.C.) highlighted its blade-free, cleanup-free, centrifugal-force laboratory mixer � with a throwaway plastic cup as the mixing bowl. The mixer is already successfully used for mixing resins, additives, colorants, coatings and fiberglass materials. flacktek.gocomp.biz/1

Flow International (Kent, Wash.) introduced the Integrated Flying Bridge (IFB) waterjet machine, which develops 87,000 psi of waterjet cutting power. Benefits reportedly include 20 to 30 percent faster cutting and 20 to 30 percent lower part cost, increased power density and jet efficiency, 40 percent greater velocity and 30 to 50 percent less abrasive consumption, compared to 60,000 psi systems, as well as reduced part cut-edge taper. flowcorp.gocomp.biz/22

Forest City Tool Inc. (Hickory, N.C.), at the ACMA show for the first time, demonstrated its range of drilling tools for composites. Its self-cleaning hole saw, the winner of the 2005 IBEX Innovation Award in the Yard & Boat Construction Hardware & Software category, has a quick-change shank that provides for clean, efficient boring of composite materials, the company reports. The hole saw is uniquely designed, with a tapered bore to allow easy plug ejection. forestcitytool.gocomp.biz/2

Gerber Technology (Tolland, Conn.) showcased its AccuNest Professional Edition, the firm's new software for automatically generating markers for cutting and trimming applications. Operators simply submit marker requirements to the software and UltraQueue, the program's job management component, automatically makes the markers, unattended. Markers can be submitted individually or in batch mode. gerbertech.gocomp.biz/23

GlasCraft (Indianapolis, Ind.) supplied equipment for an RTM Lite demonstration during the show (including the deck of a 16-ft sailboat), including the Spartan II PLC with Programmable Automatic Catalyst, which allows the catalyst rate of delivery to be adjusted during injection. The system also features a dispense timer that automatically stops injection when a predetermined amount of material is dispensed. glascraft.gocomp.biz/5

First-time exhibitor Grignard Co. LLC (Newark, N.J.) premiered a >500�F/260�C paste wax mold release and a complete line of water- and solvent-based semipermanent release systems as new options for complex mold release situations. grignard.gocomp.biz/1

Gruber Systems Inc.'s (Valencia, Calif.) multibooth exhibit area showcased solutions for automating the cast polymer and cultured marble manufacturing processes. One new product is the self-metering Auto Ground Hopper, with a programmable logic controller (PLC). Its touch-screen interface enables an operator to dispense a specified amount of ground filler material into a mixing vessel. The self-calibrating machine works with bulk bags or smaller individual bags, for volumetric metering with �2 percent accuracy. gruber-systems.gocomp.biz/4

On display in the IPS Weld-On Corp. (Durham, N.C.) exhibit was a primerless metal-bonding system formulated to bond metal to metal or metal to composites with little or no surface preparation. The methyl methacrylate (MMA) base system also has been used for water-resistant bonding of fiberglass parts in hovercraft. ipscorp.gocomp.biz/13

ITW Plexus (Danvers, Mass.) exhibited its range of adhesive products for a wide variety of bonding applications, including MA560 two-part methacrylate adhesive for structural bonding of composite assemblies. The material reportedly has a room-temperature working time of 55 to 70 minutes and achieves 75 percent of ultimate strength in less than four hours. It can be dispensed with standard meter/mix equipment, says the company. itwplexus.gocomp.biz/33

LEWCO Inc. (Sandusky, Ohio), in its first exhibit at an ACMA event, presented its HEAT-PRO industrial ovens, available in compact cabinet and benchtop formats as well as conveyor, walk-in and ultralarge-capacity styles. Resin drum heaters also are available, as are custom solutions for conveyors and material handling equipment. lewcoinc.gocomp.biz/1

JRL Ventures Inc., dba Marine Concepts (Cape Coral, Fla) introduced its marine, aerospace and industrial design engineering/tooling concepts. Its specialty is large tooling for fiberglass production � master plugs and molds made from epoxy and vinyl ester. The company also handles design and tooling work in the non-marine arena. marineconcepts.gocomp.biz/1

Meguiar's Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) introduced its new Velocity 85 L.E. mold release. A single-step release wax that both seals the mold and releases the part, the product was conceived and produced as a total preparation and care system. meguiars.gocomp.biz/5

McClean Anderson (Schofield, Wis.) exhibited its new Spider multispindle filament winder, customizable from three to eight spindles, with two, three or four axes of computer-controlled motion, to accommodate various part geometries. Spider uses the company's Flexwind machine control software and composite designer pattern development software. maccleananderson.gocomp.biz/31

Nida-Core Corp. (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) exhibited NidaFlow reinforcements, a nonwoven core between layers of binder-free chopped fiberglass, designed for closed mold processing, and Nida-Fusion STO 3D fiberglass reinforcement, a foam core with fiberglass skins, stitched together to form a 3-D truss structure when wet out and cured. nida-core.gocomp.biz/57

Norac Inc.'s (Azusa, Calif.) Denny Fink presented a technical paper on ways to optimize catalyst performance in large, vacuum-infused parts; he described an analysis of new peroxide formulations that help eliminate "leading edge effect"or viscosity increase caused by too-high monomer concentrations in the catalyst. The company's new formulation, now commercially available, optimizes large-part infusion by better controlling exotherm. norac.gocomp.biz/1

Noveon Inc. (Cleveland, Ohio), a Lubrizol company specializing in dispersants for the plastics and coatings industries, introduced Solplus R700, a polymeric hyperdispersant additive, designed to improve pigment dispersion in polyester gel coats. Without affecting gel coat viscosity, the product reportedly improves pigment wetting and reduces mixing and dispersion time for more efficient production. noveon.gocomp.biz/3

Owens Corning (Toledo, Ohio) announced MicroMax, a fine-diameter (6 to 7 micron) chopped strand for ultrathin, high-performance thermoplastic parts, which reportedly makes possible part wall thickness reductions of as much as 40 percent, compared to parts made with standard glass fibers. Other benefits include 30 percent greater tensile and flex strength and 35 percent improvement in weld line strength. Also new: PerforMax LG chopped strand, designed for small electronic and electrical components (e.g., SMT connectors, relay housings) to reduce outgassing; PerforMax HR chopped strand, for applications exposed to fluids and high temperatures, such as plumbing, heating and ventilation and automotive underhood components; and PerforMax SP chopped strand, for reinforcing engineered materials (LCP, PPS and PEEK). owenscorning.gocomp.biz/28

Polystrand (Montrose, Colo.) announced the opening of its new production line for trademarked Polystrand thermoplastic tape products in 25-inch/63.5-cm widths, twice as wide as its previous product. The line, capable of operating at 100 ft/30.5m per minute, means volume production is possible. More lines are planned as demand grows, says the company. Tapes can be combined to provide continuous rolls of material up to 62.5 inches/159 cm wide. polystrand.gocomp.biz/4

Rexco Mold Care Products (Conyers, Ga.) introduced a new line of solvent-based semipermanent mold release products � a company first. Formula Five PMR products include a mold cleaner, mold sealer, Glossy Top Coat release and a Matte Top Coat Release. The company also reported that it now has a South American distributor, ABCOL Brazil Composites (Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil). rexco-usa.gocomp.biz/3

The centerpiece of the Robotic Production Technology (RPT, Auburn Hill, Mich.) exhibit was the company's new RoboTrim RT-500 router trimming system. Designed to cut glass, carbon fiber, or soft materials for mold and die making, the fully enclosed unit features a 125 ft3/3.5m3 operating environment, a rotating table, a 6-axis RPT AccuTrim R-110 robot and a Fanuc robotic controller that can receive CAD/CAM data directly from milling programs. Other features include a 10-hp spindle, automatic tool change capabilities, RPT's RouterWare and System Calibration Tools software and the Accufind sensor, which locates critical features and detects and corrects for part-to-part variation. rpt.gocomp.biz/5

Sattex Corp. (White City, Ore.) showed its line of buffing and polishing products for fiberglass and cast polymer parts, as well as mold maintenance products. Made from a mixture of aluminum oxide abrasive, a proprietary binder and beef tallow, the materials are said to improve mold surface finish and, thus, part surface quality. sattexcorp.gocomp.biz/1

SL-Laser Systems (Charlotte, N.C.) showcased its ProDirector XS (for extra-small), billed as an affordable and compact laser template projector for increased accuracy and production during layup. Also on display was the ProCollector, an affordable mobile coordinate measurement machine (CMM) for re-engineering 3-D ply information on existing parts for laser projection of new parts. Both are lightweight and able to integrate with SL's suite of software and related products. sl-laser.gocomp.biz/11

Southern Clay Products (Austin, Texas) showed its nanoclay-based additives, including Garamite, a trademarked functional filler that is intended to replace fumed silica. Typically added to thermoset resins at a loading of less than 1 percent, the product helps prevent settling of other fillers and improves sag resistance at low viscosity in sprayup operations. scprod.gocomp.biz/5

Teijin Twaron USA Inc. (Conyers, Ga.) exhibited a new product for the ballistic marketplace: Twaron LFT AT, a combination of Curv self-reinforced polypropylene material, manufactured by Propex Fabrics (Austell, Ga.), and Teijin's wovenTwaron CT 707 fabric, press-formed into a thermoplastic panel for body armor applications. twaron.gocomp.biz/12, propex.gocomp.biz/4

The R.J. Marshall Co. (Southfield, Mich.) introduced eight new spray granite colors and 11 new stone fill colors � all designed for sprayup behind a gel coat in specialty tub/shower/spa applications. The company also introduced the GranitClad resurfacing system for consumers, in which a thin 7-mm to 9-mm (0.28-inch to 0.36-inch) thick granite is installed over existing tile or formica for a granite countertop look at a lower price. rjmarshall.gocomp.biz/18

TR Industries (South Gate, Calif.) showed its complete line of mold release agents, which include paste and liquid waxes, semipermanent polymer (900 series) and specialty products. The offerings included mold cleaners, sealers, buffing compounds, polishes and buffing pads. trindustries.gocomp.biz/9

2Phase Technologies (Dayton, Nev.) conducted live demos of its rapid Reformable Tooling System (RTS) for composites. The RTS forms a female tool when a plug is placed in its conformable medium, which is then solidified via vacuum extraction of water and air. Parts can be layed up and cured in the tool shape, then water is reintroduced to the medium, which becomes conformable again and can be reused to form a new tool shape. 2phase.gocomp.biz/3

Walker Braillon Magnetics (Mont-m�lian Cedex, France) exhibited its Pressmag Magnetic Clamping System, which uses electromagnetic force to clamp molds and platens in a press, for fast mold turnaround. The system consists of two magnetic chucks and a control unit and reportedly reduces mold changeover time to less than three minutes. The company's EPM platens require no removable parts, such as bolts or screws. Each EPM platen is custom-designed and magnetized in France. braillon.gocomp.biz/1

Weber Manufacturing Ltd. (Midland, Ontario, Canada) was a first-time exhibitor at the show. Its nickel shell molds, made in an innovative and rapid nickel vapor deposition (NVD) process, are finding use by many high-volume cast polymer and cultured marble manufacturers, according to the company. weber.gocomp.biz/7

WichiTech Industries Inc. (Columbia, Md.) demonstrated its composite repair equipment and supplies. Essentially a "portable autoclave,"the lightweight, handheld HB-1 hot bonder system is newly upgraded with eight thermocouples and is environmentally hardened so that it doesn't interfere with surrounding electronics. It comes with its own vacuum line and heating blanket and needs only a vacuum source or shop air to operate. wichitech.gocomp.biz/13

In its first ACMA showing, WR Products Co. Inc. (Washington, Mo.) introduced a new line of spray granite materials, an addition to its existing line of pigments and waxes for cultured marble production. The company promises fast delivery of all products, including its new marble chips. wrproducts.gocomp.biz/1

Zoltek Corp. (St. Louis, Mo.) reiterated its prediction that the wind energy market's demand for carbon fiber will continue to grow. The company predicts that wind applications will consume more than 6,000 metric tonnes (13.2 million lb) of fiber in 2007. The company's products are being used in a current offshore oil project � deepwater umbilicals manufactured by Aker Kvaerner. zoltek.gocomp.biz/17

Zyvax Inc. (Ellijay, Ga.) announced that it is developing solvent-free mold release systems for wind energy systems manufacturers. The releases are specifically formulated for infusion processing of wind turbine rotor blades and housings. Like the company's other release products, the new systems will be odorless, nonflammable and free of hazardous VOCs. zyvax.gocomp.biz/13

{{COMPOSITES & POLYCON 2006 welcomed 230 exhibitors and 3,700 attendees from the U.S. and 36 other countries.}}

{{CT staffers Crissy Gabriel and Barb Businger assist a visitor on the show floor in St. Louis' America's Center convention facility.}}

{{Show visitors pass beneath a model of the Gateway Arch, a St. Louis icon, at the show's entrance.}}