SAMPE Europe Conference - 7/1/2007

SAMPE Europe's SEICO ’07 conference in Paris spotlights advanced composites developments in major markets, including the electric power industry.

The European arm of the international Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering convened the 28th SAMPE Europe International Conference (SEICO ’07) April 2 at Hotel Mercure Paris Porte de Versailles Expo (Paris, France). Conference organizers welcomed 323 full-registration attendees, with the greatest number hailing from Germany.

During the three-day conference, more than 80 technical papers were presented at the Hotel Mercure’s spacious conference center. The event featured coverage of new advanced materials and processing technologies in line with the show’s theme, “The Use of Composites in the 21st Century to Save Energy and Weight.” This year’s sessions emphasized ways and means to conserve energy resources, particularly in the automotive and aerospace markets, by taking advantage of the inherent weight reduction potential of advanced structures.

Although the conference sessions examined the use of polymer composites in the conference’s more traditional areas of emphasis — aerospace, marine, automotive and infrastructure, there also was a significant examination of advanced materials applications in an area unfamiliar to many attendees. After the conference was opened on Monday morning by SAMPE Europe president Serge Dellus, keynote speaker Jean-Luc Bessede (AREVA-T&D, Villerbonne, France) led off with a presentation of “The Use of Composite Materials in the Electrochemical Industry: Overview and Perspective.” Bessede outlined the use of composites in high-voltage electrical transmission systems where advanced materials are used to form insulators and switching components, which must be able to function properly in an environment where upwards of 440,000V of electric power must be handled safely.

“These applications involve very severe requirements,” commented attendee and SAMPE International president-elect Bob Griffiths. “It was a bit of an eye-opener, for those of us who come out of the aerospace industry, to learn about an application that has totally different but equally demanding requirements as those we encounter in the aerospace realm.”

Notable among the technical papers were several on resin infusion and other out-of-autoclave processes, highlighting successful efforts to adapt them for both automotive and aerospace applications where they facilitate parts consolidation and make possible the production of more complex components than are possible in the typical autoclave process. And, as has been true over the last several years, nanotechnology researchers updated attendees about ongoing work to enhance advanced composite performance with nanoadditives.

The conference opened one day ahead of the JEC COMPOSITES Show, which was held at nearby Paris Expo, and ended a day earlier than the JEC event to permit attendees a full day to take in the JEC show floor. Bus service was provided from the hotel to the main gate at the Expo exhibit hall. (For HPC’s JEC show coverage, see “Related Content,” at left.)

The 29th International Conference and Forums (SEICO ’08) is already in the planning stages. Scheduled for March 31-April 2 next year at the same Hotel Mercure venue, the event, according to SAMPE Europe, is expected to present as many as 100 technical papers under the thematic banner “Composites Forever: Affordable, Durable, Sustainable and Creatable.” During the three-day SEICO conference, more than 80 technical papers were presented at the Hotel Mercure’s conference facilities.