CW Blog

A flange-fit composite body will debut during the NASCAR race at Richmond later this year, according to a report on NASCAR.com. Approximately 90 percent of those expected to compete in the Richmond XFINITY Series race have already indicated they will compete with the new composite body.

XFINITY Series director Wayne Auton told NASCAR.com that teams will have the option of running the composite body at Richmond, Dover and Phoenix this year, and it is expected to also be optional for 201818 at all tracks other than superspeedways.

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This is the fourth blog in my series on Automated Preforming. The first three can be found here:

Part 1 of my print article on automated preforming is also published and available:

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Krauss-Maffei’s (Munich, Germany) new iPul system had its successful live debut during the KraussMaffei Competence Day Pultrusion at the end of June. The new iPul pultrusion system is the first complete system for continuous pultrusion of straight and curved profiles. Featuring production speeds up to two times faster than the conventional tub or pull-through process, it opens up completely new markets for pultrusion.

In pultrusion, continuous glass, carbon or aramid fibers are infiltrated with a reactive plastic matrix and formed to the desired profile in a heated mold. Grippers pull the cured profile continuously and feed it to a sawing unit. KraussMaffei’s new iPul system encompasses this entire sequence, revolutionizing long-time pultrusion technology in two respects. It encapsulates the infiltration of the fibers — which, until now, has mostly occurred in open vessels — in a closed injection box, which permits the use of fast-reacting systems including epoxy, polyurethane and polyamide 6. And it increases the production speed from the usual 0.5 - 1.5 m/min to approximately 3.0 m/min.

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Recycling composites on the CW Talks podcast

Frazer Barnes, managing director of ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd. (Coseley, UK), joins CW Talks: The Composites Podcast to discuss his and his company’s work developing carbon fiber recycling technologies, and the fiber reinforcements that result. 

Barnes talks about the challenge of developing composites applications to use products made with recycled fiber, industry reaction to ELG’s products, and the need for standardization in composites to make the material more accessible to non-composites engineers. 

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Superbeam — steel and carbon fiber work together to revolutionize structural elements

The idea of strengthening a steel beam with carbon fiber is not new. Approaches have ranged from coating corroded steel i-beams with carbon fiber and epoxy to a patent by Boeing where carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) plates are used to strengthen i-beam flanges.

The patent awarded to AJ Cesternino, founder of Wingman Industries (Callaway, VA, US), takes a different approach. Using CFRP in the flanges does indeed place the material in the highest-stress regions of the beam, and thus, uses it to the greatest advantage strength-wise. However, it does not solve the problem of how to attach this beam without drilling through the fibers, nor potential issues with delamination. However, by embedding the CFRP within the web of the i-beam, the new Superbeam not only enables standard bolting to flanges but also increases the ultimate load by more than 75% vs. an unreinforced steel i-beam.

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