CW Blog

Injection overmolded composites demo comes to conclusion

The Thermoplastic Composites Research Center (TPRC, Enschede, The Netherlands) reports that it has successfully closed a two-year collaborative project on the overmolding of thermoplastic composites with the design and manufacture of an advanced demonstrator part. The part was realized as the result of collaboration between TPRC, its members and companies contributing from different areas of expertise: Autodesk, Harper Engineering Co., KraussMaffei, Safran S.A., Samvardhana Motherson Peguform (SMP) and Victrex PLC.

The part features a typical grid-stiffened panel that can be found in larger numbers in aerostructure applications. The stiffness and strength performance combined with extreme dimensional accuracy puts high demands on the manufacturing process.

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Composites – the next big recycling business?

So what’s a couple of composites folks doing at the Plastics Recycling Conference (March 6-8; New Orleans)? Well, the plastics recycling supply chain is always looking for the next “big" recycling business - so why not composites?

The session included presentations from Rey Banatao with Connora Technologies (Hayward, Calif.), Philip Taynton with Mallinda LLC (Superior, Colo.) and Jerry Qi with Georgia Tech University. Here are some highlights from the panel:

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Mcor Techologies is located in Dunleer, Ireland, about 60 km north of Dublin. It was founded in 2005 by brothers Dr. Conor MacCormack (CEO) and Fintan MacCormack (CTO), with the goal of developing 3D printers that would be so cheap and easy to use that the technology would become much more accessible. Though the cost of printers was coming down, the cost of materials was skyrocketing. As the brothers considered what printing material was eco-friendly, easy to work with and cheap, paper was the obvious answer. It could also be easily colored.

The Mcor Arke turns ordinary paper into a stable, full-color 3D part at a print resolution of 0.1mm. SOURCE: Mcor Technologies.

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Cevotec puts forward a revolutionary paradigm change, eliminating steps from the preforming process by using patch laminates instead of endless tape or multiaxial fabric layups. “While many composite technologies place the laminate on a flat mold and then drape the laminate to achieve a near-net shaped geometry, our SAMBA preforming system directly creates complex 3D preforms,” explains Cevotec CTO Felix Michl.

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German composites industry group reports on thermoplastics on the eve of JEC

I and other members of the CompositesWorld team are preparing for our annual trek to Europe for the JEC World trade show event. Each year, we try to make the most of the travel and visit composites fabricator companies or supplier facilities, to stay in touch with European sources and new applications. And, the JEC event always affords an opportunity to meet and reconnect with industry friends, from around the globe. So it was serendipitous timing that a report from Germany’s AVK – Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e. V. (Frankfurt, Germany), that country’s oldest industry group representing plastics and composites, came across the desk, with some information about thermoplastic composites in Europe.

According to the AVK report, the European market for fiber-reinforced plastics and composites has been growing steadily for a number of years now, based on the group’s 2016 market report. But, there are differences depending on market segment. Growth rates differ, sometimes substantially, from one region or country to another and also with regard to manufacturing processes. Some segments are even in decline.

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