Aerospace, construction CAMX Awards winners

Representing both ends of the composites industry spectrum, the inaugural CAMX Awards go to Epitome Foundation Walls and the NASA-Boeing all-composite cryotank.

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Composite Panel Systems LLC's Epitome Quality Foundation Walls was one of two CAMX Awards winners, in the category of Unsurpassed Innovation.

The inaugural CAMX 2014 (Oct. 13-16, Orlando, Fla.) introduced to the composites industry a new awards program, called CAMX Awards. Twelve finalists competed for two CAMX Awards, one to recognize collaboration and teamwork in a composite application, and the other to recognize innovation that promises to provide substantial market impact.

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, during the CAMX General Session, Ashland announced the winners of the 2014 CAMX Awards, which, like the show, represented the diversity of the composites industry itself. The Combined Strength Award was given to the NASA-Boeing Composite Cryotank Technologies & Demonstration Team, submitted by NASA Glenn Research. The Unsurpassed Innovation Award was given to the Epitome Quality Foundation Walls, submitted by Composite Panel Systems LLC.

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NASA and Boeing worked together to develop an all-composite cryogenic fuel tank for space launch vehicles, which won the CAMX Combined Strength Award. This sub-scale version of the tank was on exhibit at CAMX. The full-size tank is 8.4m in diameter.

NASA worked with Boeing to design, fabricate and test an all-composite cryogenic fuel tank for space launch vehicles. The tank achieved a 30 percent weight savings and 25 percent cost savings, allowing insertion of higher mass payloads to low-Earth orbit and beyond. At the current space launch system configuration of 8.4m/27.6 ft diameter, the composite cryotank could warrant as much as 1,400 kg/3,806 lb of added payload.

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John Vickers, NASA program manager for the Composite Cryotank Technologies and Demonstration Team, receiving the CAMX Award.

Receiving the Combined Strength Award was John Vickers, NASA program manager for the Composite Cryotank Technologies & Demonstration Team. “A lot of people worked very hard between government and industry and Boeing and NASA to make this project work,” he told the crowd of more than 1,000 who attended the CAMX General Session and Keynote Tuesday morning. He noted that the tank went a long way toward proving composite capabilities in space launch applications. “We threw a lot at these tanks during testing, and they stood up.”

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Glenn Schiffmann, managing member of Composite Panel Systems LLC, receiving the CAMX Award.

Receiving the Unsurpassed Innovation Award was Glenn Schiffmann, managing member of Composite Panel Systems LLC (Eagle River, Wis.). He told the audience that it was two years ago, at the National Homebuilders Show in Orlando, that he first hatched the idea of a composite sandwich panel system designed to replace traditional concrete in residential home foundations. Working with the close support of resin manufacturer Ashland, Schiffmann says his panel system provides easy and fast installation which can be performed by typical work crew, without the time and effort required to pour a concrete foundation. Further, it provides R-16.5 insulation value, integrated stud cavities for mechanicals and inherent damp-proofing. Schiffmann says reception in the building and construction industry to the Epitome Quality Foundation Walls system has been positive so far. He’s working with Ashland and other suppliers to increase manufacturing efficiencies and drive down the cost further and make it more cost-competitive with concrete. That’s within reach, he believes.