Biz Briefs

Business briefs from Magma Global, Web Industries, Conductive Composites, China and Royal Engineered Composites.

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Magma Global Ltd. (Portsmouth, U.K.) on June 15 announced the launch of m-pipe, a high-performance carbon fiber composite pipe, to meet the challenges of deepwater subsea applications. Magma says m-pipe is about one-tenth the weight in water of an equivalent steel riser. This gives m-pipe a significant advantage when it comes to reductions in hang-off loads. For deepwater pipe applications, the combination of m-pipe’s reduced weight and spoolability reportedly make it easier to deploy. Magma has worked on its first deepwater deployment configuration with Subsea 7 (London, U.K. and Houston, Texas) to produce a deployment method that is faster, yet involves lower risk and cost.

Web Industries (Atlanta, Ga.) has opened a new 10,000 ft2 (930m2) Composites Automation Development Center near Atlanta, Ga., to help customers test carbon fiber materials for use in automated fiber placement. Engineers will be able to work with the company to complete performance, processability, durability, and fit-for-use assessments on prepreg tapes. The new facility is ISO 9001:2008, AS9100, and ISO 14001-certified. Services and capabilities include slitting and winding, slit-width verification testing, materials analysis, web path testing, and more.

To ensure that it has production capacity and R&D infrastructure sufficient to support customer demand in promising new markets, Conductive Composites Co. (Heber City, Utah) has relocated its headquarters to a refurbished 10,000 ft2 (930m2) facility that features a 100 percent larger research and development area and doubled administrative space; tripled production capacity in Green River, Utah, including an additional nickel-coated carbon fiber line; and the purchase of a future production site in Huntington, Utah, to support capacity expansion in nickel-coated carbon fibers and production expansion in nonwovens and nanostrands.

The inaugural AirMed & Rescue Congress China 2011 (Shanghai, Oct. 10-12) is attracting great attention because it is the first practical indication that China’s relaxed low-altitude airspace policy, instituted in November 2010, will stimulate China’s still tiny general aviation market. Chinese business leaders believe the policy will result in considerable expansion of China’s small fleet — only 1,000 aircraft, of which a mere 130 are helicopters. Medical/rescue helicopters could be a huge market for composites.

Royal Engineered Composites (Minden, Neb.) on June 30 broke ground on the first phase of a three-part expansion program. The initial expansion will house a cleanroom for carbon/epoxy part production and will house Royal’s five autoclaves. Royal’s equipment purchase list includes a 12-ft by 30-ft (3.7m by 9.1m) autoclave, a ply cutting table with a conveyor system, and a composite waterjet machining center from Flow International (Kent, Wash.). The phase one expansion is slated for completion in November 2011. The expanded facilities will increase Royal’s large-part production and assembly capabilities and is expected to accommodate higher-volume contracts.

Editor Pick

Carbon Fiber conference agenda nears completion

The 2017 Carbon Fiber conference, Nov. 28-30 in Charleston, SC, US, includes a tour of the Boeing South Carolina plant, a panel on carbon fiber recycling and a pre-conference seminar on carbon fiber in transportation and energy applications.