News Briefs: June 8, 2010

AOC promotes Lindberg, Marber; Composites One to distribute Zyvex materials; MAG endows engineering chair at Chinese university; Park wins Northrop Grumman supplier award, Smithers Rapra joins European natural fibers consortium.

Resin manufacturer AOC LLC (Collierville, Tenn., USA) has announced the promotion of Fletcher Lindberg to business manager - open mold reinforced applications. Lindberg most recently served as business manager for AOC’s non-reinforced and distribution segments. Earlier he was AOC’s sales representative in its south central region. He joined AOC in 1998. Lindberg received his Bachelor of Science from Auburn University and MBA from University of Memphis. Additionally, Mark Harber has been promoted to business manager – open mold non-reinforced products, a position that manages AOC’s gel coat, pigment dispersion, and specialty product lines. Harber was most recently research and development manager and has held a number of positions since he joined AOC in 1982. Harber graduated from the University of Memphis, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Lindberg and Harber will report to Jack Roesle, senior vice president global sales and marketing.

Composites One (Arlington Heights, Ill., USA) announced on June 3 a distribution agreement with Zyvex Performance Materials (ZPM, Columbus, Ohio, USA), a manufacturer of nano-enhanced composite systems. Composites One will begin distributing ZPM’s Epovex, Epovex Adhesive and Arovex products. “Composites One is an excellent partner for Zyvex Performance Materials. The use of nano-enhanced composites is growing and distribution is a key aspect of this developing market. From our offices in Ohio, we can reach customers across North America,” says Lance Criscuolo, president of Zyvex Performance Materials. “Composites One serves over 8,000 customers. When someone considers using the most advanced and highest performing carbon nanotube resin systems and prepregs available today, it’s likely that they are already a Composites One customer.”

Machine tool manufacturer MAG Industrial Automation Systems (Hebron, Ky., USA) announced on June 7 that it will endow a chair in production engineering at Tongji University's Chinese-German College for Postgraduate Studies (CDHK) in Shanghai. The endowment is being made as part of the German-Chinese Year of Science and Education. The official foundation charter was signed by MAG Chairman Professor Dr. Jürgen Fleischer during a visit by Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, Professor Dr. Annette Schavan. The wbk Institute of Production Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will provide support for the chair in its capacity as a cooperating college. The newly endowed chair in production engineering is imtended to strengthen the exchange of scientific know-how between China and Germany and promote the joint education of highly-qualified experts, providing an important basis for successful economic cooperation between China and Germany. China and the Asian markets hold considerable development potential for MAG. The company recently opened a new 1000m² (10,763-ft²) branch in Shanghai, offering facilities for engineering services, sales, service, training and live demonstrations. A new plant is also scheduled for completion in Changchun in the near future.

Park Electrochemical Corp. (Melville, N.Y.) announced on June 2 its wholly owned subsidiary, Park Aerospace Structures Corp., was selected by Northrop Grumman Corp. as its 2009 Research and Development Supplier of the Year for work related to fabricating a motor cage structure and a system of composite struts for the Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) program. This series of structures was a key enabler to ensure the MLAS vehicle maintains the required launch trajectory. The MLAS is being evaluated by NASA as an alternate launch abort system. The MLAS is of possible future interest due to expected aerodynamic advantages and weight savings. It would also eliminate the need for a launch abort tower for the Orion Crew Module.

Smithers Rapra (Shropshire, U.K.), a subsidiary of the U.S.-based independent testing, consulting and contract research organisation, The Smithers Group, reports it has joined a European consortium that will carry out research into the development of a hydro-acoustic radial cell decortication process for the clean, continuous, high volume production of high quality natural fibers. More than €1.7 million of direct financial assistance will be provided by the European Commission throughout the duration of the project. The three-year project, called UltraFibre, is part-funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme and aims to undertake research to reduce the costs associated with the processing of natural fibres, while improving fiber quality, consistency and efficiency. This will be achieved by delivering a scalable, economic, continuous, clean fluidsonics technology to deliver tonnage quantities of high quality fiber. Participating companies and organizations include Smithers Rapra, GreenGran BV, InControl Ultrasonics Ltd., Wageningen UR – Food and Biobased Research, ASSOCOMAPLAST, European Industrial Hemp Association, British Plastics Federation, Kenaf Eco Fibres Italia SpA, Marek Radwański EKOTEX, AcXys Technologies SA, Omega Makina Ltd., MoveVirgo Ltd. and CESAP.