January 30, 2013 (Orlando, Fla.) – The winners of the Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE), which recognize outstanding achievement and innovation in technology, manufacturing and product development, and Pinnacle Awards, which recognize cast polymer excellence, were announced on Jan. 30 at the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA) COMPOSITES 2013 show, Jan. 28 to 30 in Orlando, Fla., USA.
Best of Show Award, which is recognized as the highest composites industry award, was presented to Flexi-StiX LLC (Anderson, S.C., USA) for its Tsunami Barbell Flexible Composite Barbell. This flexible barbell has a stiffness that allows the bar to oscillate during lifting with an optimum amplitude and frequency that allow the lifter to achieve extraordinary effective muscle stimulus, resulting in the ability to train athletes to a higher level of performance than using traditional steel barbells.
Most Creative Application Award, which is presented to the product that demonstrates the use of composite materials in an imaginative, innovative and artistic fashion, was presented to Kreysler and Associates (American Canyon, Calif., USA) for its Large Acoustic Wall and Ceiling Panel Assemblies. These panels are designed to reflect sound efficiently, without distortion or echoing. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), concrete and steel are combined to capture the intricate shape, mass, tolerances and rigorous code requirements for fire and structural integrity.
Equipment and Tooling Innovation Award, for equipment, tooling, production aid or software that is designed to improve manufacturing production, environmental ￼sustainability or product quality and performance in composites manufacturing, was presented to German Advanced Composites Inc. (Miami, Fla., USA), for its MTI (Membrane Tube Infusion) Goes American. MTI is a production aid developed to optimize the vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process with the lowest possible effort. The self-regulating MTI process improves the reliability, reproducibility, and overall quality of products manufactured using any vacuum-assisted resin infusion process while reducing the material and labor costs.
Material and Process Innovation Award, for a material or process that best contributes to efficient manufacturing and product sustainability, was presented to Romeo RIM (Romeo Mich., USA), for its Harvest Vehicle Roof, a Class A, inmold decorated, glass-reinforced polyurethane structure. With the continuous need for lighter weight materials, this material system has similar mechanical properties to sheet molding compound (SMC), but at 45 percent of the weight. Being able to produce a Class A surface in the mold also allows the total part cost to be 20 percent less than traditional topcoat systems, while maintaining superior paint adhesion performance.
Composites Sustainability Award, for clearly demonstrating an improvement in the environmental impact of a product, was presented to Plastics Unlimited (Preston, Iowa, USA) for its elical Turbine Blades & End Caps for Savonius Wind Turbine. These Windstrip turbines will be mounted on communication towers offering the telecommunications world a greener way to power its equipment. This will eliminate the need for running power transmission lines and setting up fossil fuel-burning generators in thousands of locations worldwide.
Innovation in Green Composites Design Award, for exemplifying innovations that minimize the environmental footprint of a product, was presented to The Composites Group (North Kingsville, Ohio, USA) for its Low-Density Commercial Truck Inner Fender. The low density inner fender (and its mirror image) combine with a suite of four other thermoset compression molded components, which together deliver a 70-lb/32-kg mass reduction benefit vs. the incumbent design (sheet metal fabrication). The mass savings translate into significant fuel savings opportunity over the life of the box truck, particularly in large fleets.
Infinite Possibility for Market Growth Award, for demonstrating the potential to significantly increase the use of composites in existing or developing markets, was presented to Ershigs Inc. (Tulsa, Okla., USA) for its DOW/CFT Tequatic Plus F-50 Fine Particle Filter Vessel. The TEQUATIC PLUS filter is ideal for difficult-to-treat water applications across markets, including produced water where it is used as a primary filter removing high- and low-density solids from production oil and gas wells, and in a pre-filtration role removing solids and biological contaminants in front of finer, reverse osmosis (RO) filtering technologies in applications such as desalination.
Outside of the Box Award is presented to the entry that demonstrates the opportunity for cast polymer manufacturers to expand the market by using the unique ability of cast polymers to make high-quality and innovative parts outside of the traditional kitchen and bath applications. The Compact Patio Bar entry which was built by Coplin Manufacturing and submitted by ACS International received the 2013 Pinnacle Award.