People Briefs: Nov. 26, 2013

Dusty Dequine launches Kairos Composites consultancy; Mike Mettenet joins North Thin Ply Technology.

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Dusty Dequine, formerly of Fiberforge Corp. (Glenwood Springs, Colo., USA) and Boeing Commercial Aircraft (Seattle, Wash., USA), reports that he has launched a consulting company, called Kairos Composites (Englewood, Colo., USA), dedicated to executing trade studies for the composites industry. With a strong background in development of thermoset and thermoplastic composite structures across multiple industries, Dequine says his experience has given him unique insight into the operations of large and small companies, and into every stage of the product development process. At Boeing Commercial Aircraft (BCA), Dequine led major cross-functional trade studies on 787 derivatives, investigating new materials, wing architectures and manufacturing methods. He led the airframe team of Boeing’s composite-intensive Phantom Works A160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter. At Fiberforge, Dequine led the design, analysis, manufacture and testing of thermoplastic composites parts and assemblies for Sikorsky, Airbus, Eurocopter and Boeing. Dequine received his Bachelors of Science from MIT in Aeronautical Engineering in 2001 and completed the University of Washington Graduate Certificate Program in Aircraft Composite Structural Analysis & Design in 2009. At the helm of Kairos Composites Engineering (KCE), Dequine will operate on the premise that better information on the front end will put companies on the firmest path to achieving optimal products with solid commercial viability. “A typical trade study begins with the customer’s requirements and targets. Considering all technical and economic factors, Kairos will identify the most optimal M&P solutions for the application. For each solution, Kairos will provide fully-substantiated estimates for weight, non-recurring cost, and recurring cost so that the customer can make well-informed decisions as they begin development.”

North Thin Ply Technology (Penthalaz, Switzerland) has announced the appointment of Mike Mettenet as its North American sales manager. Mettenet is a seasoned sales, marketing and business development professional with 28 years of experience in the carbon fiber and composite prepreg industry, including tenures at ACG, Aldila, Hercules and Hexcel. A division of the North Technology Group (Milford, Conn.), North Thin Ply Technology (TPT) is a composite prepreg materials and technology supplier that has grown out of the North Sails 3Di sailmaking technology. Its technology was developed to make ultra lightweight prepreg unidirectional tape and to leverage this unique thin ply-material with North Sails’ expertise in automated tape laying (ATL), bespoke fiber placement, and automated fabrication systems for the manufacture of high-performance composite structures. North TPT specializes in thin-ply UD tape of less than 100 gsm (fiber areal weight — FAW), and is making this ultra-light UD tape into a commercial reality at a reasonable price point. It produces tape as light as 18 gsm for a number of Formula One race teams and for highly specialized applications in the aerospace industry and high-performance sports markets. Applications include the Solar Impulse Team’s (Lausanne, Switzerland) Solar airplane, Movement Skis (Puidoux, Switzerland), BHR’s (Anglet, France) Fandango Helicopter, masts and rigging by Southern Spars (Auckland, New Zealand ), Hardy & Greys Ltd. (Alnwick, U.K.) fishing rods and Burton Snowboards (Burlington, Vt., USA). America’s Cup challenging teams Prada and Team New Zealand used TPT material to build the wings for their 72-ft catamarans. North TPT offers a full range of prepregs from 18 gsm to 300 gsm (FAW), using virtually any fiber, including pitch carbon.