What a difference a year makes

If 2020 was bad, then 2021 can only be better. CW Editor-in-Chief Jeff Sloan discusses the promising and not-so-promising industry trends leading up to 2021. 
#editorial

Composites activity expands for third straight month

Production may struggle under slowing new orders and supply chain challenges.
#economics

SPONSORED

How Digital Cutting Technology Reduces Costs and Improves Flexibility

Automated cutting of composites reinforcement and other technical textiles is faster, more accurate and can result in dramatic reductions in material waste and labor. Having the right software is the key to getting the best results.

Carbon Fibers

Spintech opens new composites manufacturing division, Hawthorn Composites

New division specializes in manufacturing complex geometry composite parts using novel dry fiber preforming and resin infusion techniques, extending Spintech composite capabilities.
#automation #outofautoclave

Wind/Energy

Vestas integrates offshore and onshore activities, intends to lay off 220 employees

Following the acquisition of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, organizational integration is necessary to meet market demand and create synergy between the two businesses.
#vestas

Fabrics/Preforms

Pilatus delivers 100th composites-intensive jet

PC-24 Super Versatile Jet is now present on every continent and sold out for 2021.

Aerospace

AeroVironment to acquire Acturus UAV, maker of CFRP-intensive T-20

Transaction drives growth, broadens capabilities and customer footprint, and positions both companies for next-gen programs.
#uas

KNOWLEDGE CENTERS

Gain in-depth knowledge in processes, products and technology from industry experts

Future Materials

"Future Materials" offers a collection of new materials, processes, and technologies gathered from a wide variety of sources including marine, aerospace, and automotive industries, plus some applied academic research and development.

Closed Molding

Closed mold processes offer many advantages over open molding. This knowledge center details the basics of closed mold methods and the products and tools essential to producing a part correctly.

Automated Composites

In the Automated Composites knowledge center, CGTech brings you vital information about all things automated composites, from the manufacturing processes to the vendors and necessary tools.

VIDEO / PODCASTS

Carbon Fibers | 2 MINUTE READ

BMW i develops first electrified wingsuit for human flight

Embodying a futuristic approach, the carbon fiber and aluminum wingsuit with its electric propulsion system is a concept that even airsports daredevils won’t be able to ignore.
#bmw

Energy Storage |

Hydrogen fuel cell-powered HY4 aircraft takes flight

MAHEPA consortium demonstrates feasibility and advances toward liquid hydrogen tanks and scaling modular HY4 technology to new, emissions-free aircraft.

Thermoplastics

Episode 35: Lisa Ketelsen, Covestro

CW Talks visits with Lisa Ketelsen, head of thermoplastic composites and CEO of Maezio at Covestro. Ketelsen talks about her path to Covestro and the Maezio product line, Maezio’s attributes and applications, and how she sees thermoplastic composites evolving in the marketplace.
#trends #electronics #electricvehicles

Webinar

Aerocomposites Optimization and Assembly Through Integrated Protection and Bonding

Manufacture of future composite aerostructures demands more efficient and robust fabrication and assembly processes. This includes integration of next-generation lightning strike protection systems and reduced use of mechanical fasteners.

CW SPECIAL REPORTS

Thermoplastics

Composites 4.0: Digital transformation, adaptive production, new paradigms

An evolving landscape of automation, sensors and AI software is not an end, but a means to achieve the cost, quality, efficiency and agility required for future manufacturing.  
#specialreport #boeing #polyacrylonitrile

ATL/AFP

ZAero project update

The 2019 final review demonstrated integration of an automated CFRP process chain: AFP inline inspection and rework, cure and resin flow sensors, part performance prediction and a decision support tool for line operators.
#airbus #layup #specialreport

Digital thread vs. digital twin

Visualizing the difference between digital representations and data flows and understanding the applications that are changing composites manufacturing and business models.
#airbus #autoclave #layup

Composites 4.0: Where to start?

Sensors, IoT platforms, data analytics — the tools for more intelligent, efficient manufacturing abound, but where to start is actually much simpler.
#specialreport #Composites101 #composites4_0

CW PLANT TOURS

Plant Tour: Veelo Technologies, Woodlawn, Ohio, U.S.

Advanced materials company evolves from nanomaterials to multifunctional composites and processing solutions.
#space #layup #autoclave

Plant tour: Meggitt San Diego, CA, US

This aerospace and defense fabricator upgrades to a larger facility and gets, in the process, a chance to rethink and optimize material, people and process flow. 
#polyimide #cuttingtools #outofautoclave

Plant tour: Hexcel, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.

The scale, precision, speed and quality of carbon fiber manufacture has evolved substantially since the material’s modern introduction in the late 1960s. Hexcel offers a glimpse of the state of the art today.
#precursor #weaving #windblades

What is the role of composites in electric vehicles?

Governments and automakers are sending clear signals that electric vehicles are the future. Lightweighting EVs with composites seems obvious, but Dale Brosius says there are more opportunities not to be missed.
#electricvehicles #perspectives-and-provocations

Consumer

Flexible carbon fiber plates enable high-performance footwear

Carbitex’s flexible carbon fiber/thermoplastic composite plates use creative engineering to eliminate design compromises in athletic footwear.
#workinprogress

Thermoplastics

Bespoke process produces composite brake pedal every minute

Three composite materials are used to create structural composite member that meets demanding mechanical requirements.
#workinprogress #automation #layup

Injection/Overmolding

Thermoplastic composite structure replaces metals on safety-critical brake pedals

First all-composite brake pedals developed by Boge Rubber & Plastics Group are lighter, stiffer, stronger and offer improved driving haptics.
#focusondesign #composites4_0

Infusion

Multilayer thermoplastic tapes, AFP and resin infusion for more democratic composites

Novotech advances new materials and more affordable automated processes for small aircraft and beyond
#outofautoclave #pei #peek

Pratt & Whitney to produce advanced metal and CMC turbine airfoils in North Carolina

New 1 million-square-foot production facility follows CMC R&D center and publicized strategy for next-gen engines.
#trends #f-35 #ms21