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7/24/2009 | 5 MINUTE READ

CompositesWorld Expo 2009 Product Preview

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Key CWE exhibitors give CT readers a preshow peek at what’s in store on the exhibit floor.


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After its well-received debut last year, the CompositesWorld Expo returns Sept. 28-30 to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Ill. Designed to cater to the entire composites community, the Expo has something to offer to composites professionals involved in any end-market, both newcomers and seasoned veterans.

Keynotes and conference

This year, a quartet of keynote addresses will be delivered in a special open presentation venue on the show floor, making access easier for both attendees and exhibitors. CWE keynoters will address emerging applications of composites in several key end-markets: Stephen Nolet, the principal engineer and director of innovation at TPI Composites (Scottsdale, Ariz.) will discuss the roles that industry, government and advanced materials suppliers must play if the wind energy industry is to reach its stated goal of “20% Wind by 2030.” Dr. Habib J. Dagher, director of the Advanced Engineered Composite Center at the University of Maine (Orono, Maine), will survey opportunities for the use of rigidified inflatable bridge components and other innovations in infrastructure. Jim deVries, from the Lightweight Materials Group in the Manufacturing Systems Department of Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Mich.), will review, in the wake of recent auto industry upheavals, “The Role of Composites in a Changing Automotive Landscape.” And Dr. Peter Wu, chief scientist at aircraft composites manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita, Kan.), will present observations about how composites-driven advancements have produced a climate of continuous change in the aerospace market.

Like last year’s show, the 2009 outing offers a unique two-track conference program. It runs Sept. 28-29 and overlaps the exhibits schedule by one day. A full listing of speakers, topics and events can be found on pp. 17-24.

Registration and lodging

For information about conference prices (exhibits-only registration is free until one week before the show), to register for conference sessions, or to inquire about lodging, visit the Expo Web site: www.compositesworldexpo.com.

On the CWE show floor

CT invited CompositesWorld Expo exhibitors to preview their products, services and planned visitor-oriented activities. The following responded with word about what to expect.



Oxidation oven systems

C.A. Litzler Co. Inc. (Cleveland, Ohio) will present new oxidation oven systems that use the company’s exclusive cross-flow oven technology with patented End-Seal System. The alternating cross-flow design provides uniform airflow across the entire tow band up to 3m/9.3 ft wide. Litzler ovens have successfully processed tow ranging from 1K to 350K. The ovens also include the patented End-Seals that seal the ends of the oxidation oven. This prevents cold air from infiltrating the oven and creates more airflow and temperature uniformity while minimizing hydrogen cyanide (HCN) levels. Uniform temperatures and airflow produce higher quality products at higher speeds than competing designs. Litzler has more than 50 oxidation ovens installed in the U.S., Taiwan, China and Europe. Visit C.A. Litzler Co. Inc. in booth 301.



Ultrasonic & thermographic NDT systems

NDT Solutions Inc. (NDTS, New Richmond, Wis.), a supplier of nondestructive testing solutions, is emphasizing its FlawInspecta 64-channel, high-speed ultrasonic phased array inspection system for composites inspection applications. This exhibitor also represents the new IrNDT modular thermographic inspection system manufactured by Automation Technology GmbH (Bad Oldesloe, Germany), and the new USB ANDSCAN manual C-scan system made by QinetiQ Ltd. (Hampshire, U.K.). NDTS also provides the complete line of MAUS automated C-scan systems, NDT Systems ultrasonic instruments and transducers and the entire line of SONOTECH ultrasonic couplants. Visit NDT Solutions Inc. in booth 808.



CNC programming software for fiber placement

Software developer CGTech (Irvine, Calif.) product marketing manager Bill Hasenjaeger will be a speaker in the CWE Conference Advanced track on Monday, Sept. 28: Noting that most users of computer numerical control (CNC) automated fiber placement (AFP) machinery use offline numerical control (NC) programming software delivered with their machine — forcing them to use multiple software applications for multiple brands of machines — Hasenjaeger will discuss the benefits of machine-independent offline NC programming software. During the Expo, CGTech will demonstrate VERICUT Composite Programming (VCP) software, which reads CAD surfaces and ply boundary information and adds material to fill the plies, according to user-specified manufacturing standards and requirements. Layup paths are linked together to form specific layup sequences and are output as NC programs for the automated layup machine. The company also will exhibit VERICUT 7.0, the latest version of VERICUT CNC machine simulation and optimization software. Its performance-improving enhancements reduce the time required for manufacturing engineers to develop, analyze, inspect and document the CNC programming and machining process. Instead of focusing on new features or add-on modules, CGTech developer resources have focused on diligent code optimization and customer-driven enhancements. Visit CGTech in booth 300.



Large-envelope CNC routers

Thermwood Corp. (Dale, Ind.) is presenting its heavy-duty, large-envelope, 3- and 5-axis CNC routers designed for machining small and large composite parts in a single setup. All weldments on the routers are fully stress relieved and the final machine is laser-calibrated to assure accuracy, including three-dimensional volumetric compensation. Thermwood systems can machine a wide range of materials, including fiberglass, aluminum, urethane foam, and polycarbonate as well as Kevlar and Nomex fabrics and honeycomb core. Visit Thermwood Corp. in booth 523.



Large-diameter filament winder

At its booth, McClean Anderson LLC (Schofield, Wis.) will spotlight the Raptor, a custom-designed, large-scale filament winder. Its modular carriage bed design (which is available in a range of sizes, based on 3m/10-ft increments) accommodates extremely long parts. Its custom design allows for the largest-diameter filament wound products. Options include collapsible mandrels, part carts, curing panels, electronic slaved fiber tensioning systems, spray chop delivery, and sand systems. Designed for two to four axes of motion, the Raptor features digital servo-control and Windows-based Flexwind control that is customized per machine.  Also included is the company’s Composite Designer pattern development software. Visit McClean Anderson in booth 423.




Curing ovens for composites

Precision Quincy Corp. (Woodstock, Ill.) is featuring its line of curing ovens for composites. Designed to generate uniform temperatures throughout the oven cavity, the oven interior is constructed from heavy gauge, temperature-resistant aluminized steel, with a 2.5-inch/63.5-mm insulated floor. Standard features include adjustable louvered openings in supply and return ducts; heavy-duty blowers; vertical and horizontal airflow; a pre-wired NEMA 1 control cabinet with UL-approved controls. Optional equipment can include thermocouple jack panels, cure-cycle ramp-soak programmers, digital cycle timers, motorized dampers for quick cool downs, and vacuum pumps and headers for vacuum bagging. All Precision Quincy curing ovens are reported to be in full compliance with NFPA-86, NFPA-70, OSHA and UL requirements. Visit Precision Quincy Corp. in booth 811.



Wind blade design insights

Representing Dassault Systèmes (Paris, France), CATIA composites consultant Rani Richardson will present a CWE conference paper entitled, “Fly Like the Wind: Wind Turbine Blade Composites Design: Leveraging Aerospace Advances for Improved Durability.” She will review design and manufacturing practice in this arena and the increasing demand for high-quality wind turbine blades and then discuss technology now used in rotorcraft design that, according to Richardson, could and should be applied to wind blades. For a presentation preview, see the Webcast: www.compositesworld.com/videos/Wind-Turbine-Blade-Composites-Design.aspx. Visit Dassault Systemès in booth 618.