CW Blog

During JEC World 2019, I visited the Stratasys (Rehovot, Israel) booth where Diego Calderón, Structural Analysis manager at IDEC (Araba, Spain), a Spanish provider of composite solutions for aerospace, explained how Stratasys additive manufacturing helped IDEC cut the time, cost and material waste involved with traditional composite molding.

IDEC’s government-funded project centered around the testing of a new composite material and its Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process for the manufacture of a curved aircraft wing. The particular challenge in producing the aircraft wing centered around the preform tool itself. Designed to facilitate the composite lay-up process into the mold at a later stage and accelerate the curing process, such preform tools are often made of aluminum or epoxy resin. The fiber is laid up on top of the preform and the tool is then heated. In this instance, instead of heating the preform tool, the unusual application required the composite material itself to be heated using an electric current. Consequently, highly conductive metals like aluminum were inappropriate as they would prevent the current from effectively going through the carbon fiber fabric. 

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SAMPE Europe (Oerlingen, Switzerland), the European chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE, Diamond Bar, Calif., U.S.), hosted its annual summit at Pullman Hotel Paris Tour Eiffel (Paris, France) on March 11, prior to JEC World 2019. Around 160 attendees gathered to hear 12 speakers cover a range of topics including materials & processes, automotive, mass transport and aerospace. Speakers included:

This year’s event also celebrated SAMPE’s 75th anniversary and included a film about SAMPE’s history and its role in the industry featuring testimonials from industry experts as well as up-and-coming advanced materials talent.

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JEC World, the largest composites industry trade show, usually sets off an avalanche of news and product releases. This year’s big event was no different in that regard. 

One big announcement at made at the show was the name change of TenCate (Morgan Hill, Calif., U.S.) to Toray Advanced Composites, reflecting last year’s acquisition of TenCate by Toray (Tokyo, Japan). The company had several innovations on display including innovations in automotive, aerospace and thermoplastic composite recycling.

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JEC World 2019 has come to a close. It was an exciting three days filled with inspiring conversations and tons of ideas and innovation. The show is so busy that summing up all the takeaways in one post is almost impossible. CW will be posting highlights from JEC World, sharing important news, product announcements and insights from the show over the next few days.

The CW team tried to capture the energy from JEC at every opportunity, sharing video updates via social media. Here are some of the daily videos from the big event.

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When you walk in the front door of Prodrive, you’re greeted by the 2017 first place winner of Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro from Aston Martin Racing. Prodrive painstakingly fabricates all of the parts for each of the cars it produces. From engine parts to electrical systems to carbon fiber bonnets and doors, everything on each racing car is bespoke. 

Last week I had the privilege of touring the company’s Motorsport & Advanced Technology and Composites facilities in Banbury, U.K. and Milton Keynes, U.K. respectively. The amount of work that goes into every car part at the Motorsport facility is staggering. And the company approaches the composite components for other sectors with that same attention to detail. Whether a part is for a luxury car, an aerospace or defense application, or a carbon fiber bicycle, it receives hands-on attention through every step of its creation.

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