CW Blog

Ferrari Land features FRP cladding

The Ferrari Land theme park in Spain was officially opened to the public on April 7, which  aims to capture the spirit of Ferrari cars. The theme park’s two key landmarks – the Ferrari Experience building with its instantly recognizable classic Ferrari red colored exterior and car hood shaped entrance, and Red Force which is now Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster at over 112 metres tall - were fabricated using a combination of painted flat aluminum panels and more complex, curved FRP composite wall cladding and roofing sections. Altogether, the FRP composite parts supplied covered approximately 1,500 square meters installed on the exterior of the Ferrari Experience building and various sections of the Red Force rollercoaster ride.

A total of 800 individual FRP parts were hand layup molded by specialist architectural façades and parts fabricator Look Composites at its factory in Alicante, in the south east of Spain. All the molded FRP parts were supplied to the contractor ready for priming and painting; as the buildings used both aluminum and FRP cladding panels, to ensure identical color matching of dissimilar material, all the sections were spray painted as a second stage by a specialist local company. The FRP composite panels supplied had to meet the Euroclass B,s2,d0 fire specification stipulated for this construction project.

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High-speed 3D printing with fiber reinforcement

CMS SpA and Fraunhofer IWU report that they are working on an R&D partnership focused on the development of a new hybrid system for high-speed 3D printing and machining of thermoplastic composite parts.

The new system, named CMS Kreator, will be available in several configurations and sizes, to cover a variety of industrial needs, mainly targeted toward the manufacture of prototypes and special parts. The range of materials used by CMS Kreator includes ABS, PA and high-performance polymers, mixed with short fiber carbon fiber and glass fiber to provide 40% fiber content.

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The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX, Sep. 19-21, Tampa, FL, US) continues to be the major US event for composites in the marine industry.  Despite Hurricane Irma hitting Florida the week before, IBEX still posted a 4% increase in attendees and 10% increase in exhibitors. Thankfully, the Tampa area was mostly spared of serious impact.  However, a special session on hurricane recovery was hosted and a donation was made to the Feeding Tampa Bay organization.

For those wanting to learn more about composites, there were a variety of opportunities including educational workshops and seminars (see below) as well as the hands-on Future Materials area within the Composites Pavilion in the 3rd floor exhibit hall.

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The second SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition took place in August and the winner featured a top speed of 324 km/h—the fastest speed ever reached by a Hyperloop pod. The winning team, WARR Hyperloop, represents the Technical University of Munich and its Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Space Flight (WARR).

Three teams were given clearance to race their prototype through the tube on competition day to compete for the title of the fastest pod: Paradigm Hyperloop from Northeastern University and Memorial University of Newfoundland, Swissloop from ETH Zurich and the WARR Hyperloop team of the Technical University of Munich. WARR Hyperloop features carbon fiber-reinforced plastics with a sandwich-structured main frame with a foam core and an unidirectional fiber layout in the propulsion structure to support the belt pretension and prevent buckling. The combined weight is less than 20kg.

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Another win on a carbon composite SUP - Update

I hope you all had a chance to read my June 2017 Focus on Design story about the design and creation of a custom carbon composite racing SUP or stand-up paddleboard (that led to a similar production SUP for consumers) for paddle athlete Travis Grant, winner of the 2015 (and earlier 2013) Molokai 2 Oahu Ocean Race across the Ka’iwi Channel, a distance of 52 km. Because the focus of that story was on the composite board and how it came to be, I never got the chance to interview Grant, although I scoured media reports and his Facebook page, where he talked about that win.

Grant recently contacted me, and told me that he is the winner of the 2017 edition of M2O race, held on July 30, again on a Cobra International Co. Ltd. (Chonburi, Thailand) – manufactured, NSP (Singapore)-designed Molokai custom SUP. And, he set a new record time for the event. I reached out to Trent Pedersen, who is a technical consultant to NSP and the Aroona Group, the distributor of NSP boards in Australia and New Zealand, and involved in the realization of Grant’s 2017 board, for some details.

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