CW Blog

Over the past three years, a team of Cal Poly students have been working to design and build a vehicle to challenge the international land-speed record for a completely solar-powered car. 

Their car is made of carbon fiber composites and features more than 100 ft2 of solar panels. It has no batteries or any other method for storing energy and uses less than 2 kW of solar power. So can it beat the existing 56 mph record for a solar-powered vehicle? The team will make a run at the record this June at US Air Force Plant 42 (Palmdale, CA, US).

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Composite materials and innovations are constantly evolving. In addition to industry news, features, blog posts and podcasts, CW also maintains a comprehensive collection of product announcements provided by companies. This monthly roundup includes links to regular posts concerning the latest products of interest to the composites industry.

This month has seen innovations from Airtech, Analyswift, Arkema, Ashland, Azco, BÜFA Composite Systems, Coastal Enterprises Jetcam, Mahr, Metrology, MultiMechanics, Panacol, Porcher Industries and Techsil. 

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Titan prepares for Titanic expedition

 

CW first reported on OceanGate (Everett, WA, US) a year ago, when we described the design and development of the composites-intensive Cyclops 2 five-person, deep-sea submersible vehicle. Cyclops 2, at the time, was in the final stages of production and eventually would venture down to re-examine the wreckage of the RMS Titanic in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

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Flexible cure prepreg finds use in marine and wind

 

It’s almost time for the 2018 Tour de France — no, not that one with the bicycles, but the Tour de France à la Voile. It’s a coastal sailing race, where competitors sail small trimarans from port to port along the coast of France, from Dunkerque to Nice. It begins on July 6 and ends July 22.

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A new 3D-printed prosthetic leg from TriFusion Devices (College Station, TX, US), a subsidiary of BASF (Florham Park, NJ, US) and Essentium Inc. (College Station, TX, US), features a thermoplastic carbon fiber definitive prosthetic socket that allows for life cycle adjustments without weakening its structure – which isn’t easily accomplished with traditional sockets.

The prosthetic leg is printed with BASF’s Ultramid polyamide reinforced with short carbon fiber. The definitive socket is made with thermoplastic material and allows for small adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit for patients – the socket can be adjusted in 2-3mm increments as needed throughout the prosthetic’s life cycle. The technology allows for a quicker turn around as well as the 3D printing helps streamline the process.

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