CW Blog

CAMX 2017: Award winners, notable technologies

CAMX feature two awards programs, the Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE), sponsored by the ACMA, and the CAMX Awards. Below is a summary of the award winners, as well some other exhibits and technologies from the show.

 

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CAMX 2017: Video report

The largest composites trade show and conference in the composites industry’s largest market (North America) is CAMX, and the 2017 version ended one week ago in Orlando, FL, US, having been postponed from its original date in September by Hurricane Irma.

CW has produced this video report of highlights from the show, walking you through some of the products and technologies featured there. You can find more CAMX 2017 reports elsewhere in the CW Blog

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CAMX 2017: Highlights from the floor

Before I plunge into the nano and 3D printing innovations from CAMX 2017, I want to flag C-GRID from Chomarat. It will be featured in the INSIDE MANUFACTURING story for our January issue.
 

Chomarat North America (Williamston, NC, US) C-GRID products were developed to replace the welded metal wire mesh in concrete structures and prefabricated concrete panels. It is made from 24K and 50K carbon fiber tows, which are assembled perpendicular to each other into a grid, using a continuous rotary-forming process that chemically binds them with a tough, heat-cured epoxy resin. It has been used for a wide range of construction applications including ferrocement structures, overlays and topping slabs, decorative concrete, concrete rehab in parking garages and bridge repair. But it also can be used as a lightweight reinforcing grid for polymer composite structures, with shear grid and 0-90 grid products ranging from 68 to 235 g/m2.

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Perhaps we’re getting closer to fiberglass recycling

Earlier this year I wrote an article on composites recycling (here’s the link: https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/composites-recycling-gaining-traction ) and one of the things that struck me was how little fiberglass composite waste was being recycled. OK, I know you’re thinking, carbon is worth recycling and glass is not, because carbon has more value. But we’re coming to a point where composite parts, carbon and glass, have been deployed for several decades, and perhaps are nearing the end of their service lives — do we just throw these parts away? For example, how do you throw away a wind blade that’s 50m long? The disposal of spent blades is a growing problem that tends to be ignored by renewable energy advocates.

General Electric (Boston, MA, US) recently posted an article entitled “Comeback Kids: This Company Gives Old Wind Turbine Blades A Second Life” written by Amy Kover, on its GE Reports web site, a daily news, video and social media hub featuring timely, insightful articles. According to the article, repowering — or replacing existing technology with more advanced tech, such as newer blades — can increase an entire wind farm’s performance by up to 25 percent and extend its life by up to 20 years. But, says Kover, repowering also creates a new twist on the ages-old conundrum trailing progress: what to do with the obsolete technology. Crushing a blade yields about 15,000 pounds of fiberglass waste, and the process creates hazardous dust. Given their enormous length, sending them to a landfill whole is out of the question.

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The success of CAMX 2017 (the reboot)

When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida during the week of Sept. 11 this year, it forced the postponement of the composites industry’s largest trade show and conference in its largest market. Which, of course, is not a trivial matter. Indeed, CAMX organizers at ACMA and SAMPE deserve a ton of credit for, effectively, pulling off two trade shows in three months — the first brought nearly to the finish line only, to be dashed by Irma, and the second this week, brought to and past the finish line with great success in Orlando, FL. 

And, of course, it wasn’t just the folks at ACMA and SAMPE who made this happen. In September, many CAMX exhibitors had booth materials and displays en route to Florida when the hurricane hit, and they too had to do it all over again for the rescheduled event this week. And we must not forget the attendees, for whom all of this logistical wrangling was done. They also had to re-schedule and recommit to the new dates. So, a big thank you goes out to everyone who helped make CAMX 2017 a success.

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