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Curing agents and cores specialist Evonik introduced two new products at JEC. VESTALITE S is a styrene-free curing agent for high-performance epoxy sheet molding compound (SMC), based on Evonik’s diamine chemistry. It offers low initial viscosity for high fiber mass fraction and good fiber wetting. It cures in just 3 minutes at 150°C. VESTALITE S, notes Leif Ickert, crosslinkers senior manager at Evonik, is lighter weight than polyester SMC and, because it is stiff at room temperature, easier to handle than polyester SMC (see photo).

Exemplary parts of this material at the Evonik stand were a carbon fiber/epoxy SMC wheel for an electric multi-purpose city vehicle (450 kilograms without battery), and a glass fiber/epoxy SMC developmental lift gate fabricated for a South Korean automotive OEM (see photo). Fabrication of these parts was coordinated by Vestaro, a joint venture of Evonik and Forward Engineering, with compounding provided by Donsung Corp. for the lift gate and Polytec Group for the wheel. Dongsung used advanced SMC equipment by Ilsung Korea to increase material performance.

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25. March 2019

JEC World 2019 recap

CW editor-in-chief Jeff Sloan offers an overview of the composites industry news, product announcements and discoveries that came out of JEC World 2019. It was a busy three days and there were a lot of good takeaways from the show. 


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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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