2019 CAMX award, ACE winners illustrate industry trends
Among this year’s award winners are Continental Structural Plastics, the Institut fur Textiltecnik of RWTH Aachen University, LyondellBasell, Fortify, Spirit AeroSystems and more.
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Spirit AeroSystems’ ASTRA fuselage panel demonstrator, on display at CAMX 2019. CW photo | Heather Francis
The CAMX 2019 trade show, held Sept. 23-25 in Anaheim, Calif., U.S., showcased the latest processes, materials and solutions in composites manufacturing, and highlighted new and up-and-coming projects and products across a variety of end markets. This year’s CAMX Award and ACMA ACE winners represent some of the best on display at this year’s show and what’s trending in the industry, with innovations ranging from next-generation aerospace parts and high-volume automotive parts, to greener materials and revolutions in composite 3D printing. Here is a rundown of the winners:
The CarbonPro pickup box, winner of the 2019 CAMX Unsurpassed Innovation Award. CW photo | Heather Francis
CAMX Awards: CarbonPro box and laser drilling
CAMX gives two awards each year, one in the Unsurpassed Innovation category and one in the Combined Strength category.
General Motors (Detroit, Mich., U.S.) and Continental Structural Plastics (Auburn Hills, Mich., U.S.) were awarded the CAMX Unsurpassed Innovation award for the CarbonPro chopped carbon fiber/polyamide box for the GMC Sierra Denali pickup truck.
The Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University (Aachen, Germany) took home the CAMX Combined Strength award for its high-accuracy laser drill for cutting holes in carbon fiber preforms for inserts and fasteners.
ACE winners: from SMC to ASTRA
The American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA; Arlington, Va., U.S.) Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) are given for exemplary achievement in materials and processes, equipment and tooling, creative design, growth opportunity and sustainability.
3D-printed parts on display at Fortify’s CAMX 2019 booth. CW photo | Heather Francis
The Innovation in Green Composite Design award went to LyondellBasell (Houston, Texas, U.S.) for its new styrene-free sheet molding compound (SMC) that meets the requirements of California’s Proposition 65 law, plus the LEED building quality standard for use of sustainable materials. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
The Infinite Possibility for Market Growth Award went to the University of Delaware (Newark, Del., U.S.) for the development of its Tailorable Universal Feedstock for Forming (TUFF), a short-fiber composite material engineered for the fabrication of complex-geometry parts.
A demonstrator of the University of Tennessee's braided, arched beams on display at CAMX 2019. CW photo
The Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn., U.S.) was awarded the Most Creative Application award for its braided, arched beams developed for the International Friendship Bell pavilion in Oak Bridge, Tennessee.
The winner of the Equipment and Tooling Innovation award was Fortify (Boston, Mass., U.S.), for its development of a stereolithography 3D printing technology that can magnetically align fibers in a finished composite part.
The Material and Process Innovation award was given to aircraft Tier 1 fabricator Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita, Kan., U.S.) for its development of the Advanced Structures Technology & Revolutionary Architecture (ASTRA) demonstrator, a next-generation aircraft fuselage panel that Spirit says can meet the strength, throughput and cost requirements of a single-aisle commercial aircraft.
Focused on optimizing traditional hand layup, nacelle and thrust reverser manufacturers cast an eye on future use of automation and closed molding.
As composites take a larger part (and form larger parts) in the aerospace structures sector, it’s not just a make-it-or-break-it proposition.
Powerhouse manufacturer’s high-pressure compression molding process forms prepregged CFRP components with forged-metal properties.