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2/16/2009 | 5 MINUTE READ

News briefs—Feb. 17, 2009

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Arkema launches carbon nanotubes website; AVK seeks applications for innovation awards; Cray Valley will open third demonstration and training center in South Korea; High Modulus celebrates 30 years in business; ITW Plexus updates its website; Brazil's MVC picks LORD as best supplier in 2008; Morphic will test small-scale wind turbine with carbon fiber blades; Scott Bader launches Crestapol microsite; Toho Tenax reportedly begins layoffs at Tennessee carbon fiber plant; VISTAGY, ATK to host webinar on composites manufacturing automation.

Arkema (Colombes, France) has announced the launch of a new website, www.graphistrength.com, that provides potential carbon nanotube users with detailed information about the company's powder and masterbatch products. Visitors to the website can submit their development inquiries by e-mailing them to an Arkema dedicated address, and can be assured of individual service. Arkema has also opted for a fully transparent communication policy by posting on line all available validated information in matters of hygiene, health and environment.

The AVK – Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe eV (Federation of Reinforced Plastics) is requesting nominations for this year’s annual AVK innovation awards in the categories Industrial Applications, Environment and University research. The objective of the innovation awards is to provide solutions to state-of-the-art technological issues by means of composites and thermosets, to highlight the achievements of our industry in the field of environmental protection and to encourage university research into composites and thermosets. Not least, it is hoped that these innovation awards will serve as a source of motivation for specialists active in these fields. Orizes will be awarded at the International AVK Conference, Oct. 26-27, 2009, to be held in Stuttgart, Germany, in conjunction with the COMPOSITES EUROPE Trade Fair, Oct. 27-29, 2009. Deadline for application submission is April 20, 2009. For more information, visit www.avk-tv.de/innovationaward.php.

Cray Valley (Paris, France) is opening a third demonstration and training center, located in South Korea. An opening ceremony will take place the March 11, followed by a training session. This first day is organized in partnership with Magnum Venus Plastech (MVP, Clearwater, Fla., USA), and is aimed at giving a general training of the main new products and equipment. Other sessions will follow on specific technologies and innovations. Among the full program, some demonstrations will be given on closed mold technologies, new vinyl ester resins, Thermaclean VOC-free cleaning agents, gel coat and resin application, tooling system and bonding pastes.

High Modulus (Auckland, New Zealand) is celebrating 30 years in business as a manufacturer of composite materials and structures for marine and other applications. The company was founded when Bob Rimmer decided to leave his banking career to focus on his passion for the sea. A sailing enthusiast, he became involved in the manufacture of the first production fiberglass sailboards for the local Kiwi market. Notable are the first fiberglass 12m America’s Cup yachts; Mirabella V, the world’s largest single-masted sailing yacht; and Ermis2, a 60-knot, 37m all-carbon motoryacht. Over the last decade, the company has brought its technical expertise to a wider range of marine applications, including everything from sailing superyachts, to commercial vessels, to high-volume production motorboats. With headquarters in New Zealand, and a European office of some 15 years, High Modulus opened its Australian and Chinese manufacturing and sales operations in 2008. High Modulus currently boasts a staff of around one hundred across its offices. In January, High Modulus announced management changes to lead the company: Paul Goddard was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Richard Downs-Honey was appointed International Sales Director, and Gary Brownrigg was appointed General Manager of High Modulus Australia.

Adhesives specialist ITW Plexus (Rushden, Northamptonshire, U.K.) has updated and improved its website, making available to customers more information about its products and services. News and events will be updated regularly and visitors to the site will be able to locate their nearest distributor via interactive maps. A special feature of the site is a product selector, which enables the visitor to fill in relevant information about his or her specific industry, bonding application and substrates, and then submit the details online to the technical department. There also are case studies for each of the four key market sectors served by the company — marine, transport, automotive and construction — and all the company’s product data sheets are downloadable from the site. Product and safety information will be updated regularly by the company. Later this year the site will be modified to allow visitors to read text in different European languages.

LORD (Jundiaì, Brazil) was elected the best of MVC's suppliers in 2008. MVC is one of the main Brazilian thermosets and thermoplastics manufacturers and operates in transport, construction and infrastructure markets. Adhesives, coatings, vibration and motion control systems manufacturer, the local subsidiary of LORD repeated what was accomplished in 2000, when the company won the award for the first time. "Being recognized again by a company such as MVC is very rewarding and it shows we are in the right path," comments Julio Cesar Perez, general director.

Morphic (Stockholm, Sweden) says its new small-scale wind turbine, SWT20, will be tested in at the southern end of the island of Öland off the coast of Sweden. The 20-kW turbine has been developed for telecom base stations, farms and other applications where reliability and long service intervals are crucial. Thanks to Morphic’s advanced blade technology, the turbine is extremely silent and can therefore be used even in built-up areas. The turbine has a direct-drive generator and no gearbox. The blades are made from carbon fiber and have been designed to move through the wind almost noiselessly. SWT20 can be mounted on a tower or mast and can supplement an already existing telecom mast.

Scott Bader (Wollaston, U.K.), maker of the Crestapol range of resins for pultrusion and closed mold applications, has launched a dedicated Crestapol microsite (www.crestapol.com) that provides specific application information, case study information and technical data. Visitors can also request and book product trials online via the new microsite.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn., USA) reported on Feb. 17 that carbon fiber manufacturer Toho Tenax America Inc. (Rockwood, Tenn. USA) will cut 69 jobs at its Rockwood, Tenn., plant, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The layoffs started last month and will continue through April 4, according to paperwork the company filed with the state. Toho Tenax is a subsidiary of Japan-based chemical company Teijin. Click here for original story.

VISTAGY Inc. (Waltham, Mass., USA) and Alliant Techsystems (ATK, Minneapolis, Minn., USA) are hosting a webinar at 11 am (EST) on Feb. 26 titled, "The Need for Speed: Automating Aerospace Composites Manufacturing." Hosts will be Casey Kralik from Alliant Techsystems and Olivier Guillermin of VISTAGY. The webinar will discuss how successful aerospace firms are automating their composite manufacturing processes so they can meet demanding delivery schedules. For more information, visit www.vistagy.com/landing/webcast-speed.aspx.