ACMA launches initiatives at Composites 2003

ACMA launches initiatives at Composites 2003

rp4710pgs20_25.qxd 29/10/2003 15:03 Page 20 ACMA launches initiatives at Composites 2003 The Composites Fabricators Association (CFA) chose the fi...

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ACMA launches initiatives at Composites 2003 The Composites Fabricators Association (CFA) chose the first day of its Composites 2003 trade show in Anaheim, California, on 1-3 October, to officially introduce its new name – the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA). In this review of the show we look at this development, as well as some other highlights from the event. The Cadillac hood assembly includes a complex-shaped SMC inner panel which is bonded to an SMC outer panel. The outer panel has a Class A finish. The hood surface has a four-sided, tapered design and includes steel hinges, brackets and the hood latch. According to AOC, SMC has the ability to create high style, lower vehicle weight, reduce tooling costs and resist corrosion and denting.

Bridge benefits

The new Cadillac XLR features an SMC hood, based on AOC’s resin.

W

ith the official introduction of its new name, ACMA also took the opportunity to promote its new initiatives at Composites 2003 in Anaheim, California, on 1-3 October. These are all based around its three main objectives: to be the recognized source of education and information for the composites industry; to proactively and positively affect regulatory and legislative outcomes; and to promote the development and expansion of markets for composite products. As part of its continuing legislative work the association has just formed a Political Action Committee, and a new Composites Growth Initiative is being developed for introduction soon. This is

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expected to involve market development and expansion, advertising and outreach to colleges and universities, and code and standard development. During the keynote conference session ACMA president Richard Morrision, of Molded Fiber Glass, outlined the organisation’s plans and strongly encouraged companies to join the association, and take part in its initiatives and activities.

On the road The new Cadillac ZLR attracted sports car enthusiasts. The vehicle’s hood is compression moulded from sheet moulding compound (SMC) by ThyssenKrupp Budd Company, of Troy, Michigan. The SMCs used are based on AOC resins.

Hardcore Composites’ fabrication of wind fairings for the New York Metropolitan Bridge and Tunnel Authority's Bronx-Whitestone Bridge earned it one of The Dow Chemical Co’s 2003 Americas Fabricator Excellence Awards (FEA), which were announced during the show. The reinforced plastic wind fairings replaced 7400 ft (2.2 km) of heavy steel trusses. Hardcore used vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding (VARTM) and Dow’s Derakane 8084 epoxy vinyl ester resin to fabricate the fairings. Dow says Derakane was chosen because it has the chemical resistance required to withstand the harsh conditions on top of the bridge, but it is also lightweight and two to three times as strong as other resins. This means that the wind fairings are very durable, offering a longer service life and reducing long-term maintenance costs. Dow claims this project represents the largest use of structural composites 0034-3617/03 ©2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Prestige fencing is claimed to be 60% stronger than aluminium, and at lower load stress levels it is slightly more flexible than aluminium, absorbing impacts better. At higher stress loads it becomes more rigid than aluminium, which means it can better withstand heavier impacts such as fallen tree limbs and the occasional climber. The composite also gives Prestige fencing a fade-resistant, matte finish.

Closed moulding products

Composite wind fairings for the New York Metropolitan Bridge and Tunnel Authority's BronxWhitestone Bridge. The parts were made by Hardcore Composites using Dow’s Derakane resin.

in the world, requiring 890 000 lbs (400 tonnes) of FRP to complete the project. RL Industries also won a Dow FEA award, for the fabrication of a high temperature, dual-laminate FRP chemical absorber column for Rubicon Inc in Geismar, Louisiana. The column needed to work in temperatures greater than 250°F (120°C). RL Industries fabricated the column using a combination of hand lay-up and filament winding and Derakane 470HT-400 epoxy vinyl ester resin, which is reported to combine maximum chemical resistance with high temperature performance.

Better than metal Prestige™ Series ornamental composite fencing is said to look like wrought iron fencing but is it durable and virtually maintenance-free. Prestige fence posts, rails, and pickets are manufactured from Saint-Gobain Vetrotex’s Twintex®, a 75% glass fibre, 25% chemically coupled, heat- and light-stabilized polypropylenebased concentrate.

Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics (SGTF) has a new fabric for use in closed mould processes such as resin transfer moulding (RTM), RTM Lite, pressure and vacuum injection moulding, and infusion and compression moulding. MULTICORE® consists of CSM stitched on both sides of a synthetic core. The outer layers give the fabric its strength while the core facilitates resin flow through a part. Advantages of using the product are said to include: good conformability; fast wet-out; quicker processing; compatibility with most resins; and excellent surface finish. The fabric is available in a number of weights that allow selection of a single product for varying cavity thicknesses. This also reduces cutting and installation labour and material scrap. Distributor Composites One highlighted Kit Concepts, a new service which provides manufacturers with prepackaged glass fibre material cut to size and nested in the order needed, saving the manufacturer labour-intensive cutting and loading time. The pre-cut glass fibre is said to be ideal for customers using closed mould processes such as RTM and closed cavity bag moulding. Each kit contains material cut exactly to the customer’s patterns and computer aided design (CAD) drawings. Cut material is then packed together in a single kit, in the order that it is used in the manufacturing process. Magnum Venus Products (MVP) aims to remove the complication of the RTM process with the launch of a comprehensive line of systems and services

– PrecisionTECH™ RTM. This concept covers the entire process, from initial consultation, through to training of staff. To start with, MVP offers consultation on the design of the customer’s specific system, even designing a turnkey line for larger operations. With the design completed, MVP will build the part-specific TransPRO™ Preform and TechLock™ Clamp system. For automation, the OptiLogic™ Control and Uniport™ Injection Sprue can be incorporated. A diverse range of pumping systems is available, from basic to high-volume systems. Once the system is built, MVP offers training on the process and equipment to the customer’s staff.

Pultrusion progress Dow has developed a pultrusion simulation modeling (PSM) service designed to help fabricators achieve higher levels of productivity and reliability. Process variables such as pull speed, part and die temperature, heater output and pulling force can affect the quality of pultruded components. The PSM tool allows fabricators to predict processing performance for specific applications, and is accurate to within 10% of actual performance, Dow claims. The tool has been validated in customer trials

Prestige fencing products made from SaintGobain’s Twintex glass/propypropylene composite are a durable alternative to metal.

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Fanuc Robotics’ P-50 robot is designed for coating operations, including application of gel-coat.

and allows the pultrusion process to be optimised quickly. “Without effective modeling, it could take several weeks to a month to optimize your process, not to mention all of the accompanying scrap or waste material,” according to James Barron, development leader within Dow's Research & Development group. “Using our state-ofthe-art and unique modeling technology, you can optimize your process within a week and have a lot of confidence in the processing performance that you get before you ever run your pultruder.” The PSM tool can be run from a laptop or any standard computer platform by a technical service engineer on site, says Barron. Dow is using the tool as part of its technical support service and also to develop new pultrusion resins. It is currently screening a number of developmental resins using the PSM technology and expects to develop resins that will be faster and easier to process.

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Reichhold introduced a new family of urethane hybrid resins – DION® XTREME – said to be tougher and more impact resistant than traditional polyester resins while maintaining strength and stiffness. The first product, Dion Xtreme 31040, is designed for pultrusion and was developed to provide excellent impact strength in finished parts. Reichhold expects it will be used to produce waterfront structures, power transmission apparatus, door panels, truck and bus panels and profiles. Saint-Gobain Vetrotex has developed glass reinforcements that are compatible with phenolic resins for the pultrusion process. UNIFIRE® is an E- glass continuous strand filament mat of random orientation in multiple layers, held together by a phenolic binder. The pure phenolic binder confers fire resistance properties to the pultruded profile. The tensile strength of the impregnated mat permits line speeds of up to

24-in/min. (55 cm/min.) with no mat tears. Tests are reported to have demonstrated that with Unifire mat it is possible to achieve superior transversal mechanical properties on the pultruded profiles. The reinforcement is available in different weights and widths. Saint-Gobain Vetrotex is also offering a high performance glass reinforcement for pultrusion and filament winding. The RO99®-673 roving is designed for the pultrusion of structural shapes and filament winding of tubes, pipes, tanks and other hollow products with polyester, vinyl ester and epoxy resins.

Production improvements ATOFINA Chemicals Inc introduced three additions to its Luperox® line of organic peroxide curing agents. The new products are designed to increase productivity, lower emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and improve cosmetics on end-use products.

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Derakane Poolmax resin is designed to provide improved protection from osmotic blistering.

Luperox DHD-9L is claimed to reduce gas generation in vinyl ester resins. This room-temperature-stable liquid organic peroxide is a specially formulated methyl ethyl ketone peroxide that is phthalatefree and low in hydrogen peroxide, which reduces porosity. Luperox MC is said to provide shorter curing time with improved production cycle time and will help fabricators of sheet and bulk moulding (SMC/BMC) by providing reduced gel-to-cure times than other room-temperature-stable peroxides currently available. Its formulation can also help solve problems with non-fills, dull surfaces, edge chips, knit lines, pregel, and undercure. The third product, Luperox 223V75, is a lower cost peroxide alternative for polyester pultrusion applications.

Tougher, stronger glass Tanks, pipes and fittings used to store and transport chemicals will benefit from a glass reinforcement developed by Saint-Gobain Vetrotex. The company says ARcotex™ can extend the service life of products used in both acid and alkaline environments. Tests at the Swedish Corrosion Institute in Stockholm are reported to show that ARcotex reinforcement resists all pH ranges (114), even at high temperatures or during rapid and extreme changes in pH. ARcotex is currently available as chopped strand mat (CSM), conventional roving and veil, and other forms will be introduced soon. High-strength glass reinforcements specialist Advanced Glassfiber Yarns

(AGY) exhibited at the show for the first • Bob DeGange, vice president, markettime. AGY manufactures S-2 Glass® roving and sales for AGY, says the company is making good progress in ing and also ZenTron® and VeTron™ working its way through Chapter 11, reinforcements. Its latest product ZenTron which it went into around 10 months 225 yield, 2200 tex single-end roving for ago following a downturn in the elecuse with epoxy resins became commertrical yarns market. AGY has filed its cially available in October. Development Plan for Reorganisation and received quantities of the material have already conditional approval, says DeGange, been supplied to selected partners for and is on track to emerge from industrial applications, including large Chapter 11 next year. wind turbine blades. Mike Kinsella, market manager for AGY, says manufacturers of large turbine blades are reaching the Lower VOCs limits of standard E-glass reinforcements, Ashland Composite Polymers highfrom which the blades have been made so lighted resins designed to help its cusfar. The benefits for ZenTron high- tomers meet MACT emission standards. strength glass in this application are said These include AROPOL® low-styrene polyester laminating resin, featuring a to include: • fatigue resistance up to two times low monomer content (25-30%) at that of E-glass and three times that of sprayable viscosities in both filled and carbon, depending on the stress unfilled applications. This results in a significant reduction in hazardous air applied; • ability to design the central box with pollutant (HAP) emissions says Ashland. significant cost savings compared to The product is specially formulated for general-purpose spray applications carbon for the same stiffness; • ability to design compression-loaded including tub and shower enclosures, areas with almost 50% weight reduc- and truck caps, and is reported to deliver tion compared to E-glass and 25% higher filler loading at lower monomer material cost reduction compared to levels compared to traditional polyester resins. carbon; AROPOL low-HAP acrylic bonding • higher strength- and strain-to failure performance allows an increase in resin is designed for filled acrylic backup stiffness of the sandwich parts by applications requiring less than 25% HAP content. It is engineered for increasing core thickness; • ease of processing associated with enhanced adhesion to acrylic, and is best glass fibres (fast wetout, easy visual check of laminate quality etc); • glass is a non-conductive fibre that does not require special lightning protection. The compression strength is of particular interest for selective reinforcement of highly stressed regions of the large blades, says Kinsella. Blade manufacturers and research Cutting solutions supplier Gerber Technology’s InfoJet inkjet part identification system can print alphanumeric text on parts during institutes in Europe are the cutting process and is offered as an option on Gerber's DCS said to be evaluating the 1500, 2500 and 3500 single-ply cutting systems. Gerber says it increases throughput, accelerates the picking and assembly of design opportunities offerparts, and improves post-cutting part identification. ed by the new roving. November 2003

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suited for applications such as indoor fill and drain tubs and spas. AROPOL barrier coat polyester resin is a low-styrene sprayable product that replaces spray putty in applications requiring good cosmetics and quick thickness build-up. It is designed for high-end recreational vehicle (RV) panels, truck body parts, truck caps and tub and shower enclosures. It contains less than 30% styrene when filled and enhances surface profiles by minimising air entrapment and reducing print through. Monaco Coach Co, Coburg, Oregon, uses Aropol barrier coat polyester in its RV caps, showers and skirts in a variety of its coaches. AROGUARD™ LSO is a 100% orthophthalic marine resin containing less than 35% styrene and VOCs. Ashland says it’s ideal for premium

Award winners The 2003 Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE), sponsored by AOC and Composites One, were: • Quintus Composites’ composite cello – Best of Show; • Cabo Yachts Inc’s sports fishing boat – People’s Choice; • Kreysler and Associates’ translucent metallic FRP panels – Creative Application; • Insituform Technologies’ Insituform SP manufactured by the multiple viscosity infusion (MVI) process – Market Expansion; • AeroComposites Inc’s general aviation constant speed composite propeller blade – Process Innovation; • 3D Carbon Wings by Wing West Inc’s carbon fibre automotive hood – Quality in an Open Moulded Part; and • ABC Industries Inc’s RigiDuct WG – Technical Innovation for Corrosion Application (sponsored by Ashland Specialty Chemical Co).

The winners of the Best Technical Paper Awards, sponsored by RJ Marshall, were: • Best Technical Paper: 15 Year Study of the Effective Use of Permeation Barriers in Marine Composites to Prevent Corrosion and Blistering: Part 2, Evaluation of the Physical Properties, David J. Herzog and Paul P. Burrell, Interplastic Corp; • Best Pultrusion Technical Paper: Enhanced Pultrusion Using Photocure to Supplement Standard Thermal Cure, Ellen Lackey, James G. Vaughan and Rahul Patki, University of Mississippi; • Best Materials Technical Paper: Thermosetting Resins with Controlled Viscosity for Impermeable Prepreg Preparation, Hildeberto Nava and Jerrod Rose, Reichhold Inc;

Saint-Gobain Reinforcements’ RO99-673 roving promises improved mechanical properties.

• Best Testing and Design Technical Paper: 15-Year Study of the Effective Use of Permeation Barriers in Marine Composites to Prevent Corrosion and Blistering: Part 2, Evaluation of the Physical Properties, David J. Herzog and Paul P. Burrell, Interplastic Corp; and • Best Processing Technical Paper: New Methods in Analytical Calculation of Laminates and Composite Structures, Michael Sonnen, Christian Laval and Axel Seifert, MATERIAL SA.

marine applications requiring impact resistance. The proprietary polymer is said to provide high strength and secondary bonding properties, which eliminates the need for the labour-intensive sanding required with other resins.

Other news

This FRP chemical absorber column was manufactured by RL Industries using Dow’s Derakane 470HT-400 resin.

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FANUC Robotics demonstrated its P-50 coating robot. The company says this device is designed to offer precise, reliable, and affordable coating solutions to a wide range of industries, including consumer goods, appliances and automotive components. Applications in the

composites industry include gel-coating. The P-50 is compact and therefore ideal for companies with limited floor space. It has a maximum horizontal reach of 1.36 m and coating speeds up to 1.5 m/sec. The equipment is also said to be easy to set-up, use and maintain. By adopting robots as an alternative to hard automation or manual labour, Fanuc says customers can reduce cycle times and lower overall production costs. MVP introduced the new Solvent Free FIT® Chop system. The company says several US boat manufacturers are already using the system, which boasts a

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Composites 2004 will take place on 6-8 October 2004 at the Tampa Convention Centre in Tampa, Florida. For further information contact ACMA; tel: +1-703525-0511; e-mail: [email protected] org; website: www.acmanet.org. AGY; e-mail: [email protected]; www.agy. com. AOC; tel: +1-901-854-2800; website: www.aoc-resins.com. Ashland Composite Polymers; tel: +1614-790-3333; website: www.ashspec. com. Atofina: Clint Robinson; tel: +1-215419-7748; e-mail: [email protected]; website: www.AtofinaChemicals. com or www.Luperox.com. Composites One; tel: +1-847-437-0200; website: www.compositesone.com.

Composites One presented a demonstration of resin transfer moulding, closed cavity bag moulding and the vacuum infusion process.

clearly defined spray pattern and significant time and material savings for manufacturers. VG Honeycomb panels from Sing Home Inc are sandwich panels made using plywood skins and vertical grain, wood fibre/rigid foam core, structurally bonded by a non-toxic adhesive. Potential applications include desks and tables, bookcases, shelving, doors, and other furniture and building items. Dow Chemical has developed DERAKANE POOLMAX, an epoxy vinyl ester resin designed especially for pool and spa manufacture. It is said to provide superior protection from osmotic blistering. The resin is pre-promoted for ease of use. Tests conducted by Dow indicate that epoxy vinyl ester resins exhibit better resistance to osmotic blistering than alternatives such as isophthalic polyester and orthophthalic polyester resins; in Dow's tests, epoxy vinyl esters performed 50 times better in resisting hydrolysis by water. Hawaiian Fiberglass Pools of Adelanto, California, is using Poolmax.

"Only a skin coat of 100% vinyl ester resins backing the ISO/NPG gel-coat surface of our pools give us the structural integrity that we expect, and Derakane Poolmax has proven to be the best resin available to do the job," says Hawaiian Fiberglass Pools’ general manager Bill Lohman. The company has also found the resin easy to apply, curing more evenly than most vinyl ester resins it had used, and effectively resisting ‘print through,’ resin tearing and air pockets. Rexco introduced MARBALEASE® Polymer Concrete Release, which it says is an economical, fast drying and easyto-use liquid wax release for use with polymer concrete on metal or polymer mould surfaces. Crane Nonwovens exhibited wetlaid nonwoven substrates made with Solvay Solexis Halar® ACTFE and Hyflon® MFA resins, which offer performance in chemical, electrical and elevated temperature environments. Products containing Hyflon MFA are able to withstand temperatures up to 600°F (over 300°C). ■

Dow: Customer Information Group (CIG) at 800-441-4369 (USA & Canada) or +1-989-832-1426 from other regions (reference element #1-1DQ2D for the FEA projects, #1-1DCQ26 for pultrusion simulation, and #1-1DQ2P for PoolMax); website: www.DERAKANE.com. Fanuc Robotics; tel: +1-248-377-7000; website: www.fanucrobotics.com. Gerber Technology; tel: +1-860-8718082; website: www.gerbertechnology. com. Magnum Venus Products; tel: +1-727573-2955; website: www.mvpind.com. Reichhold; website: www.reichhold.com. Saint-Gobain Reinforcements: tel: +1610-341-7670; SGTF Customer Service; tel: +1-207-373-7260; websites: www.sgva.com and www.saint-gobaintechnical-fabrics.com. Sing Home Inc; tel: +1-360-495-3577; website: www.vghoneycomb.com. ThyseenKrupp Budd Company; tel: +1248-643-3500; e-mail: [email protected] -budd.thyssenkrupp.com; website: www. thyssenkruppbudd.com.

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