News

  • Graphene-based textile cools in the heat and warms in the coldGraphene-based textile cools in the heat and warms in the cold
    Scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a new type of smart textile that could make its way into adaptive clothing that keeps the wearer cool in warm weather, and vice versa. The material achieves this through the use of graphene which can be tuned to alter the thermal radiation of the textile, with the team imagining the technology could also find its way into advanced displays and even spacesuits.Continue ReadingCategory: ScienceTags: University of Manchester, Graphene, Thermal, Infrared, New Atlas Audio Read more »
  • Electric short takeoff & landing aircraft addresses e-commerce needsElectric short takeoff & landing aircraft addresses e-commerce needs
    Source | Airflow Founded in 2019 by five former Airbus Vahana team members, aerial logistics company Airflow (San Francisco, Calif., U.S.) announced on June 10 that it is developing what it says is the first electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft designed for “middle-mile” distances of between 50-200 miles. The company’s eSTOL aircraft, which is said to require less than 150 feet to take off and landing using a 300-foot runway, will be used to move short-haul cargo quickly and cost-effectively within cities. Airflow was founded with the idea that eSTOL aircraft could address the urban air mobility (UAM) market for one-third the operating cost of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. In addition, the company says that there is growth in the need for middle-mile capabilities due to e-commerce deliveries, as well as the rapid delivery of time-sensitive medical supplies and cargo directly between warehouses. “The demand for same-day e-commerce continues to rise, and we’re building a new low-cost aerial capability to enable that growth.” Airflow says its first eSTOL aircraft includes an electric propulsion system, single-pilot operations and the ability to carry 500 pounds of cargo. This aircraft is a relatively simple fixed-wing aircraft, which the company says will dramatically reduce development… Read more »
  • Magnum Venus products launches fusion filament winderMagnum Venus products launches fusion filament winder
    Source | Magnum Venus Products Magnum Venus Products (MVP, Knoxville, Tenn., U.S.), a global manufacturer of fluid movement and production solutions for industrial applications, is expanding its filament winding product offering with the release of its Fusion filament winder. According to the company, the product is an ideal solution for winding pressure vessels and tubes for small to medium envelope part production, and complements its other automation and custom composite equipment. Integrated with MVP’s high-volume pumping system, the Fusion winder is a compact, configurable design made for high volume four-axis production. It is built to adapt to specific needs, offering one, three, or five spindles, variable carriage travel length, wet winding or prepreg winding options, and adjustable tailstock alternatives. Said to be equipped with the latest system technology, the control package is user-friendly and intuitive while contributing online diagnostics, fiber and resin monitoring, and integrated resin meter mix dispense controls. Read more »
  • Broetje-Automation presents automated sealer for aircraft components.Broetje-Automation presents automated sealer for aircraft components.
    Source | Broetje-Automation Supplier and distributor of automated systems for aircraft construction, Broetje Automation (Rastede, Germany) presents its automated solution for sealing aircraft components. Meant to replace the time-consuming process of manually sealing edges of aircraft parts, the company claims the product’s modular system will enable faster production by carrying out sealing applications safely and cleanly, and with high precision and effectiveness, even on complex components. Broetje-Automation claims the concept saves up to 20% in overall efficiency, while improving the quality of the components simultaneously. An application with collaborating robots (CoBots) is also possible. Source | Broetje-Automation Broetje-Automation gave the sealer a modular structure to meet the complexity of aircraft components, including processing components at precise locations to avoid contamination; cleanly sealing hard-to-access, curved surfaces and joints; and mixing difficult-to-process sealants for the aircraft components themselves.  Depending on the application, the system can be operated autonomously within a robotic cell or with small, collaborative robots ("CoBots"). The system also provides a "digital twin," which is integrated into the automated NC programming environment "SOUL OLPS" and can fully simulate the processes. The system, the company states, is thus optimally prepared for use in future digital factories.  Further, to meet global customer requirements, the technology team at Broetje-Automation has developed various end-effectors for the application… Read more »
  • Fiberglass composites improve infrastructure efficiency and sustainabilityFiberglass composites improve infrastructure efficiency and sustainability
    As part of the 10th annual World Green Building Week, which took place in September 2019, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) issued a bold vision for how buildings around the world can reach 40% less embodied carbon emissions by 2030. To meet this goal, changes need to be implemented throughout a building’s infrastructure. According to WorldGBC, buildings and construction are responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions. Out of this, 28% come from the operational “in use” phase to heat, power and cool buildings, while 11% of these emissions are attributed to embodied carbons, the carbon released during construction and material manufacturing. But no matter where these carbon emissions come from, the sector must tackle energy inefficiency across the entire building lifecycle. A way of improving building efficiency is to evaluate where energy is wasted. One area that contributes to a large portion of wasted energy is through a building’s entry and exit points — its windows and doors. Keep heat in On average, around 30% of a building’s heat escapes through its windows alone. During colder months, the efforts of a building’s heating system can be in vain, as much of the expense and energy to keep the… Read more »
  • Clean Sky 2 program highlights NEWCORT and DIMES projectClean Sky 2 program highlights NEWCORT and DIMES project
    AdaptHEAT composite repair technology. Source | Clean Sky 2 The European Union-funded Clean Sky 2 program has recently reported two projects explored in its mission to reduce CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft. The two projects — the NEWCORT and DIMES project— respectively include a heating technology to enable better composite repairs for complex structures and a prototype measuring system to monitor the condition of aircraft. Running from January 2016 to December 2019, the NEWCORT project focused on new heating processes and equipment for the curing of new resins for the repair of aircraft airframes (e.g., wings, fuselages and control surfaces) primarily fabricated from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The outcome of this effort was AdaptHEAT, a method that homogeneously heats and polymerizes new types of resins around complex curved structures and cures at 120-140°C.   According to the NEWCORT project, airlines and maintenance repair and overhaul centers (MROs) can use the technologies to increase the range of composite repair applications, while reducing the overall repair time requirements, especially in terms of thermal surveys and preparations. The aim of the DIMES project is to develop and demonstrate an automated measurement system that integrates a range of measurement approaches to enable damage… Read more »
  • CAMX 2020 converted to virtual-only trade eventCAMX 2020 converted to virtual-only trade event
    Source | CW Organizers of the CAMX 2020 trade show, the composites industry’s largest event in North America, announced on June 16 that the conference and exhibition will be presented as an entirely virtual event because of health concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. CAMX 2020 was originally scheduled for Sept. 21-24 in Orlando, Fla., U.S. CAMX 2020 issued the following statement, signed by Marcy Offner, chair of the CAMX Steering Committee; Kevin Barnett, CEO of the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA); and Gregg Balko, CEO of SAMPE: COVID-19 has impacted virtually all aspects of the composites and advanced materials industries. From manufacturers temporarily closing their businesses and reducing production, to learning new ways to work remotely, the industry is much different today than it was just two months ago.    To that end, after many weeks of discussion and careful analysis, CAMX leadership has decided to transform CAMX 2020 into a completely virtual event, replete with conference programming, a virtual trade show, and plenty of networking. We considered many factors, including exhibitor feedback, ongoing travel restrictions and a recent increase in COVID-19 cases reported in Florida. While this has been a challenging decision, delivering a dynamic education and exhibition experience and ensuring… Read more »
  • German racing series shifts to natural fiber applicationGerman racing series shifts to natural fiber application
    DTM Bcomp natural fiber shoebox being tested by Audi. Source | Audi Sport The German racing series Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) reports that Bcomp (Fribourg, Switzerland), a manufacturer of lightweight solutions for the automotive industry, has been selected as a technical partner to boost sustainable lightweighting applications in motorsports. DTM says the partnership will open technical regulations to enable a material shift from carbon fibers to Bcomp’s natural fibers on mandatory composite parts for the 2020 season. DTM says Bcomp’s powerRibs natural fiber has the same weight as the previously used carbon fiber parts, while reducing its ecological footprint, improving cost-efficiency and eliminating the risk of carbon fiber debris. “With a high exposure to contacts, the DTM shoebox is a typical motorsport bodywork wear part that needs to be replaced or repaired after almost every race,” says Layla Wagener, sport and engineering specialist at DTM. “With Bcomp’s natural fiber technologies, we can achieve the same weight as with carbon fiber, while additionally taking advantage of the anti-splintering and environmental benefits. It is an ideal start to introduce Bcomp’s sustainable lightweighting solutions.” Preceding the partnership, the first natural fiber DTM parts using Bcomp’s ampliTex and powerRibs fibers were successfully validated by BMW… Read more »
  • What will the composites industry's post-pandemic future look like?What will the composites industry's post-pandemic future look like?
    We already have the tools needed to help us craft our future, even if we do not know yet how and where those tools might be deployed. Read more »
  • Curve in the road: First curved pultruded auto partsCurve in the road: First curved pultruded auto parts
    Shape Corp. is the first company in the Americas to own one of TTI’s radius pultrusion lines. Source | Shape Corp. Pultrusion is one of the oldest forming processes for thermoset composites and is said to have been the first continuous fiber thermoset forming process. Today, it is used to produce products ranging from utility poles to window frames, as well as ladders, rebar and wind turbine components. Easy to automate with low labor, and capable of producing highly structural components — some quite large — at reasonable cost and speed, traditional pultrusion can produce profiles (hollow or solid, symmetrical or asymmetrical) in nearly any shape that can be squeezed through a die. However, that shape must have a constant cross-section/thickness. Also, unlike thermoplastic extrusion or extrusion of metal tubes and pipes — where pressure and heat can be applied to profiles during production, or afterward to finished parts, to bend them into new shapes —  it has been difficult to use pultrusion to produce anything other than straight, linear profiles. That, of course, has limited the use of pultrusion in many industries, particularly in high-volume segments like automotive, which would like to use pultrusion except that there are not many… Read more »
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