News

  • 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 »
  • Hyperjoint: additive metal + composites = stronger, tougher jointsHyperjoint: additive metal + composites = stronger, tougher joints
    Source | APWORKS   Hyperjoint is a patented technology that creates a stronger, tougher, more robust joint compared to traditional bolted and adhesively bonded joints. The concept uses arrowhead-shaped pins 3D printed as an integral part of additive manufacturing metal components. These are made using laser beam powder bed fusion, better known as selective laser melting (SLM). The pins, printed in titanium to avoid galvanic corrosion with carbon fiber, are pushed through ≈75% of a composite laminate’s plies and then the assembly is vacuum-bagged and cured. The result is a hybrid structure — half composite, half metal — which can handle higher loads than current bonded and bolted joints but without drilling holes or using redundant “chicken rivets” (see “certification of bonded composite primary structures”). Currently, bonded composite primary structures require a redundant load path in case of failure. Hyperjoint provides not only a higher lap shear strength versus bonded joints, but also a geometrical locking of the pins in the laminate. Source | APWORKS   Hyperjoint pins, created as an integral part of the metal component made using selective laser melting (SLM), feature a conical arrowhead shape that prevents pull-out. Source | “Additive assembly: the 3D printed fastener” by… Read more »
  • Hexcel HexPly M79 prepregs receive DNV GL Type Approval CertificationHexcel HexPly M79 prepregs receive DNV GL Type Approval Certification
    Source | Hexcel Hexcel (Stamford, Conn., U.S.) announced on May 5 that its HexPly M79 prepreg materials have received Type Approval Certification by DNV GL (Oslo, Norway). This third party verification allows HexPly M79 materials to be used in all DNV GL classed vessels and provides ship and boat builders with additional independent assurance of the product’s quality, performance and consistency, Hexcel says. Hexcel has supplied advanced composite materials to the marine industry since the 1970s and supplies a comprehensive range of products including woven reinforcements, multiaxial fabrics and DNV GL certified prepregs. The company says its HexPly M79 prepregs are suited to marine composite applications since they can be cured at temperatures as low as 70°C for eight hours or 80°C for four hours, reducing tooling costs and increasing build rates. The latest DNV GL Type Approval Certificate includes: ​​HexPly M79 carbon fiber and glass fiber prepregs The newly launched HexBond 679 adhesive film Fully compatible HexPly SuperFIT semi-preg HexPly XF2 ready to paint surface technology prepregs Hexcel says it is continuing to develop new technologies to help marine manufacturers improve their designs for lighter, safer and more efficient watercraft. “This is a major step forward in establishing our M79 product portfolio in the… Read more »
  • JEC Group announces 2020 Innovation Awards winnersJEC Group announces 2020 Innovation Awards winners
    Source, all images | JEC Group JEC Group (Paris France) revealed the winners of the JEC Composites Innovation Awards 2020 during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, May 13. Thirteen winners were designated in 11 categories. “Beyond being a simple award ceremony, the JEC Composites Innovation Awards are intended to be a source of inspiration for the industry and a vector of excellence for all the winners. This is an unavoidable and long-awaited moment in the year for the composites industry that we could not miss,” says Franck Glowacz, innovation content leader at JEC Group. The winners for each category are listed below: Additive Manufacturing : Eurecat (Spain) Eurecat won for its CFIP technology, a new post-processing technology that uses continuous fibers to reinforce a parts of various materials and manufacturing technologies.  Aeronautics: Institut de Soudure Groupe & Arkema (France) They won for their “Innovation solutions for welding of TP composites,” a new developed and patented solution allowing very high performance welding for thermoplastic composites. Automotive: Volkswagen (Germany) German manufacturer Volkswagen was rewarded for its Lightweight FRP center tunnel (LehoMit-Hybrid): an innovative and profitable thermoplastic structural hybrid car body component, suitable for production in large quantities, which can be introduced before cathodic immersion treatment with the corresponding… Read more »
  • VoltAero unveils new hybrid-electric aircraftVoltAero unveils new hybrid-electric aircraft
    Source | VoltAero 2020 VoltAero (Médis, France) revealed on May 6 the production configuration for its Cassio aircraft. The company claims the plane will revolutionize general aviation with a highly efficient, safe and optimized family of airplanes powered by the company’s hybrid-electric power module. Cassio is based on an aerodynamically optimized fuselage, a forward-fixed canard and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail. Cassio also uses VoltAero’s hybrid-electric power module in an aft fuselage “pusher” configuration, integrating a cluster of electric motors with a high-performance internal combustion engine that serves as the range extender. The powertrain is currently being validated on VoltAero’s Cassio 1 flight test aircraft. “The Cassio production design’s unveiling represents the latest step in our realistic and highly pragmatic creation of an all-new aircraft family,” says Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and CTO. “It benefits from our team’s unmatched experience in hybrid-electric aviation, as well as the ongoing full-scale flight testing that removes the risk as we move toward the production phase.”   With a performance range of 800 miles, cruise speed of 200 knots, and available for approximately eight rotations daily, the Cassio family is designed for a variety of applications, including private use, air taxi/charter services, in-commercial flights for point-to-point regional travel and other… Read more »
  • Exel Composites launches online service for structural compositesExel Composites launches online service for structural composites
      Source | Excel Composites Composites fabricator Exel Composites (Vantaa, Finland) has introduced a new e-commerce service to its portfolio to provide customers with quick and easy access to a range of its structural composite profiles. Providing composite solutions to renewables, transportation, building and construction and telecommunications industries, exelnow.com is the latest addition to the global company’s offering and supplies customers with composite profiles. The B2B service was created to offer customers access to a range of standardized structural products, and possesses more than 30 types of structural profiles including channels, boxes and I-beams. The service also offers products for applications such as construction and accessory structures including ladders, stairs and handrail components. Additionally, exelnow.com’s structural composites are offered in lengths up to 12 meters, which is expected to help customers reduce waste and minimize joins in their products. All products are created using Exel Composites’ pultruded fiberglass material and comply with European Standard EN13706 E23 quality guidelines for fiberglass composites. “As the only online service providing composite profiles in both 6- and 12-meter lengths, exelnow.com offers customers greater design flexibility. With a continuously growing product portfolio, we are providing more solutions to our customers every day,” explains Gert De Roover, building, construction and infrastructure segment owner… Read more »
  • CFIP reinforces material with continuous carbon fibers post-process.CFIP reinforces material with continuous carbon fibers post-process.
    CFIP (Continuous Fiber Injection Process) enables parts manufactured by 3D printing to be reinforced with continuous carbon fibers, increasing their strength while reducing weight. The technology has been developed and patented by Eurecat (Barcelona, Spain), see “Advancing thermoplastic composites and RTM for Clean Sky 2 in Spain”. “This is a new post-processing system based on injecting continuous reinforcement fibers, such as carbon fiber, into parts manufactured by 3D printing or other types of technology,” says Marc Crescenti, head of Eurecat’s Advanced Simulation line and lead developer. “The fact that we strengthen the part by means of a post-process method, and not during the manufacturing process itself as other technologies on the market do, brings truly disruptive advantages.”   These advantages include freedom in placing the reinforcement fibers and following complex routes created digitally. This also provides a way to actualize the organic shapes output by generative design tools. “This means we can align [fibers] in the most efficient directions and further enhance mechanical performance,” Crescenti adds. CFIP can also strengthen other materials, including plastics, metals and ceramics, he explains, “which makes it possible, for example, to manufacture a titanium part strengthened with continuous carbon fibers.” Brake pedal made with continuous… Read more »
  • GKN, Eviation collaborate on Alice all-electric aircraftGKN, Eviation collaborate on Alice all-electric aircraft
    Alice was displayed at the 2019 Paris Air Show. CW photo | Jeff Sloan GKN Aerospace (Redditch, U.K.) and Eviation (Qadima, Israel) announced on May 18 that they have signed a collaboration agreement covering the design and manufacture of wings, empennage and electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS) for Alice, a regional electric aircraft recently launched by Eviation. With this aircraft, Eviation aims make long-distance flights up to 650 miles more sustainable. As part of GKN Aerospace’s collaboration agreement with Eviation, design and manufacturing activities are already ongoing on-site at Eviation and in several GKN Aerospace engineering centers across Europe. Source | GKN Aerospace GKN Aerospace designs and manufactures lightweight aerostructures and EWIS systems for a variety of commercial aircraft, is a key partner in the Airbus Wing of Tomorrow program and is market leader in lightweight business jet empennages. The company says it is using its experience and capabilities to mature teh design of the empennage, wing and EWIS of Alice. “We are excited to collaborate with Eviation and to support the development of this all-new electric aircraft. The development of all-electric aircraft is ground-breaking; it’s a step change in aviation and we are delighted to contribute. As technology leaders in wing, empennage and EWIS… Read more »
  • Creative Composites begins Class A body panels moldingCreative Composites begins Class A body panels molding
    Source | Dieffenbacher Creative Composites (Lisburn, U.K.) announced in May the production of sheet molding compound (SMC) Class A exterior automotive components using two Dieffenbacher (Windsor, Ontario, CAN), CompressEco presses. Selecting and installing its first press from this series in 2018, Creative Composites is now operating two identically designed CompressEco presses two years later.  “With its modular system enabling future expansions and press forces up to 30,000 kilonewtons, the CompressEco was just the right press for the applications we had in mind,” says Jonathan Holmes, managing director at Creative Composites. “A range of Class A body panels for world-leading automotive brands is just one example. The rigid design of the press and the active high-speed parallelism control enabled us to significantly increase both productivity and the size of components we can produce.” During a typical molding process, anomalies may occur, causing problems like uneven part thicknesses or high mechanical stress on the press. Dieffenbacher says that its high-speed parallelism control compensates for these anomalies by ensuring parallel movement of the mold cavities. This function also is said to make one-shot production of a Class-A surface possible through a direct in-mold coating (IMC) process. In recent years, Dieffenbacher says it has optimized the strong economics of the CompressEco and combined its… Read more »
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