Thermoplastics riding into automotive, aerospace
The legacy of composite parts and structures is built on a family of thermosets — including epoxy, vinyl ester, polyester and phenolic — that have helped tremendously to make the industry what it is today. Not to be forgotten are thermoplastics, which have played a serious role as well, and offer advantages that promise to make this material type one of the fastest growing over the next decade. More.
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Composite Collaboration Leads to Industry Success
If one could describe the composites industry in one phrase, it would be “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” A composite is a material made from two or more different materials that, when combined, are stronger than those individual materials themselves. It makes sense then that many companies in the business of selling composites continue to embrace collaboration.
Each year, the CAMX Award honors composites industry collaboration with its Combined Strength Award. This award goes to a team whose composite product demonstrates a collaborative approach and effort to produce an incredible example of the best use of composites materials that solves a problem. Pulling that off requires pooling a wide array of knowledge, resources and talent.
Last year, the Combined Strength Award went to Cincinnati Incorporated, who joined forces with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop its Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) technology. BAAM creates 3-D, large-scale products up to 10 times larger than currently producible. It also works at speeds 200 to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. The technology’s use of commodity thermoplastic materials allows manufacturers to reduce costs per part, and the system’s open architecture helps keep material costs low. The technology’s most notable application has been the U.S. Department of Energy-funded 3-D printed Shelby Cobra, which was an eye-catcher in the CAMX Exhibit Hall.
“It’s been great working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL),” said Rick Neff, BAAM Sales Manager, from Cincinnati Inc. “We all have to work together. When you have multiple companies working together with a combined vision, you can really revolutionize the industry.”
BAAM technology was a game-changer, and now CAMX is looking for the next innovative example of composites industry collaboration. Take the opportunity to be seen an industry leader by submitting your product for consideration! Click here for more information.
CAMX Registration and Housing is Now Open
Registration and housing is open for CAMX 2016, September 26-29, 2016, being held in Anaheim, CA. Make your plans to attend the largest, most comprehensive composites and advanced materials event for products, solutions, networking, and advanced industry thinking. This is a must-attend event for you, your colleagues, and team. You don’t want to miss out on cutting edge innovations and exhibitions, education and best practices to advance your work and the composites and advanced materials industry, and unrivaled networking – all in one place. Register today!
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Marine Composite Innovation on the Rise
Between new lightweight innovations from car manufacturers and the ongoing Airbus/Boeing rivalry, a majority of the “buzz” about the composites industry comes from the automotive and aerospace sectors. However, one composites sector that perhaps deserves more time in the spotlight is the marine market. Over the past few months, we have seen major marine composite innovations that could potentially change the industry.
One CAMX 2016 exhibitor, Arkema, recently unveiled a prototype of a sailboat with a hull and bridge made entirely from recyclable thermoplastic composites. Both parts of the sailboat, dubbed the mini 6.50 Arkema 3 “Innovation,” were made with Elium® resin infused with carbon fiber. The “Innovation” will be the first boat built with this type of resin to be sailing the oceans.
Valencia, Spain-based ACCIONA also unveiled a world first for marine composites, completing work on the first ever composite lighthouse. ACCIONA collaborated with Aimplas, Dow, SAERTEX, Owens Corning, and Huntsman Advanced Technology on the lighthouse. Huntsman developed a low-exothermic, low-viscosity epoxy-based infusion and a resin with long shelf life for the project. Using composites allowed construction to be completed quicker, and ACCIONA says the total manufacturing and installation time of composites is 40 percent lower than with traditional material processes.
Marine composites are also helping companies that are relatively new to marine partnerships, as seen by Toyota’s new concept powerboat, the Toyota 28, which utilized FRP molding technology from Yanmar. Toyota’s boats typically have all-aluminum hulls, and the Toyota 28 is the first in the brand to feature fiberglass composites. Like ACCIONA, using composites instead of traditional materials allowed Toyota to make more complex shapes and speed up the production process.
These applications only scratch the surface of the potential for composites for marine applications. Check out CAMX’s LinkedIn page for updates on the latest composites innovations in marine and many other markets!
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