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Massive corkscrew wine rack a coup for Advanced Fibreform

Composites Training Academy promoting SA capabilities globally

Mellow motion High performance racing kayak from recycled carbon fibre Composite dome cabins on site at luxury Antarctic eco camp Improving composites with ‘wonder material' p5

BlackWing aircraft wins design award p13

World record for 3D composite part p17

Composites industry will see good growth over next five years Publisher: Martin Wells Editor: Tessa O’Hara Editorial assistant: Heather Peplow Financial manager: Lisa Mulligan Summit Publishing cc T: +27 (21) 712 1408 F: 086 519 6089 C: 083 286 7118 Postnet Suite 42, Private Bag X16 Constantia, 7848, Cape Town, South Africa Unit 8, Bergvliet Village Centre, Cnr Hiddingh & Children’s Way roads, Bergvliet, 7945 Composites SA is published four times a year and focuses on this industry in

THE global composites market is expected to witness good growth with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% over the next five years. Improving economic conditions in major countries, such as the US and Europe are expected to propel the global composites market once again towards strong growth. According to Lucintel, a leading global management consulting and market research firm, the major drivers of growth for this market are double-digit growth in wind energy and strong growth in aerospace market. Increasing urban population and high growth in the building and infrastructure development are other major drivers. Lucintel has analysed the global composites industry and presents its findings in ‘Growth Opportunities in Global Composites Industry 2016-2021’. And the best news is that South Africa’s composites industry is alive, well and growing rapidly. We have an excellent composite manufacturing ability, one which we need to promote throughout the rest of Africa, and ultimately, globally. One of our industry’s most vehement protagonists, Oliver Dawson, who heads up the Composites Training Academy, believes that local composites companies need to take advantage of the opportunities offered to promote their capabilities. You can read more about the CTA on page 6. “Composites are still one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors globally. The Composites Training Academy is mobilising behind some fantastic initiatives spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Trade and Industry, in close cooperation with the private sector. If we continue in this vein, the future looks good - difficult, but good! We can’t sit by, and watch the rest of the BRICS countries take advantage of the opportunities this sector offers and be left behind, it would be madness!” he adds. The Asian region, which has already emerged as the largest growth area for the composites industry, is expected to further consolidate its leadership. Asia is anticipated to have a market share of approximately 47.7% by volume in 2021. North America is expected to be second with an estimated market share of 26.2% in 2021. Nevertheless, comparatively lower levels of per capita composites consumption is anticipated to help high growth markets in BRIC countries sustain momentum for a longer period.

South and southern Africa. We welcome news, articles, technical

Emerging trends

reports, information in general and photographs about events and development relates to the composites industry. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Copyright: All rights reserved Summit Publishing: CK 9863581/23 Vat reg: 4600187902

Lucintel’s research further reveals that demand for composite materials in the aerospace sector is expected to witness the maximum growth among all sectors. Construction and transportation are anticipated to witness good growth in the next five years. Carbon fibre composite applications are expected to grow more rapidly compared to glass fibre applications. In the future, Lucintel expects higher market fragmentation for the industry due to the emerging economies coming into play. The future market is expected to be highly competitive, and companies with innovative capabilities can be anticipated to thrive and gain market share. Emerging trends, which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the industry, include development of low-cost carbon fibres for automotive, wind and industrial applications. Development of high performance glass fibre and shorter cycle time of resin system is other emerging trends in composites industry. This report by Lucintel provides a concise overview of the global composites market. The study contains detailed analysis of different raw material use such as glass fibre, carbon fibre, aramid fibre, UPR, epoxy, vinyl ester, phenolic, polyurethane and thermoplastic resin.

The full report can be downloaded at

Inside IN THE NEWS Massive wine rack a huge achievement for



Composites Training Academy promoting SA industry’s ability globally

Boeing opens US$1 billion 777X composite wing centre Short distance electric taxi for two set to


revolutionise inner city transport Dome cabins on site at luxury Antarctic eco camp

6 7


Website gives surplus, overdue, written off composites new lease on life

Aerontec host resin vacuum infusion training Success for thermoplastic composite welding technique High performance racing kayak from recycled carbon fibre

9 10 11 12

MATERIALS Covestro develops reliable UV protection for plastic composites

Scott Bader – Into the future World record for 3D printed composite part Lightweight rotor blades made from plastic foams

14 15 17 18

TRADE FAIRS Composites Europe - Hybrid lightweight construction on the up and up


EVENTS Composite and related events around the world


Editor's Notes Welcome to our first issue of Composites Southern Africa! As established publishers of SA Plastics, Composites & Rubber magazine for the past 15 years, we believe the time is right for a publication unambiguously about composites, and more specifically, the industry in South Africa. With the industry’s help, we plan to publish Composites Southern Africa every quarter. Let us know what you’re up to in the industry and we can publish your story. Your advertising support will also be welcome and we’ll be contacting you about this in the New Year. Comments about this issue of the magazine can be emailed to me at In the meantime, have a happy and peaceful festive season. Tessa O'Hara, Editor


Massive wine rack a huge achievement for Advanced-FibreForm ADVANCED FibreForm in Strand, outside Cape Town, can boast the manufacture of a unique piece of work never before accomplished in South Africa, never mind the rest of the world! Industrial designer, Brian Steinhobel, was commissioned to design a 5m x 3m wine rack designed to look like a cork screw. The wine rack would hold 1500 bottles of wines and would be installed for Paul Harris at his exclusive boutique hotel, Ellerman House, in Bantry Bay. Advanced FibreForm was delighted when Brian approached them to manufacture the wine rack. “He was looking for a manufacturer that could handle the design. As I understood him, no-one else internationally was interested, and the last one had pulled out about three months before the opening of the wine gallery and the wine rack was supposed to be the main attraction!” said John Oehley, owner of Advanced FibreForm. Advanced FibreForm is an engineering, tooling and production company specialising in the


manufacture of just about anything you can dream of from composite materials. The company’s manufactured products range from surfboards and cello cases, to Formula1 components and even furniture. John recounted some of the challenges encountered during the manufacture of the corkscrew wine rack. “Firstly, we had to design moulds that could handle the complicated geometry. Then we had to develop a method to split the pieces and assemble them again to look aesthetically perfect. Another issue was to make a successful composite lay-up and joint strong enough to handle ±1500 wine bottles weighing over 1 ton,” John explained. “We also had to make sure we had big enough ovens to cure the prepreg used. Lastly, we had to be able to carry the monster pieces down the slopes of Bantry Bay to the wine gallery!” The process The composite wine rack was developed over multiples steps: • Designing the wine rack and

preparing the CAD data into machining programmes • Manufacturing plugs that formed the basis to extract fibreglass moulds by machining large blocks of tooling material by CNC milling machines to the shape of the final part • The next step was to layer the “positive plugs” with fibres and extract the moulds • Once the moulds had been post cured the carbon fibre and honeycomb Nomex was laid in the moulds and cured with multiple steps in the oven using vacuum bag techniques. The carbon fibre part is then extracted from the moulds and inspected. • The parts were then all fitted together suspended from the factory roof to make sure that everything fits in like a very large 3D puzzle. • Once the fitting was done the parts were dismantled and sent to the finishing team who were responsible for the final look. • Next was the big task of moving the parts from the factory in Strand to Ellerman House in Bantry Bay and carefully negotiating large drop-offs, meticulously laid out gardens and lots


Improving composites with ‘wonder material’ GRAPHENE is a material made from a single layer of carbon atoms, first discovered during experiments by Professors Kostya Novoselov and Andrew Geim, who were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010. For many, it really is a wonder material – over 200 times stronger than steel, the material can conduct electricity even better than copper and is said to have the highest thermal conductivity known to man. One of graphene’s most exciting properties is its remarkable thinness – at just one atom thick, graphene is one million times thinner than the diameter of a human hair. While innovative uses for the new material have been found in all kinds of industries, it is no wonder that its strength and lightweight qualities have led researchers to seek out ways in which it can improve the properties of fibre – particularly carbon fibre – reinforced plastics. In 2013, the European Commission (EC) invested €1billion as part of a new project entitled ‘Graphene Flagship’, which, over 10 years, aims to develop graphenerelated technologies from use in academic laboratories to applications in a range of industries. One of the projects looking for EU funding was set up by the University of Sunderland in 2014, with the aim to develop lighter, stronger, more energy-efficient and safe vehicles using graphene, to potentially revolutionize the global automotive industry. The project focuses on analysing the properties of new graphene-based polymer material to determine how it behaves when used to improve the advanced composite of expensive glass work in Ellerman House to finally re-assemble the wine rack in its final resting place. All the sections of the wine rack used only the best aerospace carbon prepreg and were prepreg autoclave cured using Nomex core panels. The smaller pieces, like the footpieces, were autoclave cured and the bigger pieces done in an oven using only vacuum assist. “Carbon fibre prepreg sandwich panels were used because of their appealing looks and strength – important because of the large weight that the wine rack would have to bear. Carbon fibre also has the ability to drape into the complex shapes designed for the corkscrew,” said John. The wine rack was assembled at Ellerman House before the wine bottles were added. John said that AMT Composites was used extensively to source the materials needed to complete the wine rack. And you’d think that a mammoth project like this would be enough for once in a lifetime – but no: “We are working on something even bigger – watch this space!” John added.

materials used in the production of cars, particular with regard to strength, dimensional stability, and durability. Professor Ahmed Elmarakbi, a professor of automotive engineering at the University of Sunderland's department of computing, engineering and technology, initiated the idea. “Graphene has tremendous applications for the automotive industry and using it to enhance the composite materials in cars has so much potential,” he said. “The project will investigate using graphene-based materials in the fabrication of nanocomposites with different polymer matrices. This material will provide benefits such as improved strength, dimensional stability and better thermal behaviour, better flame behaviour (active as flame retardant and for reducing the emission of smoke), and superior durability,’ Profr Elmarakbi added. This article appeared in the July/Aug issue of Reinforced Plastics.

The assembly was ‘pre-fitted’ with all the wine holders in place. All the segments were assembled at Advanced Fibreform's premises before shipping to Ellerman house

Pulling the moulds from the plugs



Composites Training Academy

promoting SA industry’s ability globally Laying foundation for skills development to ensure workforce that produces high-value products SIX years on and the Cape-Town based Composites Training Academy (CTA) is achieving many of its founding objectives – among them to convert the hands-on knowledge and expertise of skilled professionals in the African composites industry into economic value. Established in 2010, the CTA is raising the awareness of commercial opportunities in the rapidly expanding composites market and developing skills as an essential ingredient and building block for individuals and organizations to become both locally and globally competitive in the polymeric composites sector. “Laying a foundation for skills development will ensure a workforce that produces high-value products at consistent standards,” said Oliver Dawson, founder and COO of the CTA. Key relationships developed with manufacturing industry “We have developed key relationships within local and international manufacturing and material supply companies to further enhance our ability to deliver world-class training programmes, knowledge transfer projects, global secondment opportunities as well as technology development projects,” he added. Since beginning his career in 1994, Dawson has gained extensive experience in production as well as project management, along with moulding and technical experience across various application sectors. He is passionate about promoting SA’s composite manufacturing ability throughout the rest of Africa, and ultimately, globally. “The composites industry in South Africa has really been ‘up against it’ for the last 10 years. Global financial pressures along with the rand and oil prices, have seen significant price pressures across the sector; this in combination with a lack of focused skills interventions and industry cohesion, has turned what should be a booming manufacturing sector, into one that’s under severe pressure,” explained Dawson. “Our saving grace is that composites is still one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors globally. We are


mobilizing behind ‘The CTA have developed key sector, one that that some fantastic takes into account relationships in local and initiatives international companies to enhance current status as well spearheaded by the as the gaps, what’s SA’s ability to deliver world-class required to stabilize Department of training programmes, knowledge and then ultimately Science and transfer projects, global Technology and the grow individual secondment opportunities and businesses,” Dawson Department of Trade and Industry, in close technology development projects’ explained. cooperation with the “Key to creating this private sector. If we continue in this recipe is to go into industry, stabilizing vein, the future looks good - difficult, current production lines from a quality, but good! We can’t sit by, and watch cost and schedule perspective and then the rest of the BRICS countries take to assist in establishing new production advantage of the opportunities this lines and export opportunities,” said sector offers and be left behind, it Dawson. would be madness!” he added. At the Economic Policy Dialogue on The Role of Technology CTA restructure and expansion Commercialisation in Industrialisation, Dawson said that earlier this year a hosted earlier this year by the DTI in restructuring of the CTA took place in Pretoria, Dr Kjelt van Rijswijk, technical which Maryam Kriel was appointed as director of the Composites Group, National Training Manager. She comes highlighted the importance of with a wealth of learning as well as collaboration and synergy within operations management experience, government entities and among the which encompasses disability training. public, academia, research institutions Janene Dawson, who recently left and business sectors. British American Tobacco after a 13He added that R&D, skills year career in finance and marketing, development and industrialization has also joined the team to focus on efforts should be coordinated in order to the strategic aspects going forward. activate and strengthen value chains, “To have these kind of skills onboard a and that industrial clusters with small business like ours is fantastic and representation of stakeholders along we are looking forward to the value value chains is an internationally they will add in the short to medium proven coordination mechanism. term. A key objective of the CTA is to focus on developing a ‘recipe’ for the


Next-generation composites

Mukilteo-based Electroimpact has designed and built 9 metre-tall Automated Fibre Placement robotic machines that fabricate carbon-fibre wings for Boeing’s new 777X (Photo: Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Boeing opens US$1 billion 777X composite wing centre BOEING has opened a new centre at its campus in Everett, USA, to build composite wings for the 777X aircraft. Boeing invested more than $1 billion in the Composite Wing Centre (CWC) for construction and outfitting of the new building. The facility will manufacture the world’s largest composite wings for the 777X, the company's newest commercial jetliner and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come. Ground broke at the site in October 2014, and just a year and a half later, the majority of the building had been completed and parts installed in preparations for the first aircraft. The CWC is more than 109 265m2 (27

acres) under one roof – the equivalent to 25 football fields. It contains three of the world’s largest autoclaves, used to bake parts together to produce the wings, each big enough to fit two 737 fuselages inside. Boeing also installed two Automated Fibre Placement robotic machines to fabricate the wings. To date, the 777X has accumulated 320 orders and commitments. Two models will comprise the 777X family – the 777-8X, with approximately 350 seats and a range capability of more than 9,300 nautical miles; and the 7779X, with approximately 400 seats and a range of more than 8,200 nautical miles. First delivery of the 777X is targeted for 2020.

One of three of the world’s largest autoclaves, used to bake parts together to produce the wings, each big enough to fit two 737 fuselages inside

THE demands consumers place on electronic devices are growing all the time. They want their notebooks, tablets, TVs and smartphones to be ever faster, thinner and lighter, yet also increasingly robust. Covestro has developed a completely new composite technology for the efficient manufacture of housings and other components, that is based on thermoplastics and carbon fibres and meets these requirements. Covestro uses them for the manufacture of continuous fibrereinforced films and sheets, for further processing by customers. Covestro CFRTP (continuous fibrereinforced thermoplastic composites) solutions come into their own when used in consumer electronics products. The composites are based on films of endless unidirectional carbon fibres (UD films). Several layers of these films are positioned one on top of the other, cut and then laminated. This produces extremely stiff and lightweight composite sheets with no distortion or shrinkage. The number, direction and sequence of layers can be optimized for the relevant application. The external appearance of the sheet blanks is different from typical semi-finished plastic materials. They have an “organic” grain pattern, feel cool thanks to their excellent thermal conductivity and sound like metals on impact. Unlike small-series production with thermosetting plastics, Covestro CFRTP solutions enable flexible, costefficient mass production. The supply chains are clearly defined. Covestro CFRTP sheets are easy to transport without any cooling or special treatment. The customer then proceeds with further processing using thermoforming, back moulding, CNC milling or other processes.



Mellow motion Short distance electric taxi for two set to revolutionise inner city transport IT’s not a Tuk-Tuk or a pedicab, it’s a Mellowcab – a powerful and lightweight, fun, short distance electric taxi for two people and their hand luggage Ë and soon you’ll be seeing them on the streets of South Africa’s larger cities. The brainchildren of entrepreneur Franschhoek resident Neil du Preez, the Mellowcabs are currently in the final stages of pre-production, with full production scheduled for nearer the end of the year with a fleet of 40 vehicles being built for Cape Town and Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, as well as at Gautrain stations, and other selected areas in Gauteng. “Although the South African market is important to us, the possibilities in the Indian sub-continent, Europe and further afield is just staggering,” said Neil. Neil is an experienced entrepreneur, having developed and led various businesses including Riksha, a child mobility company. He is passionate about non-motorised transport and the development of first-and-last mile transport solutions as a way to reduce the need for fossil-fuelled cars. Neil started Mellowcabs with Richard Branson’s philosophy that “a business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” Mellowcabs will typically operate in a limited urban radius of 3-4 km. They are not meant to compete with other transport systems such as trains or buses, but rather feed into and complement existing networks. A single Mellowcab can provide over 120km of transport per day. Manufactured using composites Of particular interest to our readers is the Mellowcabs’ large passenger cab, manufactured using composites. Cape Town composites companies involved in manufacturing the cabs are Formo Fibreglass, Advanced Fibreform and Calculus products in Wellington. “The cabin itself is made from a GRP composite. We experimented with the idea of rotomoulding it, but we couldn’t get it right, plus the mould was super expensive. We ended up going for the GRP for now. The wheels and some other weight sensitive components are made from carbon fibre,” Neil explained. The entire cabin is set on an aluminium chassis and roll cage. Many


design considerations were important to ensure the Mellowcabs were powerful, light-weight and safe. “A lot of thought went into safety factors, and of course building a protective cage into the design. We ended up going for aluminium, as we found it to be the only viable option. Some components that would benefit most from lighter weight were made from carbon fibre, for example the wheels, and the doors,” Neil said. Design philosophy Joining forces with design experts Ideso, Neil and the team reimagined the short distance electric cab. They wanted to create a vehicle that is at once cutting edge in terms of technology, yet be approachable and even familiar to the user. Drawing inspiration from the word ‘mellow’, the cab was designed to be modern, friendly and fun at the same time, to

bring a smile to the face of all who see it. The user experience for the Mellowcab has received special attention. The passengers have ergonomic command post seating, while entry and exit are unimpeded. While seated, the passengers have a great view from the cab. They also have access to an onboard Ipad which can help with navigation. Mellowcabs are fully roadworthy, and comply with international road-worthy standards. They are installed with safety features such as an ultra-rigid roll cage, safety belts and proximity sensors. The Mellowcabs boast technology like regenerative braking and illuminated body panels technology. And embedded LED lights throughout the shells light up the entire cab.


BRIEFLY Researchers study composites for fixing bone fractures

Composite dome cabins on site at luxury Antarctic eco camp THE first three unique Arctic dome cabins designed and manufactured by Cape Town’s Wayne Robertson have been installed on site in Antarctica at White Desert’s Camp Whichaway in Queen Maud Land. A shower unit, also designed by Wayne, will be flown down and installed as well. The domes will be used to accommodate Antarctic tourists in comfort in some of the most extreme and harsh conditions on the planet. The camp’s original dome cabins, which are being worn down by the harsh environment, are being replaced with Wayne’s domes. Guests pay around $70,000 per person for a seven, eight, or eleven day adventure. Wayne has been successful at producing high-end custom work, focusing on unique products based on high quality design. The first Arctic domes incorporate 12 modular flat panels which use a composite sandwich structure and are resin vacuum infused with a balsa core. The domes are 6 metres in diameter and 4 metres high so they can also accommodate a mezzanine level. The domes are secured to platforms which can be raised as the snowfall deepens, which Wayne has also manufactured. Wayne said that he is now exploring a more environmentally sustainable manufacturing process to manufacture the Arctic domes. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve our products while incorporating a ‘green’ mindset. We are busy redesigning the Arctic domes to incorporate 100% recycled and/or organic materials such as PET foam and Jute of Hemp (biofibres) to replace glass fabrics,” he explained. “The costs are still relatively prohibitive, but we are excited about the prospects and believe that these materials are becoming more and more mainstream. The domes have been designed to operate in extreme environments, but would be well suited for areas where eco-tourism and low environmental impact are important too,” he added. Meanwhile, another interesting project Wayne is working on currently is the tooling for a large wine barrel (pictured below) which will be moulded and fitted to delivery vehicles for a wine distribution company.

EVONIK Industries AG researchers are using biodegradable high-strength composites to fix broken bones. The materials could replace metal implants, which remain in patients’ bodies or require surgery for removal. Devices made with Evonik’s new composites will be gradually absorbed by the body as the healing process takes place. “In the long term we want to create bio-absorbable implants to replace damaged tissues with healthy tissues,” said Dr Andreas Karau, head of the Project House. The polymers break down into carbon dioxide and water. Degradation time depends on the molecular composition, chain length, and crystallinity. Evonik’s Resomer polymers are currently used in bio-absorbable screws, pins and small plates, primarily for torn ligaments, and for fixing smaller bones and are not strong enough to be used for large, load-bearing bones. Researchers are exploring composites that reinforce biodegradable polymers with inorganic substances, such as derivatives of calcium phosphate. The additives may strengthen the material and enhance its biocompatibility. A goal of the researchers is to make biodegradable polymers suitable for 3-D printing.

Website gives surplus, overdue, written off composites new lease on life MANY companies know the problem: you need just a small piece of prepreg for a project. But you can only buy a big, expensive roll from the manufacturer. Or that big roll of prepreg in storage has just passed its expiration date and now you have to throw it all away. A lot of money and materials gets wasted this way, resulting in a financial as well as environmental impact. The website was conceived to put an end to all that. Now there is a way for companies to sell their surplus composite materials to companies that need small quantities or companies and institutions that can use overdue materials (for example for training purposes). That is how the idea was born for, a specialized website where companies can trade these materials.



Aerontec showcases resin vacuum infusion expertise Myriad myths and facts concerning vacuum infusion discussed AERONTEC recently hosted two very interesting events – a morning presentation by Müench Chemie International and a full-day vacuum infusion training workshop at the Plastics/SA premises in Maitland, Cape Town.

Graham Blyth and his Aerontec team guided participants at the resin vacuum infusion workshop through each step of an actual infusion.

Both were well attended, especially the vacuum infusion training session which saw more than 35 individuals from around the country gather to learn more about resin vacuum infusion. Müench Chemie International presentation Aerontec has been representing Müench Chemie in South Africa for several years now, and every so often Jorg Ehlers visits South Africa to update customers about the latest innovations in composite release agents – the company’s core business. The company manufactures release agents and process aids for a wide range of industrial applications, including composites, aerospace and aviation, marine, wind energy and automotive. Jorg demonstrated the advantages of Müench Chemie’s eco-friendly, water-based, semi-permanent release agent, Mikon, for processing fibrereinforced plastic parts. The solventfree release agent allows for multiple releases after a single application.

Resin vacuum infusion workshop At the resin vacuum infusion workshop, participants spent the day learning all about the fundamentals of this complex, but highly successful method of vacuum resin infusing anything from large boat hulls, to smaller components. With Graham Blyth, Aerontec MD, taking the wheel, participants were skillfully and adeptly steered through the myriad myths and facts concerning vacuum infusion. And all walked away much more knowledgeable and keen to put what they had learned into practice. Graham has authored a manual on the fundamentals of resin vacuum infusion which is a very helpful guide. All participants at the one-day

workshop walked away with this tightly in hand! For more info on the manual, training courses and any other advice, contact or call Graham on 021 671 2114.

Aerontec team - At the Müench Chemie presentation were Arno Seyfert, Graham Blyth, Jorg Ehlers, Varuna Archary and Nico van Wieringen



Lamborghini, Mitsubishi to develop carbon fibre technologies LAMBORGHINI and Mitsubishi Ltd plan to work together on a project entitled ‘CFRP Press Technologies and Processes Automation’ to re focus on carbon fibre manufacturing that is more suitable for larger scale production. “By continuing to develop our patented Forged Composite materials, we are able to create a product that can enhance Lamborghini super sports cars in both their performance and their appearance,” said Maurizio Reggiani, Automobili Lamborghini board member for research & development. “The ability to leverage this kind of lightweight material gives Lamborghini a competitive advantage that will benefit our cars, as well as the production process, in the future.”

During the 2016 Geneva motor show Lamborghini exhibited the Centenario, which is available with a body made of fully exposed carbon fibre.

This story is reprinted from material from Lamborghini

Carbon fibre recycling process could help firms reduce waste RESEARCHERS at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a method to recycle nearly 100% of the materials in certain types of thermoset carbon fibre composites. The new method involves soaking the composites in an alcohol solvent, which slowly dissolves the epoxy that binds and gives shape to the carbon fibres. Once dissolved, the carbon fibres and the epoxy can be separated and used in new applications. “We think this method could have a lot of immediate industrial applications, with lots of economical and environment benefits,’ said Kai Yu, a postdoctoral researcher in The George W Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Traditional carbon fibre presents two challenges for recycling. The polymer matrix is usually crosslinked, just like the rubber, and it can’t be simply melted; it’s very hard to strip away the polymer to reclaim the embedded carbon fibres, which are more valuable to recycle. The research team focused on carbon fibre that uses vitrimer epoxy to give the composite component its shape. Vitrimers contain dynamic bonds that can alternate their structure without losing network integrity under certain conditions. “We let alcohol, which has small molecules, to participate in the network of alternating reactions, which effectively dissolved the vitrimer,” explained Kai Yu.

Success for thermoplastic composite welding technique AGC AeroComposites, a USA- and UK-based supplier of composite aerostructures, assemblies and components for aerospace and defense, has successfully completed a project focused on developing a low cost thermoplastic composite welding process. The ‘CoFusion’ project was funded by the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP), in partnership with the UK National Composites Centre, TenCate Advanced Composites and Rolls Royce. It demonstrated that carbon/polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) composite thermoformed components can be reliably welded to form complex assemblies using resistive composite welding elements that contain no metal meshes or inserts. The resulting welded components feature consistent high strength and fatigue properties that have been demonstrated at both coupon and component levels. Low cost equipment and materials can be used and the heating to welding temperature takes only three minutes. The process is not limited to flat components, since panels with significant curvature can be welded reliably. All resulting welds are high quality with no voids. During the project, the company was able to produce welded top-hat sandwich panels. The welded component had higher stiffness and greater strength reaching five times that of the riveted component.



High performance racing kayak from recycled carbon fibre Will enter the International Canoe Race in 2017 A TEAM of academics is creating a high performance racing kayak out of recycled carbon fibre and entering the International Canoe Race in 2017. Dr Gary Leeke, who is based at the department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, UK, is leading a team of scientists and engineers to make a kayak out of fibre reinforced composite materials, which is believed to be a world first. Gary is so confident in the processes of creating the material, he will be putting his money where his mouth is and racing the kayak 125 miles nonstop in the International Canoe Race with his teammate Professor Liam Grover. The International Canoe Race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire, in the UK, finishing just downstream of Westminster Bridge in central London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The race, which has 77 portages, is a test of planning, skill as well as physical and mental stamina and is a major event in the sporting calendar. Composites are very difficult to recycle and the team at the University of Birmingham has developed a technique using a process called solvolysis. They have created a material from recycled composites, which is as strong as the original, unmodified material. The kayak is between 2-3mm thick. The material is light, extremely strong and hardwearing. It can be used in a huge number of applications as well as high performance sporting goods as demonstrated by our kayak. Recycled composites have a part to play in the future of manufacturing The material has been created to illustrate that composites can be recycled and used in manufacturing processes with industry. Recycled composites could have a large part to play in the future of manufacturing within industries such as automotive, renewable energy and construction. There is a huge need to do this as the majority of composites are currently sent to landfill. This is becoming an increasing burden on the environment and it is expected that by 2025 it will be illegal to send composites to landfill in the UK.


Professor Gary Leeke (in front) and Professor Liam Grover in the kayak Dr Leeke is part of a project called EXHUME which develops new and resource efficient recycling and remanufacturing processes with industry. EXHUME is a partnership between the Universities of Birmingham, Cranfield, Exeter and Manchester and is funded by the Engineering and Physical

Sciences Research Council. Creative Outreach for Resource Efficiency (CORE) helps the EXHUME project to communicate its work and promotes understanding of the circular economy and resource efficiency to the wider public. CORE helps academics to ‘get out of the lab’.

Dr Gary Leeke from department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, is leading a team of scientists and engineers to make a kayak out of fibre reinforced composite materials, which is believed to be a world first


BlackWing aircraft wins Red Dot design award Lighter, stronger & faster DEVELOPER and manufacturer of lightweight aircraft, BlackWing Sweden, has received the highest distinction as winner of the Red Dot Award for Product Design 2016. The fuselage and wings are entirely manufactured using TeXtreme® Spread Tow carbon fibre fabric – which the company claims are 15% more rigid than conventional twill fabric. BlackWing’s lightweight aircraft, available now as microlight, are among this year’s outstanding products. The jury’s awarding BlackWing a Red Dot: Best of the Best 2016 – a distinction earned by just 1.5% of all entries – further recognizes the company as an international design leader. The aircraft is designed by founder and CEO Niklas Anderberg. After gaining extensive aerospace engineering experience working for Boeing and Saab Aerospace, Niklas set out to change the rules on how small aircrafts are developed. BlackWing is a sport aircraft developed by a small skilled team working with Anderberg. The company produces all the parts, except the engine and avionics, ‘in-house’ in Sweden. The short lead time makes them extremely flexible to make changes in the design for production optimization and stay competitive on the market. TeXtreme Spread Tow reinforcements are the ultimate choice for making ultralight composites. TeXtreme Technology

is flexible and tow-size independent, which enables the development of optimized reinforcement solutions tailormade for specific application needs. Using TeXtreme® Spread Tow carbon fabrics and carbon UD tapes by manufacturers of advanced aerospace, industrial and sports products confirms that 20-30% lighter composite parts can be produced with improved mechanical properties and superior surface smoothness.

The fuselage and wings are entirely manufactured using TeXtreme® Spread Tow carbon fibre fabric

Tech could transform coal into carbon fibre US$1.6 million project to research how to turn coal-derived pitch into carbon-fibre composite material. “There’s an abundance of coal and we would like to find an alternative use for it. It is a huge natural resource in the US, and we have a whole coal-mining community that is desperate for a new direction,” said University of Utah chemical engineering professor Eric Eddings, who leads the research team. “If we can find an economical way to use coal to produce carbon fibres and have enough useful products so there can be a market for it, then they have that new direction. And it’s more carbon-friendly than just burning coal in a power plant.” Typically, when coal is heated it produces hydrocarbon

materials that are burned as fuel in the presence of oygen. But if it is heated in the absence of oxygen the hydrocarbons can be captured, modified and turned into pitch. The pitch can then be spun into carbon fibres used to produce a composite material that is strong and light. Most carbon-fibre composite material is made from a derivative of petroleum known as polyacrylonitrile, but that process is expensive. With the new Utah grant, Eddings and his team will analyze the makeup of Utah coal to determine how well it can be used for pitch-based carbon-fibre material. Engineers will research the best ways of producing pitch with as little CO2 as possible.



Against the sun Covestro develops reliable UV protection for plastic composites WITH their combination of high strength and low weight, composites can be put to diverse uses in a variety of applications and industries, where they can even replace conventional materials such as metal and wood. At the K2016 plastics trade fair, Covestro unveiled innovative and sustainable solutions based on fibre-reinforced polyurethanes and polycarbonates. To fully exploit the advantages of composites, the fibres must be combined with the best-possible matrix material. Polyurethanes are steadily gaining ground in this segment thanks to their outstanding properties. Covestro introduced a new polyurethane matrix for composites with very good UV, weathering and chemical resistance. Named Desmocomp®, it is formulated from aliphatic isocyanates and ideally suited to outdoor applications. It eliminates the need for any additional surface protection, such as coatings, UV absorbers, and UV-stable mats or films. The new matrix material can be processed extremely costefficiently, thanks above all to its long pot life and rapid curing. Like other polyurethane materials, Desmocomp also displays high reactivity, variable viscosity and outstanding bonding strength. It wets composite’s glass fibres very effectively, lending it high and lasting strength. The anti-graffiti properties and good flame retardance of the composites round out the profile.

At K2016, Covestro introduced the new Desmocomp® polyurethane matrix for composites with very good UV, weathering and chemical resistance. It is ideally suited to outdoor applications, for example. inside elements for Sortimo’s new System-Unit, which is the ideal option for storage in pick-ups and flat-bed trucks

Flying over the water Evonik brings high-tech sailing to a new level THE German-Danish Team Gaebler and the specialty chemicals company Evonik from Essen have joined forces to bring high-tech sailing to a new level. The new SpeedFoiler™ is an ultralightweight, foiling catamaran that will achieve exceptional performance. The latest carbon fibre and composite technology make it possible to fly over the water. Evonik offers a broad portfolio of composite and raw materials that can be processed in parts of the fibre, in the plastic matrix and the foam core. The company also has the necessary raw materials as well as the extensive processing and process know-how. The SpeedFoiler has the dimensions of a C-class multihull: The length is 7.62m, and the width is 4.26m. The mast height is 12m. Thanks to the extremely lightweight materials and the revolutionary design of the SpeedFoiler, it will be possible to start races from 1 knot on. The upper wind limit will be around 30 knots. Evonik Industries manufactures a range of products that can be found in almost all components of fibre-


reinforced composites. We supply core materials for sandwich construction, thermoplastic and thermosetting resin matrices, as well as the essential components for matrices such as crosslinkers, catalysts, impact strength modifiers or processing and process additives.

The new SpeedFoiler is an ultralightweight, foiling catamaran that will achieve exceptional performance

MATERIAL MATTERS Construction finishes to the FRP parts on the main concourse of the new Shanghai Disneyland China resort ‘Tomorrowland’, covering over 2,300 m2, were constructed from fire rated gelcoated FRP Crestapol 1212 ATH filled parts from Scott Bader.

Shanghai Disneyland - composite parts in hundreds of shapes and sizes Built using Scott Bader’s Crestapol® resin, Crystic® FR gelcoat SHANGHAI’s spectacular new Disney resort opened in June with six themed lands including ‘Tomorrowland’ with future world Disney characters. Extensive sections of both the interior and exterior of the buildings and rides in Tomorrowland, covering an area of over 2,300 m2, were constructed from fire retardant (FR) gelcoated FRP composite moulded parts in several hundred different shaped and sized components. All of the FRP components needed for Tomorrowland were hand lay-up, manufactured by specialist composites fabricator E-Grow using a fire approved laminate system comprising Scott Bader’s Crestapol® 1212 high performance ATH filled urethane acrylate resin, with the fire retardant pre-accelerated Iso-NPG polyester gelcoat Crystic® 967 FR, supplied in a variety of specified custom colours. Several hundred different sized and

shaped gelcoated FRP parts were produced by E-Grow for Tomorrowland. The FRP composite parts supplied included facades, passenger sections of a roller-coaster and other rides, a theatre, outdoor dining furniture and exterior cladding on the concourse and surrounding facilities. To cost-effectively produce all of the different sizes and shapes for the Tomorrowland project, E-Grow used a unique, patented wax mould process. Using a 3D CAM file, individual plugs are CNC milled directly from wax blocks to produce the mould plug; wax has proved itself an ideal material for producing curved parts as very exact radii are relatively easy to machine. The wax plugs, which include surface texture and design details, are then used to cast large gypsum based mould tools for the hand lay-up process. Once all the FRP parts are produced, the wax plug is melted down and reused. By recycling the wax, very large custom shaped FRP parts can be produced with very little waste at highly competitive prices. All FRP used in the park had to meet

the Chinese B1 ‘reaction to fire’ classification for fully assembled composite parts. To ensure that the fire specification was met, E–Grow used Crestapol 1212 high performance urethane acrylate loaded with 170phr aluminum trihydrate (ATH) as the backup resin, with 450 gsm CSM and 450 gsm woven rovings glass fibre reinforcements added as needed. Another Disney requirement was that all gelcoat be both fire-resistant and match the paint system so that should there be any damage to the paint surface the part would maintain its appearance. To meet these requirements E-Grow used eight custom colours of Crystic Gelcoat 967 FR fire retardant pre-accelerated, thixotropic Iso-NPG polyester airless spray gelcoat. Crystic Gelcoat 967FR was specially designed by Scott Bader for the production of GRP parts in the building and transportation industry in areas where fire resistance is a key requirement.



A leap in the evolution of carbon Dyneema Carbon - a perfect marriage for lightweight performance DYNEEMA Carbon hybrid composites represent a leap in the evolution of carbon. The world’s strongest fibre significantly improves the performance of pure carbon composites in terms of weight, impact resistance, ductility and vibrational dampening. The lightweight performance power of Dyneema Carbon hybrid composites improves the performance of sports and automotive motorsports products that currently rely on pure carbon composites. Imagine a hockey stick with a better feel through reduced vibration, or a rally race car component that does not shatter on impact – and that’s just for starters. The popularity of pure carbon is easy to explain: “It’s strong, stiff, lightweight and easy to mould. But it’s not so good at handling impacts,” notes DSM Dyneema scientist and parttime professor at Delft University of Technology Roel Marissen. Carbon also splinters when it breaks, which can cause injuries. By marrying carbon with Dyneema, impact energy absorption can be increased by up to 100% while removing the risk of splintering. Dyneema Carbon hybrid composites are also lighter, less brittle and more vibration dampening than pure carbon composites.

Glass-filled PC resins suit medical applications TRINSEO has introduced the Calibre 5000 Series, ideal for medical devices. The glass-filled polycarbonate series offers design freedom by providing a balance of flexural strength and stiffness, dimensional stability, and practical toughness for the most demanding applications. These resins are supported by comprehensive ISO10993 biocompatible test data, robust lot traceability, and a strict management of change processes. Glass-filled resins can be customised to meet the specific needs of an application with varying glass content: up to 40%. The resins offer the desired balance of strength and stiffness for components of devices such as handheld instruments that must provide a reliable and consistent force to activate the mechanical mechanism. They are also suitable for endomechanical housings and components, such as triggers and housings. Physical, chemical and toxicological testing has been done on the resin as well as on the colourants according to ISO 10993 standards to determine biocompatibility.


Trinseo’s standard grades are also listed with FDA Master Access Files in order to assist with regulatory compliance.

Calibre 5101 and 5201 glassfilled polycarbonate resins have UL94 ratings, indicating these grades are suitable for certain powered device applications, such as battery powered surgical devices and low powered units. The UL94 flammability ratings include V-2 at 1.5mm and V-0 at 3.0mm. Calibre 5101 and 5201 glass-filled polycarbonate resins can also be sterilized. Physical properties and part appearance are typically maintained with exposure. With irradiation treatment, certain colours may exhibit slight colour changes that often return to the original colour within a period of time. In tests, the material can bend under an established load with glass filled resins from 0% to 40% content. With an increased content of glass

filler, greater stiffness is achieved. The tests of flexural stress and deflection temperature were done to indicate the point at which the material would bend with glass content of 10 and 20% under an established load. Both tests indicate that when compared to polycarbonate with 0% glass filler, not only will a higher percentage of filler make the material more resistant to bending, but materials with a higher glass content are more resistant to deflection; even under extreme heat. In addition to structural integrity, the higher percentage of glass filler allows manufacturers to achieve a much faster moulding process due to the ability to remove a part from a mould quicker without deformation.


World record for 3D printed composite part A 3D printed trim-and-drill tool, developed by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to be evaluated at The Boeing Company, has received the title of largest solid 3D printed item by Guinness World Records. The lower cost trim tool was printed 30 hours using carbon fibre and ABS thermoplastic composite materials, which will be tested in building the Boeing 777X passenger jet. The 3D printed structure 5.34m long, 1.7m wide and 0.5m tall and weighs approximately 748.5kg. “The existing, more expensive metallic tooling option we currently use comes from a supplier and typically takes three months to manufacture using conventional techniques,” said Leo Christodoulou, Boeing’s director of structures and materials. “Additively manufactured tools, such as the 777X wing trim tool, will save energy, time, labour and production costs and are part of our overall strategy to apply 3D printing technology

Guinness World Records judge Michael Empric measuring the record-breaking 3D printed tool in key production areas.” Guinness World Records judge Michael Empric measured the trim tool, proved it exceeded the required minimum of 0.3m3 and announced the new record title.

Boeing plans to use the additively manufactured trim-and-drill tool in the company’s new production facility in St Louis, USA. The tool will be used to secure the jet’s composite wing skin for drilling and machining before assembly.

Additive technology for auto lightweighting VERTELLUS, a leading global supplier of additives to the plastics and polymer industries, showcased its industryleading ZeMac® copolymers for optimizing glass fibre sizing chemistries in resins and composites at the K2016 trade fair in Dusseldorf in October. By using this technology to improve the mechanical properties of glass fibre-reinforced nylon 6/6, for example, automotive OEMs and tiers can cut weight by replacing heavier materials such as metal in under-the-hood components and other parts. “As automakers design smaller, more fuel-efficient engines to meet increasingly stringent regulations, one result is extreme under-the-hood operating temperatures where many polymers simply can’t compete,” said Ashok Adur, global commercial development director of plastics at Vertellus. “Vertellus is addressing this challenge by enhancing the properties of glass fibre, which is then used by compounders to produce glass fibre-reinforced nylon for high-heat applications as part of an innovative weight reduction strategy. In short, our ZeMac copolymers make it possible to use lightweight, cost-effective reinforced nylon in highly demanding environments.” Vertellus’ ZeMac copolymers enable the use of glassreinforced nylon in applications where high temperatures and hydrolysis exposure previously demanded either metal, which are heavy or over-engineered plastics, which can raise costs. This approach offers OEMs a new alternative to aluminium, multi-material options, over-engineered plastics and composites. Fibre-reinforced nylon 6/6 offers better thermal properties and performance properties compared to other resins such as polypropylene, and cost-effectiveness compared to PEE), polysulfone (PSU) and other high-performance engineering resins. Adding ZeMac copolymers to glass fibre sizing

Vertellus’ ZeMac® copolymers can improve the mechanical properties of glass fibre-reinforced Nylon 6/6 used in automotive under-the-hood components

emulsions also increases surface reactivity to bond to the nylon matrix, which, in turn, raises the heat deflection temperature (HDT) of reinforced nylon 6/6 composites by 15C to 20C. These copolymers also significantly improve hydrolysis resistance, tensile strength, flexural modulus and impact strength. The improved properties allow the composite to withstand mechanical stresses, high heat and chemicals to which radiator parts, air dams and other under-the-hood parts are exposed, enabling these parts to last far longer than in the past – now matching the average lifespan of a vehicle.



Lightweight rotor blades made from plastic foams Fraunhofer partners with industry experts to develop highly durable thermoplastic foams and composites Fraunhofer researchers have partnered with industry experts to develop highly durable thermoplastic foams and composites that make offshore wind turbines lighter and recyclable. Thanks to their special properties, the new materials are also suitable for other lightweight structures, for instance in the automotive sector. The trend toward ever larger offshore wind farms continues unabated. Wind turbines with rotor blades measuring up to 80 meters in length and a rotor diameter of over 160 meters are designed to maximize energy yields. Since the length of the blades is limited by their weight, it is essential to develop lightweight systems with high material strength. The lower weight makes the wind turbines easier to assemble and disassemble, and also improves their stability at sea. In the EU’s WALiD (Wind Blade Using Cost-Effective Advanced Lightweight Design) project, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal are working closely with ten industry and research partners on the lightweight design of rotor blades. By improving the design and materials used, they hope to reduce the weight of the blades and thus increase their service life. Thermoplastics are replacing thermoset-based materials These days, rotor blades for wind turbines are largely made by hand from thermosetting resin systems. These, however, don’t permit melting, and they aren’t suitable for material recycling. At best, granulated thermoset plastic waste is recycled as filler in simple applications. “In the WALiD project, we’re pursuing a completely new blade design. We’re switching the material class and using thermoplastics in rotor blades for the first time. These are meltable plastics that we can process efficiently in automated production facilities,” says Florian Rapp, the project coordinator at Fraunhofer ICT. Their goal is to separate the glass and carbon fibres and to reuse the thermoplastic matrix


material. For the outer shell of the rotor blade, as well as for segments of the inner supporting structure, the project partners use sandwich materials made from thermoplastic foams and fibrereinforced plastics. In general, carbonfibre-reinforced thermoplastics are used for the areas of the rotor blade that bear the greatest load, while glass fibres reinforce the less stressed areas. For the sandwich core, Rapp and his team are developing thermoplastic foams that are bonded with cover layers made of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics in sandwich design. This combination improves the mechanical strength, efficiency, durability and longevity of the rotor blade. “We’re breaking new ground with our thermoplastic foams,” says Rapp.

Rapp explains the process: “We melt the plastic granules, mix a blowing agent into the polymer melt and foam the material. The foamed, stabilized particles and semi-finished products can then be shaped and cut as desired.” In the area of foamed polymers, the ICT foam technologies research group covers the entire thermoplastic foams production chain, from material development and manufacture of extrusion-foamed particles and semifinished products to process media and finished components.

Lightweight construction material for new applications The ICT foams provide better properties than existing material systems, thus enabling completely new applications – for instance in the automotive, aviation and shipping industries. In vehicles, manufacturers have been using foam materials in visors and seating, for example, but not for load-bearing structures. The current foams have some limitations, for instance with regard to temperature stability, so they can’t be installed as insulation near the engine. “Our meltable plastic foams, by contrast, are temperature stable and therefore suitable as insulation material in areas close to the engine. They can permanently withstand higher temperatures than, for example, expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) or expanded polypropylene (EPP). Their enhanced mechanical properties also make them conceivable for use in door modules or as stiffening elements in the sandwich composite,” reports Rapp. They can be processed quickly and they save material. Yet another advantage is that thermoplastic foams are more easily available than renewable sandwich core materials such as balsa wood. These innovative materials are manufactured in the institute’s own foam extrusion plant in Pfinztal.

A new design f

SANDIA National Laboratories’ rese extreme-scale Segmented Ultralight (SUMR) is funded by the Departmen (DOE) Advanced Research Projects programme. The challenge: Design 50-MW turbine requiring a rotor blad metres long, two and a half times lo existing wind blade. Sandia’s previous work on 13-MW 100m on which the initial SUMR des While a 50-MW horizontal wind turb the size of any current design, studi alignment can reduce peak stresses rotor blades. This reduces costs and construction of blades big enough fo Most current US wind turbines pro 1- to 2-MW range, with blades abou the largest commercially available tu


Thermoplastic tapes with different fibre matrix combinations

Rotor blades made of thermoplastic sandwich materials

Windaba in Cape Town in November THE Windaba Conference and Exhibition is Africa’s premier wind energy conference. It will take place in Cape Town from 14-16 November 2017. This 6th annual event is once again proudly brought to you by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in partnership with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). A fixture on the international wind energy business calendar, Windaba has become a ‘must attend’ event for all stakeholders involved in wind energy value chain on the African continent and South Africa in particular.

for 200m-long blades for offshore wind turbines

earch on the t Morphing Rotor nt of Energy’s s Agency-Energy a low-cost offshore de more than 200 onger than any

W systems uses signs are based. bine is well beyond ies show that load s and fatigue on the d allows or a 50-MW system. oduce power in the ut 50m long, while urbine is rated at 8

MW with blades 80m long. Barriers remain before designers can scale up to a 50-MW turbine — more than six times the power output of the largest current turbines. Conventional upwind blades are expensive to manufacture, deploy and maintain beyond 10-15 MW. They must be stiff, to avoid fatigue and eliminate the risk of tower strikes in strong gusts. Those stiff blades are heavy, and their mass, which is directly related to cost, becomes even more problematic at the extreme scale due to gravity loads and other changes. The new blades can be more easily and costeffectively manufactured in segments, avoiding the unprecedented-scale equipment needed for transport and assembly of blades built as single units. The exascale turbines would be sited downwind, unlike conventional turbines that are configured with the rotor blades upwind of the tower.

SUMR’s load-alignment is inspired by the way palm trees move in storms. The lightweight, segmented trunk approximates a series of cylindrical shells that bend in the wind while retaining segment stiffness. This alignment reduces the mass required for blade stiffening by reducing the forces on the blades using the palm-tree inspired load-alignment approach. Segmented turbine blades have a significant advantage in parts of the world at risk for severe storms, such as hurricanes, where offshore turbines must withstand tremendous wind speeds over 322 kph. The blades align themselves to reduce cantilever forces on the blade through a trunnion hinge near the hub that responds to changes in wind speed.



COMPOSITES EUROPE - Hybrid lightweight construction on th Trade fair to be held in Stuttgart each year from 2017 COMPOSITES EUROPE 2016 reflected and showcased the fact that hybrid lightweight construction continues to gain in significance. As a result, composites produced with fibre-composite and metal technologies were the focus of the educational programme staged by COMPOSITES EUROPE trade fair in Düsseldorf from 29 November to 1 December 2016. “Lightweight construction is a key technology of the future that’s making a critical contribution to the modernisation of industry. Electro-mobility, for example, is inconceivable without lightweight engineering. Economy and ecology will become linked even more tightly,” said Iris Gleicke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, at the outset of the trade fair. The weight reduction trend has driven the development of fibrereinforced composites in automotive engineering, aerospace and construction. Once again this year, the quantity of glass-fibre reinforced plastics produced in Europe will increase by 2.5%, according to the industry association AVK.


The industry is set to continue on this growth trajectory in coming years, including in the transport and construction sectors, while hoping for additional gains from the use of composites in modern materials systems that go beyond individual groups of materials. “The trend towards the creation and development of multimaterial systems and the use of hybrid components will remain one of the central challenges. Joining and combining different materials is a task not just the composites industry should face up to but also players in other materials segments”, says Dr Elmar Witten, MD of the AVK. Composites on the road The automotive industry continues its run as one of the most important growth and innovation drivers for the composites industry. About a third of the entire GFRP production volume is deployed in automotive applications. The share of total worldwide GFRP processing demand is roughly 21%. The automotive sector is also a key player among the users of thermoset materials.

TRA R DE FAIR The next COMPOSITES EUROPE, the 12th European

he up and up

Trade Fair and Forum for Composites, Technology and Applications, will take place in Stuttgart from 19-21 September 2017.

Numerous applications have become established in recent years, from mass-produced BMC headlight reflectors to SMC tailgates, spoilers and trim components to oil pans, covers and micro-components. A final process that’s of particular importance in vehicle construction is RTM, which boasts above-average growth rates along with a high degree of automation. Aviation industry injects momentum into composites’ future perspectives Aviation will also offer extraordinarily good growth prospects for fibre composites in future – for both glass-fibre and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics. In their composites market survey 2015 the authors of the trade association Composites Germany forecast strong annual growth rates of up to 13% just for CFRP applications in aviation. Even today this sector of industry already accounts for around one third (32,200) of global demand. According to the forecast, this demand is to rise to over 60,000 tons by 2021. For narrow-body aircraft with just one cabin aisle as well as up

to six seats per row in the Economy Class components series from composites are expected to reach quantities of 1,000 or even 10,000 units – and of course, not only for structural elements but also for smaller parts such as reinforcement ribs or clips. For smaller airplanes, however, the initial purchase prices play a more important role compared with operating costs. This is why the industry is working on processes that allow manufacturing costs to be reduced. COMPOSITES EUROPE now in Stuttgart each year Another decision was made to ensure that COMPOSITES EUROPE heeds increasing calls for better linkages between science, the composites industry and user industries. Starting in 2017, the trade fair will take place in Stuttgart each year. Until now, the event alternated between Stuttgart and Düsseldorf. The next COMPOSITES EUROPE, the 12th European Trade Fair and Forum for Composites, Technology and Applications, will take place in Stuttgart from 19-21 September 2017.


Composite-Expo 2017 28 February – 2 March 2017, Expocentre Fairgrounds, Moscow, Russia The 10th Composite-Expo is a unique exhibition event in Russia and is a platform for development and introduction of composite technologies and materials in different branches of industry. Many Russian and foreign companies participate in the event - Technologiya ONPP, RT-Khimkompozit, Stupino Glass Reinforced Plastics Plant, Akzo Nobel NV, Evonik, OCV Steklovolokno (OCV Reinforcements) are already exhibitors at the event. On 1 March the 6th practicalresearch conference ‘Modern State and Prospects of Development of Production and Use of Composite Materials in Russia’ will be held in the conference hall of Expocentre Fairgrounds.

Multifunctional, hybrid & Nanomaterials conference 6-10 March 2017, Lisbon, Portugal The 5th International Conference on Multifunctional, Hybrid and Nanomaterials will bring together, at a truly international level, people with shared interests in hybrid materials, including: Polymer chemists, physicists and engineers; biomaterials chemists, physicists and engineers, organic chemists, inorganic chemists, solid state chemists; sol-gel chemists, composites scientists, colloid chemists and physicists, zeolite, meso- and microporous materials scientists, and broad nano- and materials scientists.


JEC World 2017

Aircraft Interiors Expo

14-16 March 2017, Paris JEC World 2017 will host the largest composites show in the world that covers the whole composites value chain from raw material to processors and final products. End-users are definitely the focus of interest. The ‘Innovation Planets’ will illustrate four major applicative markets: aerospace, construction & building, automotive & land transportation, while ‘Better Living’ will include energy, sustainability, sports and leisure, medical, consumer goods. This year, JEC World launches a startup programme, ‘Startup Booster’, to discover and support innovations and entrepreneurship.

4-6 April 2017, Dusseldorf, Germany Staged annually in Hamburg, Aircraft Interiors Expo - the leading global event for the aircraft interiors industry - is a vibrant must attend business-tobusiness event presenting a diverse range of leading suppliers to Europe and International aircraft interiors professionals and airlines. It provides a unique opportunity for the whole global aircraft interiors trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business.

COMPOTEC 2017 29-31 March 2017, Marina di Carrara, Italy Now in its 9th edition, the International Exhibition of Composites and Related Technologies, the only trade event in Italy dedicated to the industry of composite materials, opens to ever wider fields of application thanks to the implementation of new technologies and to the excellent mechanical properties of composites as for weight, durability and versatility. Compotec 2017 will be held as usual simultaneously with Seatec, the International Exhibition of Technology Subcontracting and Design for boats, yachts and ships. The event addresses all industrial sectors that use composite materials, from sailing to aerospace, but also including aeronautical, military, automotive, medical and design sectors, with the aim of bringing together in a single trade show manufacturers, distributors, universities, research institutes, associations and organizations, to provide companies a highly professional tool of promotion. The last edition of Compotec recorded the presence of 107 brands, 38 of them foreign, confirming the value of the fair as a reference event for the entire Mediterranean region.

CAMX – Composites & Advanced Materials Expo 11-14 September 2017, Orange County Convention Centre Composites and advanced materials are built on innovation. Find this innovation at CAMX with access to the full spectrum of composites and advanced materials solutions. Featuring 550+ exhibitors, over 300 conference and technical sessions with expert speakers, and 8,000 people in attendance, CAMX offers a one-of-akind experience that isn’t duplicated at any other event.

Eurasian Composites Show 9-11 November 2017, Istanbul Expo Centre The 3rd international composites industry exhibition for the Eurasian market promises to be an interesting event. The rate of growth of Turkey's composites sector is higher than the growth rates of Europe and the world. While the sector recorded an average rate of growth of 8%-12% up until 2010, an expansion of 9%-10% is expected in the following years. In Turkey, the use of composites in the automotive, construction and infrastructure sectors comprise more than half of total composite usage. The rapid growth in the automotive, construction and infrastructure sectors has captured the interest of foreign manufacturers.


Sports composites market worth US$3.75 billion by 2021 THE global sports composites market is projected to reach US$3.75 billion by 2021, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.59% between 2016 and 2021. According to a report by ‘MarketsandMarkets’, the major factors fuelling the growth of the sports composites market are increasing use of lightweight materials in sporting goods equipment and growing demand of composites from the golf stick and racquet application segments. ‘MarketsandMarkets’ is a leader in terms of annually published premium market research reports. The report, Sports Composites Market by Resin Type, by Fibre Type, by Application, and by Region - Global Forecasts to 2021, predicts that golf stick application is expected to drive the sports composites market in the future. The report covers the market by value and volume for composites-based sporting goods and forecasts the market size until 2021. The report includes the market segmentation by resin type, by fibre type, by application and by region. It also provides company profiles and competitive strategies adopted by the major market players in the global sports composites market.

The Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Custom Edition is a carbon fibre wedge

Composites in golf clubs Composites are being used to manufacture and produce golf club shafts and club heads as these materials offer lighter weight, a high tech image to an affluent market, and a variety of design options that are not available with traditional steel material. The use of carbon fibre or boron fibre in the designing of golf shafts decreases the shaft mass, which allows the club designer to increase the head mass while still maintaining a low overall club mass. Providing a heavier club head while keeping a lower overall club mass helps the golfer to swing the club faster, resulting in increased carry distance. Thus, the innovation in the golf comprising lightweight shafts, oversized heads, and larger sweet spots have opened the game to broader group of players at numerous ability levels. Asia-Pacific region is largest market The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the largest market for composites-based sporting goods due to the increased demand for skis and snowboards, golf sticks, racquets and bicycle applications. In addition, easy availability of raw materials, low labour costs, growing manufacturing industries, new product developments, capacity expansions and new plant establishments by various leading players are few factors leading to the growth of the sports composites market in this region.

Not only does the improved strength to weight ratio of the carbon fibre materials allow the racquets to be lighter, it also allows much greater control of the manufacturing process, and the qualities of the racquet. The TRED Bestianera Monte Carlo edition is a carbon fibre hybrid bike that transforms from sports bike to city cruiser


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Composites Southern Africa - Dec 2016  
Composites Southern Africa - Dec 2016  

COMPOSITES SOUTHERN AFRICA is a new magazine by the publishers of SA PLASTICS. Composites Southern Africa is published four times a year and...