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Product innovations awarded at COMPOSITES 2010

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) announced its Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) at the COMPOSITES 2010 show in Las Vegas on 10 February.

The ACMA awards were presented in a number of categories.

Best of Show

The Best of Show Award was presented to William Kreysler & Associates Inc, of American Canyon, California, for its California Bay House, a two-story residential house designed as a monocoque structure consisting of nine prefabricated fire retardant fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) panels.

Recyclable foam moulds were CNC-milled from 3D data derived by laser scanning the architect’s 3D model. Finite element analysis (FEA) engineering was used to satisfy building code requirements for wind and seismic loads. The building consists of 1/8" thick fire retardant FRP sandwich panels with 2" balsa core. Since the home was built in a high fire hazard area, local codes were upgraded to require a class A roof. The exterior skin therefore was required to pass the ASTM E 108-4 and UBC 15-2 standard test method. This product demonstrates that an all-composite residential structure can meet the International Building Code (IBC) requirements, including higher than normal fire resistance requirements if properly documented.

Most Creative Application

The Most Creative Application Award was presented to AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, for its Bridge-in-a-Backpack, a hybrid composite-concrete bridge combining the advantages of advanced composite materials and concrete to provide a more cost effective, greener, longer lasting, and easy-to-erect bridge technology.

This lightweight, corrosion resistant system for short-to-medium-span bridge construction uses FRP composite arch tubes that act as a stay-in-place form, structural reinforcement, and environmental protection for concrete fill. The lightweight arches (150 lb each) can be placed quickly by hand.

Infinite Possibility Award

The Infinite Possibility Award, which demonstrates the potential to significantly increase the use of composites in existing or developing markets, was presented to Harbor Technologies Inc, Brunswick, Maine, for its Hybrid Composite Beam (HCB), a new structural member developed for use as a girder in bridges and other structures, that is comprised of a shell, compression reinforcement and tension reinforcement.

The shell consists of a fibre reinforced polymer box beam. The compression reinforcement consists of concrete, pumped into a profiled conduit (generally an arch) within the beam shell, while carbon, glass or steel fibres anchored at the ends of the compression reinforcement provide the tension reinforcement. The HCB combines the strength and stiffness of concrete and steel with the lightweight and corrosion advantages of composite materials.

Process Innovation Award

The Process Innovation Award was presented to Composites Solutions Pty Ltd, Queensland, Australia, for its One-Way Flap Valve Using MIR Technology, the product that demonstrated the most innovative production method to increase production rate and volume while maintaining quality.

The product and the tooling were manufactured using a new micro-fibre infused resin system developed by MIRteq in Australia that had its global launch at COMPOSITES 2010 by Composites One. The product is a complete, composite, one-way gate valve system with pipe and head wall flanges produced using a very simple injection moulding system without a gel-coat. The proprietary treated micro-fibres at a 20% glass-to-resin ratio produce very good properties and save approximately 80% labour.

Award for Superior Quality (in an Open Molded Part)

The Award for Superior Quality (in an Open Molded Part) was presented to Alaglas Pools, St. Matthews, South Carolina, for its Composites Swimming Pool with Renewable/Recyclable Content Resin System. The first swimming pool to be manufactured from biologically renewable resources and recycled materials, it has mechanical properties equal to or greater than composites materials in traditional pool construction.

The resin for this pool is 28% derived from biologically renewable resources and/or recycled materials. The company used the same manufacturing process techniques and equipment to seamlessly incorporate the new 'green' resin into Alaglas’ material system for exceptional structural integrity. The pool comes with a 50-year structural warranty.

(See also: Alaglas adds 'green' appeal to swimming pools.)

Technical Innovation for Corrosion Application

The Award for Technical Innovation for Corrosion Application was awarded to Ershigs Inc, Bellingham, Washington, for its FRP Pilot Carbon Capture – Scrubber & Ductwork, AEP Mountaineer Station.

Ershigs, in support of Alstom Power Inc, completed the structural design and fabrication of one 10 ft diameter x ~ 77 ft tall FRP scrubbing vessel and ~1300 linear ft of 48-60 in diameter FRP ductwork comprising the integral portion of the world’s first project to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) from an existing coal-fired power plant. The vessel and ductwork were fabricated via filament winding, with numerous fittings and internal components fabricated via contact moulding. In all, the project required over 200 000 lb of FRP laminate and 9400 manhours to complete.

(See also: Composites used in US carbon capture and sequestration system.)

Innovation in Green Composites Technology

The Innovation in Green Composites Technology was presented to Bedford Reinforced Plastics, Bedford, Pennsylvania, for its BRP Green Wall. The award, given to products that use green materials, demonstrate green processes or promote green performance, was awarded to Bedford for its double walled hybrid composite panel made with recycled resin that can be used to replace a conventional dry wall system.

The BRP Green Wall prototype measures 4 ft x 6 ft with a overall thickness of 1.75 in between top and bottom hybrid composite face sheets, allowing approximately 1.5 in air space in the middle of the panel. The panel is made of 25% flax fabric, 25% E-glass rovings and 50% recycled resin. It consumes 40% less embodied energy than one made from GRP composites.

 

 

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