JEC Europe 2012 – show preview

This year’s JEC exhibition takes place on 27-29 March in Paris. In this preview Reinforced Plastics takes a look at some of the developments on display.

The exhibition takes place at the Paris Expo exhibition centre, Porte de Versailles, Paris.
The exhibition takes place at the Paris Expo exhibition centre, Porte de Versailles, Paris.
Airtech's Airseal sealant tape in use.
Airtech's Airseal sealant tape in use.
Cannon preformers are used by automotive suppliers in the manufacture of their carbon and glass reinforced composite parts
Cannon preformers are used by automotive suppliers in the manufacture of their carbon and glass reinforced composite parts
Johns Manville’s MultiStar roving.
Johns Manville’s MultiStar roving.
AOC’s Vipel® epoxy novolac vinyl ester resin was specified for high-performance FRP composite chimney liners in Bergen, Norway.
AOC’s Vipel® epoxy novolac vinyl ester resin was specified for high-performance FRP composite chimney liners in Bergen, Norway.
Gurit’s G-PET core material.
Gurit’s G-PET core material.
The Dieffenbacher PreformCenter.
The Dieffenbacher PreformCenter.
The FORMAX Glass Malitronic™ machine.
The FORMAX Glass Malitronic™ machine.
Teijin Aramid’s new black Twaron alongside the standard yellow coloured Twaron.
Teijin Aramid’s new black Twaron alongside the standard yellow coloured Twaron.
BASF’s concept for a composite roof module.
BASF’s concept for a composite roof module.
AIC is exhibiting its AMCS Autoclave Management and Control System, which features new software.
AIC is exhibiting its AMCS Autoclave Management and Control System, which features new software.
Componeering's ESAComp-modeFRONTIER composites optimisation solution helps in finding an optimal configuration of laminate lay-ups, stiffener sizing and stiffener spacing for a curved panel with hat stiffeners. Typically the structural mass is minimised while the load carrying capability and stiffness can be considered as constraints or objectives.
Componeering's ESAComp-modeFRONTIER composites optimisation solution helps in finding an optimal configuration of laminate lay-ups, stiffener sizing and stiffener spacing for a curved panel with hat stiffeners. Typically the structural mass is minimised while the load carrying capability and stiffness can be considered as constraints or objectives.
Armacell is introducing ArmaFORM PET FR core material for applications with demanding FST requirements.
Armacell is introducing ArmaFORM PET FR core material for applications with demanding FST requirements.
Alan Harper Composites will be showing its SilCon V reusable silicone bag spray machine.
Alan Harper Composites will be showing its SilCon V reusable silicone bag spray machine.
CHOMARAT has developed a new carbon non-crimp fabric (NCF) that enables the manufacture of lighter, thinner laminates.
CHOMARAT has developed a new carbon non-crimp fabric (NCF) that enables the manufacture of lighter, thinner laminates.
Viking Yachts uses Delcam’s PowerMILL to machine models, moulds and finished components.
Viking Yachts uses Delcam’s PowerMILL to machine models, moulds and finished components.
In a long-term test lasting an Enercon wind turbine blade bonded with Henkel’s Macroplast UK 1340 polyurethane adhesive was subjected to stresses and strains that would normally occur over a 20 year period.
In a long-term test lasting an Enercon wind turbine blade bonded with Henkel’s Macroplast UK 1340 polyurethane adhesive was subjected to stresses and strains that would normally occur over a 20 year period.
Web Industries has more than two decades of experience producing precision carbon fibre slit tapes for the world’s most stringent aerospace programs.
Web Industries has more than two decades of experience producing precision carbon fibre slit tapes for the world’s most stringent aerospace programs.
Victrex PEEK products.
Victrex PEEK products.
Henry Tong, General Manager of Syrgis China, inside an 8.5 m diameter composite pipe.
Henry Tong, General Manager of Syrgis China, inside an 8.5 m diameter composite pipe.
Huntsman’s Araldite resin was used in Lamborghini’s first production carbon fibre chassis, manufactured using an out-of-autoclave technique.
Huntsman’s Araldite resin was used in Lamborghini’s first production carbon fibre chassis, manufactured using an out-of-autoclave technique.
SCIGRIP will be highlighting its methacrylate adhesives.
SCIGRIP will be highlighting its methacrylate adhesives.
Langzauner’s new laboratory press could be interesting for the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as R&D facilities.
Langzauner’s new laboratory press could be interesting for the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as R&D facilities.
New Razr fit with Quantum Composite AMC material used in Callaway Forged Composite.
New Razr fit with Quantum Composite AMC material used in Callaway Forged Composite.
Glass fibre panels made with Parabeam intrinsically offer many possibilities for applications in military equipment.
Glass fibre panels made with Parabeam intrinsically offer many possibilities for applications in military equipment.
LG Hausys' composite carrier for EV battery pack module.
LG Hausys' composite carrier for EV battery pack module.
A staircase manufactured using Umeco products.
A staircase manufactured using Umeco products.

Companies are listed in alphabetical order.

3A Composites Booth N32 Website:

3A Composites is launching new AIREX® and BALTEK® core materials offering weight and cost savings for infused sandwich applications.

3A Composites has developed a new sealing technology offering a reduction of resin uptake of the infused core material. This reduction is above 50% for its AIREX T90 and T92 cores, and above 80% for its BALTEK SB and SBC balsa cores. Depending on sandwich design, resin uptake can constitute around 15-40% of the infused core materials’ total costs, the company notes.

This resin saving also translates into weight reduction, and 3A Composites says that PET-cored sandwich structures can now become lighter than PVC solutions thanks to this new AIREX SealX technology.

3A Composites is also launching AIREX T92.80, a low-density PET core material for weight- and cost-sensitive applications in many industries, including wind energy, architecture and automotive. It is ideally suited for marine applications as it meets DNV requirements for boat decks and superstructures. In combination with the new surface sealing technology, AIREX T92.80 SealX can offer substantial weight and cost savings.

3B Business Suite D4 Website:

3B-the fiberglass company, a supplier of glass fibre products for the reinforcement of thermoplastic and thermoset polymers, will spotlight an eco-responsible powder grade of Advantex® Milled Fibres. The new grade, MF 01 ER (Eco-Responsible), was developed in line with 3B’s sustainability strategy and is said to display very good dry flow characteristics and dispersion.

Advantex MF 01 ER is designed to reinforce engineering thermoplastics, and also thermosets, providing high modulus, excellent dimensional stability and shrinkage control. It can be used in a variety of applications in the automotive, electrical and electronic, and consumer goods markets.

For the wind energy sector, 3B will introduce HiPer-tex™ W3030, the third product in its new range of wind turbine blade reinforcements. HiPer-tex W3030 is specifically engineered for polyester and vinyl ester resin systems for infusion processes. It follows the recent launch of HiPer-tex W2020 high performance rovings for epoxy resin systems and complementes Advantex SE2020 glass fibre for epoxy resin systems.

At JEC’s Innovation Showcase, 3B will spotlight a new zero permeation lightweight composite compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinder of 32 litre capacity developed by GASTANK AB Sweden and manufactured using HiPer-tex glass fibre enclosing and protecting a novel thermoplastic inner liner.

3B, headquartered in Belgium, was acquired by the Braj Binani Group of India in February.  

AIC Booth Q77 Website:

AIC is re-launching its AMCS Autoclave Management and Control System with new, proprietary software.

AMCS comes as an integrated package of hardware and software, written and developed by AIC engineers with extensive understanding of composite production across many industries, including aerospace and motor sport. It now comes with:

  • enhanced performance: better thermal head control algorithms to maximise autoclave capability; fuzzy logic control algorithm adjusts parameters to ensure the highest accuracy of control;
  • improved quality control: full quality assurance digital data recording capability with full NADCAP compliance; live monitoring of parts against check-sheets during cure which alerts operators immediately to failures; and
  • easy programming: new profile editor auto-calculates suitable control parameters to ensure a profile will run correctly; manual fine-tuning of parameters can then be used for optimisation.

AMCS also offers intelligent control of main fan speed, chillers and pumps, reducing energy wasted while the machine is in a steady state.

Airtech Booth M64 Website:

Airtech will showcase its latest products and services, including its sealant tape range, which now covers the higher temperature range of up to 150°C. Airseal sealant tape is available in two versions: Airseal 2, a standard product for use outside the autoclave; and Airseal 2 HT, a higher tack version for more immediate surface adhesion. Airseal tapes are used in the production of FRP parts for the marine, commercial and wind energy industries with cure in heated tools or oven.

Airtech also continues to develop its range of release films. The new WL4800 release film is suited for use in a flat or limited curvature moulding application up to 195°C, while WL3800 is a matt-finished PET release film used as a barrier between tool surfaces and composite materials applied using the automated tape lay-up and automated fibre placement (AFP) processes.

The new Dahlar® Release Bag 500 is a self-releasing multi-layer bagging film for direct contact with prepreg for fabrication of hollow parts. It is said to exhibit superior strength, temperature resistance up to 220°C and vacuum integrity. When pressure is applied the bag will expand to fit to the shape of the part, which is particularly useful in when there are variations in the part diameter. This ensures even application of internal pressure in cases of small diameter parts, where the insertion of a standard lay flat tube bagging film can be problematic.

Airtech will also highlight its Mobile Vacuum Kart (MVK 2011) is a ‘plug-and-play’ system used for creating vacuum in prepreg and resin infusion applications, and Flowlease 39P, which combines a knitted flow mesh with a layer of the perforated release film WL 3900 Red P and is intended for use in resin infusion applications. Airtech also offers resin infusion training courses suitable for professionals wishing to gain a better theoretical understanding and practical experience in making high quality composite parts.

Alan Harper Composites Ltd Booth G44 Website:

Alan Harper Composites is displaying its new reusable silicone bag spray machine, SilCon V. Reusable silicone bags are an economical alternative to consumable bags for infusion, prepreg and de-baulk use.

The SilCon V is a flexible machine which is able to handle both addition cure and condensation cure silicones. It can also be operated to add thixotropic additive on demand when using addition cure systems. The heart of the machine is in the pump bay in which two robust 200cc silicone pumps and an additional 40cc slave pump are directed coupled to the external heavy duty air motor.

Three possible uses are now available: addition cure silicone on a 1:1 mix ratio; condensation cure silicone on a 10 :1 ratio; and addition cure silicone on a 1:1 ratio with 10:1 thixotropic addition. The third option is user selected to switch on and off thixotropic addition at will during use.

The company’s SilCon III and new Maxi SilCon IV machines will also be on display.

Anaglyph Ltd Booth X64 Website:

Anaglyph Ltd is releasing version 4.2 of Laminate Tools, a Windows application integrating the design, analysis and manufacture of composite structures. It complements existing CAD systems and/or FEA environments, with native support for NASTRAN, ANSYS and ABAQUS that ensures wide compatibility in the analysis of composites.

AOC Stand number Website:

AOC, a global supplier of resins, gel-coats, colorants and additives, will highlight its complete product line and latest resin innovations. The company will also showcase case histories that demonstrate how AOC helps customers produce composites for every market across the globe.

To further support the composites industry, AOC (UK) Ltd, located in Brantham, Manningtree, Essex, UK, is a complete distributor to manufacturers of composites. Its new, larger facility offers comprehensive products and on-site technical support to help customers improve their productivity, quality and consistency. AOC (UK) Ltd has materials and expertise to benefit key market sectors such as marine, transportation, building and construction, sanitaryware and corrosion-resistance.

Armacell Booth S51 Website:

Armacell, a producer of PET thermoplastic foam core materials, is launching the ArmaFORM PET FR structural foam core materials which are designed for applications with stringent fire, smoke and toxicity (FST) requirements.

The new foams have been certified according to relevant transport (train) FST standards such as NF F16-101 and DIN 5510 with classification M1/F1 and S4/SR2/ST2. Test show that mechanical properties, such as compression, tensile strength and damage tolerance, are maintained.

ArmaFORM PET FR foams are highly temperature resistant at a processing tolerance temperature of 150°C and compatible with almost all types of resin systems and lamination processes. They are also thermo-formable. The foam maintains a compact thermoplastic cellular structure that ensures low resin absorption and high composite sandwich peel strengths, water/moisture absorption resistance and the possibility of 100% recyclability.

Typical uses for ArmaFORM PET FR can be found in rail and road transport applications (floors, panels, walls, seats, roofs, bathroom modules), marine (decks, interior cabins, furniture) and building and construction (facade, roofs, furniture, panel walling.

AXSON Technologies Booth F17 Website:

AXSON Technologies is launching a new heating tool and a range of polyurethane adhesives.

The heating tool, created in co-operation with ENSAM from Lille, produces a vacuum and creates parts as prepregs to be heated outside the autoclave. It consists of a rigid moulded part in 2092 Axson Technologies epoxy infused carbon or in metal, which provides the part with its geometry, and a flexible heating counter-mould projected in the exact shape of the part in Axson Technologies SVB20 Silicone. The principle of heating the two parts of the mould enables sandwich parts to be created. The fact that this tooling can operate independently encourages the creation of large moulds, while economising on large dimension autoclaves.

Axson claims to be the only company offering a system which provides integration of the heating and of the vacuum and sealing system, and studies into the manufacture of tooling for wind turbine blades are underway.

The new polyurethane adhesives are designed for joining composites and plastics intended for industrial use. It requires minimal or no surface preparation. Applications include automotive assembly lines, assembling of wind turbine parts, and in the assembly of pleasure boats (joining deck to hull).

BASF Booth G17 Website:

BASF will be showcasing epoxy and coating systems designed for manufacturing and coating wind turbine blades, as well as its automotive activities.

For the efficient production of large turbine blades BASF offers it Baxxodur brand epoxy resins and curing agents.

The use of curing agents known as latent hardeners offers a significantly longer pot life and reduces cycle times by up to 30%.

Using a Baxxodur in the manufacture of a blade root enables a simpler process. Rather than being built up step by step in several layers, the component can be manufactured more efficiently by a single-step process known as ‘one-shot infusion.’ Because of its very low initial viscosity the Baxxodur system exhibits excellent impregnation properties. In addition, it allows the release of heat to be controlled in the curing phase.

BASF also offers a Baxxodur system suitable for manufacturing spar caps using carbon fibre. It ensures fast and thorough impregnation of the carbon fibre mat.

BASF will also present two new coating technologies for turbine blades:

  • the RELEST Wind Leading Edge coating system is designed to protect the front and leading edge of the blade from erosion. It is particularly useful for offshore turbines as it extends their life span significantly and increases the service intervals. Flexible film thicknesses are possible during the coating process, and the short drying time ensures high production efficiency.
  • the RELEST® Wind RepKit repair system contains the materials and tools required for the repair, and includes application training. After trained from BASF specialists, wind turbine operators will be able to implement professional repairs. The kit is designed for stationary use both on the ground and on the turbine.

BASF will also discuss its automotive activities. Its Lightweight Composite Team is investigating the potential of three plastic matrix systems – epoxy resin, polyurethane (PUR) and polyamide (PA) – in resin injection processes suitable for mass production, including resin transfer moulding (RTM). To demonstrate this concept the company has produced a roof module made from a polyurethane foam core sandwiched between carbon fibre reinforced layers. At a total weight of 2.6 kg, this roof module weighs 40% less than an aluminium part, and 60% less than a steel structure. 

Cabot Corporation Booth C66 Website:

Cabot is launching CAB-O-SIL® ULTRABOND™ 4740, a high-performance treated fumed silica for bonding paste applications. Its most common use is the production of wind turbine blades.

Typically, a turbine blade consists of two pieces that are bonded together. Today’s blades are up to 80 m long and can weigh as much as 15 tons. These two pieces are joined together with bonding paste. A strong bonding paste can help prolong the life of a blade, and ultimately enable the manufacturing of even longer blades through more sag-resistant composites.

Cabot claims CAB-O-SIL ULTRABOND 4740 fumed silica delivers 25-30% higher sag resistance (initial and aged), compared to current products. It also reduces the fumed silica content in the bonding paste formulation by 10-15%, providing important benefits of lower viscosity and easier applications over the blades. The product also reduces fumed silica processing time by up to 50% during the manufacturing stage, compared to competitive products in the market. This substantially reduces the total cycle time.

CAB-O-SIL ULTRABOND 4740 fumed silica is available globally in 10 kg and 150 kg bags.  

Cannon Group Booth H70 Website:

Cannon will present its latest developments in composites, polyurethane and thermoforming technologies. These include the ESTRIM (Epoxy Structural Reaction Injection Moulding) technology, designed to replace the conventional, slow RTM process with fast-demoulding high pressure injection of epoxy resin formulations, and the E-System, a three-component high pressure dosing unit for epoxies which has been upgraded since its launch last year.

Cannon will also show:

  • automatic preformers for the preparation of carbon and glass fibre preforms for use in resin impregnation and injection processes;
  • co-injection and reinforced spray technologies for polyurethanes, for an increasingly wider number of industrial applications;
  • automated assembling technologies for the production of large composites parts for the aircraft and wind energy markets;
  • a number of products for the wind energy industry, including Epoxy DX dosing machines for epoxy resin infusion of large turbine blades, dosing machines for polyurethane inserts to replace the use of balsa wood, and dosing machines and presses for DCPD (DiCycloPentaDiene) resins to produce large, thin, high-modulus structural parts without glass reinforcement;
  • compression moulding presses up to 3500 ton for SMC, GMT, and reinforced thermoplastics; and
  • the latest industrial thermoformers from Cannon Forma, equipped with halogen heating lamps, computerised zone-control of heating, and adjustable plate systems for minimum set up time and elimination of reduction plates.

CDI Stand V43 Website:

CDI (Century Design Inc), a supplier of prepreg machines and specialist composite processing equipment, will reveal significant growth plans for 2012, launch a new addition to its large range of prepreg machines, and announce the expansion of TIP™, the CDI Total Integration Program for Prepreg technologies.

Developed with ease of use and cost effectiveness in mind, the prepreg machine is targeted at small to medium-size composite parts producers who want to better control their materials and processes and reduce their material costs. It has a small footprint and enhanced set up and operation features to facilitate both small and large run production and prototyping.

Other features include:

  • intuitive, fully automated controls that incorporate processing ‘recipes’ to make machine easy to operate while maintaining strict process control;
  • plug and play design requiring no facility changes to install or operate;
  • precision design allowing for the production of a full range of materials to be produced from sporting goods to aerospace;
  • optional ‘ply consolidator’ enabling the production of prepreg widths up to 1000 mm; and
  • ability to improve schedule, inventory control, customise resin systems, reduce operating and facility costs and reduce material costs up to 40%.

TIP (Total Integration Program) is a fully comprehensive program delivering the design, technology, processes and implementation for advanced composite material manufacturing facilities. Primarily focused around prepreg manufacturing operations and related downstream activities, TIP ensures that users of CDI prepreg technologies are fully capable and self-sufficient in the implementation of new machinery.

Following its launch last year, CDI is now focused on the expansion of the TIP™ system to cover material certification for all materials and major markets. This new module is designed to provide additional support to customers seeking to enter the composite materials market by providing them a program to insure that they enter the market quickly with the highest quality products.

Chem-Trend  Booth P83 Website:

Chem-Trend will present its portfolio of Chemlease® branded release agents for the processing of composite materials. The focus will be on the recently introduced Chemlease One FS EZ branded semi permanent release agents, which provide the same performance as the well-proven One FS, but with many new improvements. In addition, the product is free of hazardous air pollutants.

The main advantage of the Chemlease EZ series is its user-friendliness and efficiency. The new products have been developed to deliver improved mould surface wetting properties, making them easier to apply. Minimal additional mould surface preparation is required in order to deliver a streak-free or smear-free finished surface, resulting in less time spent in mould preparation while producing a high quality product devoid of imperfections. Once applied, operators merely allow the coating to dry and cure before beginning production. As with the current standard Chemlease products, the EZ products deliver excellent multiple release and low build-up.

Chemlease EZ products are ideally suited for applications where high gloss finishes are required, such as marine, automotive, tub and shower, artificial marble, or general fibreglass applications.

CHOMARAT Booth Q25 Website:

Technical textiles specialist CHOMARAT will exhibit its C-PLY™ Bi-Angle carbon non-crimp fabric (NCF) that enables manufacturers to design lighter, stronger composite laminates.

C-PLY Bi-Angle offers constructions not possible with laminates from fixed angles of 0, ±45° and 90° unidirectional layers, and laminates can be made lighter and thinner than conventional laminates. Several processes have already been tested successfully, including prepreg, infusion, pultrusion, and RTM.

C-Ply™ Bi-Angle has been developed in collaboration with Professor Stephen W. Tsai of Stanford University and a team of experts.

Componeering Inc Stand W82 Website:

Componeering provides the ESAComp software for composites analysis and design. At JEC the company will demonstrate an advanced design optimisation solution for stiffened composite panels and cylindrical structures, for instance, for the aerospace and marine industry applications. The solution is based on the built-in simulation capabilities of ESAComp and an efficient formulation for laminate lay-up optimisation. A multi-objective design optimisation software package, modeFRONTIER, is used for controlling the process, for performing the optimisation, and for displaying results. The newly implemented non-linear buckling simulation of ESAComp may be incorporated for accurate results. For handling more complex structural geometries, general finite element software, such as ANSYS, can be included in the design loop.

Delcam Booth Website:

Delcam will demonstrate the latest developments in its PowerSHAPE design software and PowerMILL machining system. Both programs are already used in the marine, aerospace, rail and wind energy sectors of the composites industry for the design and manufacture of models, patterns, moulds and fixtures for component manufacture, and for the finish machining of parts.

The major change to the 2012 release of PowerSHAPE is a range of direct modelling options. Unlike other programs that have incorporated direct modelling as part of a product design system, the PowerSHAPE options are focussed on design for manufacture, in particular on preparing product designs for the development of moulds and other types of tooling. This new functionality will enable tooling designers to tackle the common problems that they find in product designs, such as insufficient draft or inappropriate fillet sizes. Direct modelling is faster to use than surface modelling and so can shorten the overall time needed to produce tooling designs.

The 2012 version of PowerMILL includes a number of new strategies, together with more general enhancements to make programming faster and machining more efficient with the best-possible surface finish. The most important new option is flowline machining, where the toolpath is divided between a pair of drive curves in a constant number of passes, rather than having a varying number of passes with a constant stepover. The toolpath will have its start and end passes on the drive curves, with the intermediate passes blending between them. This approach gives smoother results, produces a better surface finish on the part and minimises wear on the cutter and the machine tool.

DIAB  Booth K26 Website:

DIAB will be introducing new additions to its wide range of core materials and sandwich composite solutions.

Matrix 10-8 is the latest addition to the Divinycell Matrix range. This grade has a compression and shear strength of 1.0 and 0.84 MPa respectively at a nominal density of only 60 kg/m3. This excellent strength to weight ratio will be very valuable in wind energy, marine, transportation and industry applications.

DIAB is also introducing the One Directional Cut (ODC) finishing option, which is available in most grades and densities and can be combined with several other finishes, and the new Grid Score option, a 0.9 mm wide grid score finish available in many grades and thicknesses. DIAB says the new GS 0.9 cut will reduce the amount of resin in the grid scores up to 30% when used in the correct way. 

Dieffenbacher Booth P32 Website:

Dieffenbacher will present equipment for the production for carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) automotive components.

The company will showcase its PreformCenter for the fully-automated production of 3D carbon fibre performs in short cycle times. From feeding the textile prepreg made from carbon fibre over the precise cut and binder application, to the provision of the dry, dimensionally stable 3D preform, the complete process is fully automated. As part of a complete production line for the high pressure RTM (HP-RTM) process, the PreformCenter is configurable for use in both large and small batch production.

Besides preform production, Dieffenbacher’s turnkey HP-RTM line also includes the compression process as well as the related finishing steps for the components.

The company will also present its direct SMC (D-SMC) line. This process enables the less expensive production of the semi-finished thermoset product.

FORMAX Booth N52 Website:

Following growth of 30% in 2011, FORMAX, a manufacturer of carbon fibre and speciality reinforcements, is announcing a programme of expansion during 2012. This will include investment in new machinery, an increased commitment to glass production, and the development of two unique materials.

In a bid to extend its commitment to glass, FORMAX will commission a new Karl Mayer 100” Glass Malitronic™ machine. This will increase the company’s glass capacity by 25% and support the continued growth of FORMAX’s business in the wind energy and marine markets. The machine will begin production in March 2012.

FORMAX will also launch two new materials at the show:

  • +/-45 pitch fibre biaxials. FORMAX has developed a range of high modulus +/-45 biaxials based on Mitsubishi’s Dialead® pitch-based carbon fibre. A notoriously difficult material to work with, FORMAX has succeeded in converting the high performance pitch fibre into +/-45 biaxials that offer up to four to five times the stiffness of traditional PAN-based carbon fibre biaxials. In addition, pitch fibres offer very low levels of thermal expansion. FORMAX’s pitch fibre biaxials are suitable for any application demanding ultra high modulus, or high levels of thermal stability.
  • +/-30 lightweight carbon multiaxials. This new fabric has been developed using the Karl Mayer Carbon Malitronic™ machine that the company installed last year. Available in a range of weights from 75 g/m2 per ply, the new +/-30 fabric is unique to FORMAX and works at a shallower angle enabling greater longitudinal stiffness. This fabric is suited to long, thin structures such as skis, snowboards, surfboards and wings.

Gerber Technology Booth M46 Website:

Gerber Technology will be highlighting its new GERBERcutter® Z1 computer-controlled, automated cutting system for single- and low-ply cutting of challenging composite materials.

The company will also present:

  • the Virtek LaserEdge® two- and three-dimensional laser templating and positioning system, which eliminates the need for physical templates and reduces costly rejects and set-up time;
  • the ComposiNest™ software, which uses industry-standard CAD data (DXF, NC, IGES, etc.) and automatically nests composite parts to achieve the greatest material yields; and
  • Virtek LaserKit™, a patented laser-guided kitting tool which helps workers assemble accurate kits by indicating the correct sequence of plies to be picked from the cutting table. Tests show that LaserKit reduces composite kitting times by as much as 40%.

Gurit Booth K44 Website:

Gurit, a global supplier of composite materials, engineering and technical solutions to the wind energy, transportation, tooling, marine and engineered structures markets, will be showcasing its latest product innovations.

The company will be launching Velinox™, a prepreg for the wind energy market with fast cure characteristics and which can be stored at temperatures in excess of +35°C, plus updates to the RENUVO™ product range. Gurit will also be showcasing its extended structural core product range for the wind energy and marine market, which now includes PET, PVC, balsa and SAN core types, all with a distinct range of properties and attributes, and all available in sheet form or as tailored pieces in kit format. Alongside this, SP-High Modulus, the marine business of Gurit, will be promoting the B3 SmartPac solution, its range of prepreg materials, including SE 84 Nano, and the RINA-approved high-performance marine adhesive Spabond 540.

Members of the Gurit Engineered Structures business unit will be available at the show to discuss how the company’s engineering, materials and processing expertise can be applied to solve engineering challenges in all markets.

Henkel Booth R45 Website:

Adhesives specialist Henkel will present its products for the composites industry.

These include a new matrix resin based on polyurethane for the RTM process. Compared to standard epoxy resins, Loctite MAX2 cures significantly faster and its lower viscosity enables more efficient impregnation of the fibres during injection.

Henkel will also showcase products for the aerospace industry, including Hysol EA 9845 SF.020 PSF, an epoxy-based composite surfacing film, which contains a nonwoven fabric, designed to improve the surface quality of honeycomb stiffened composite parts. This is said to reduce surface imperfections, provide a 30% weight savings compared to current surfacing films, and minimise pre-paint preparation. Hysol EA 9658, a nacelle film adhesive, features approximately three times the toughness of industry standard high temperature film adhesives and is suitable for metal, composite and honeycomb bonding where continuous exposure to temperatures up to 177°C is important.

Henkel will showcase its polyurethane adhesive Macroplast UK 1340 For manufacture of wind turbine blades, and its new Loctite Frekote CS-122 mould sealer which can be applied at room temperature (13- 40°C), making the energy consuming heating of the mould unnecessary.

Huntsman Advanced Materials Booth G65 Website:

Huntsman Advanced Materials will focus on the growing importance of high performance chemistries as enablers for new, cost-competitive manufacturing techniques and the further penetration of composites across a number of industry sectors. To meeting growing demands for fast processing and shorter production cycles, Huntsman will highlight resin systems particularly suitable for out-of-autoclave processes such as high pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) or compression moulding in the automotive industry, and infusion resin systems for wind turbine blades and other large composite structures.

Johns Manville Booth G46 Website:

Johns Manville will present its engineered products in glass fibres and nonwoven glass and synthetic mats. Products, such as MultiStar® 574 roving used in polyurethane long fibre injection (LFI) processes, will be demonstrated with real-life examples of end-use applications. Emerging technologies in thermoplastic composites will be highlighted, including innovations in in-mould caprolactam polymerization using StarRov® rovings. Innovative technologies will be displayed through woven fabric constructions for use in continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites.

Johns Manville will also showcase applications in SMC and engineered thermoplastics processes, both reinforced with JM MultiStar roving for SMC and ThermoFlow® 672 for polyamide (PA) 6 and PA 66.

Langzauner Booth U76 Website:

Langzauner has developed a flexible laboratory press which can be programmed to realise different pressure, displacement and temperature curves, making it suitable for all kinds of moulding. The machine has a pressure accuracy of 1% and it can press to size with a tolerance of ±0.01 mm.

Composite battery back module

An all-composite Battery Pack Module (BPM) carrier for an electric vehicle has been developed by LG Hausys, Hyundai Motor Company and Shinhan Mold in Korea, has won a 2012 JEC Europe Innovation Award in the Special Prize category. Hyundai designed the vehicle and conducted performance tests. LG Hausys carried out the engineering design, mechanical analysis, material compounding and part manufacturing. Shinhan Mold designed and created a large-size tool for compression moulding with an anti-wear and high flowing mould surface.

The composite BPM carrier (without steel reinforcement) showed 28% of weight reduction compared to an equivalent steel version. Also, the number of sub-parts for BPM carrier was greatly reduced from 35 (steel) to 3 (composite), which reduces the overall processing cost. LFT-D (long fibre thermoplastics – direct compounding) was adopted for cost-effective manufacturing of the part. The material consisted of carbon fibre (from Toray Industries) and PA 6 compound (from Kolon Plastics).

X-ray inspection of the part by KATECH of Korea showed no considerable voids or defects. Belgian road simulating vibration tests and impact simulating sled tests were carried out by Hyundai for durability and crashworthiness, respectively, resulting in no damage or cracks in the composite part.

The heart of the unit is a special hydraulic unit, which is not only highly efficient, but also extremely quiet. Only standard valves and oils are used so that the maintenance interval is long and low cost. The thermo oil heating and cooling device is completely integrated. Via the flexible press ram and tilting table, directly and indirectly heated moulds can be used, and panels can also be pressed to size.

To increase flexibility, a standard interface for injection devices is part of the machine. The user optimised operation system is realised by a 15 inch touch panel and process data recording with an interface for Excel helps to visualise the process data.

Lantor Booth T45 Website:

Lantor is offering an expanded range of flexible core material products.

For automotive applications (carbon/epoxy systems) Lantor offers SORIC© T, a good choice as a thin core and surface finish enhancer. The product is now also available in black. Lantor says its products are not only being used by European automotive OEMs, but are also successful in the US and Chinese automotive markets.

In the wind energy market Coremat© and Soric are used in nacelle production, and the new Soric XXF is starting to be used in blade production because of its excellent flow and inter-laminar properties. Lantor reports there is also a lot of interest in Soric EMS, a new material with extra high conductivity for EMC and EMS use in the wind energy and other markets.

Lantor’s presence in the marine market is being further strengthened by the increasing use of Soric in decks and hulls. Soric XF is an ideal thin core and flow medium, while Soric TF is a print blocker/surface quality enhancer. In combination with Finishmat© D7760 optimum (hull) cosmetics are achieved.

NetComposites Booth C19 Website:

NetComposites will be hosting presentations outlining its latest innovations and commercialisations in naturally derived resins and fibres, nano-additives for composites, self-reinforced plastics, and recycled carbon fibre composites. NetComposites, and its sister company Composites Evolution, will host two 10-15 minute presentations each day of the exhibition at 11 am and 3 pm on stand C19. The programme is as follows:

  • Biotex High Performance Flax Reinforcements and Biocomposite Intermediates, Dr. Brendon Weager, Managing Director, Composites Evolution, Tuesday 27 March, 11 am;
  • Fire-Resistant Nano-Filled Polyester Resins: Processing and Up-Scaling, Dr. Joe Carruthers, Operations Director, NetComposites, Tuesday 27 March, 3 pm;
  • Manufacturing Natural Fibre Reinforced Composites: Process Control and Properties, Dr. Anthony Stevenson, Project Manager, NetComposites, Wednesday 28 March, 11 am;
  • Development of Aligned Reinforcements from Recovered Carbon Fibre Waste, Dr. Brendon Weager, Managing Director, Composites Evolution, Wednesday 28th March, 3 pm;
  • Biocomposites for Architectural Applications, Edwin Stokes, Project Manager, NetComposites, Thursday 29 March, 11 am;
  • Thermoplastic Composites – New Alternatives, Dr. Clara Frias, Development Engineer, NetComposites, Thursday 29 March, 3 pm.

Oxeon Booth P25 Website:

Oxeon’s TeXtreme® spread tow reinforcements offer possibilities for weight savings, improved mechanical performance and superior surface smoothness compared to conventional reinforcements. TeXtreme carbon reinforcements are available as spread tow fabrics both 0/90 and +a/-b orientations (initially +45/-45) and spread tow UD tapes.

TeXtreme is widely used by premium brands in the sporting goods sector and have been successfully implemented in the leading Formula 1 teams for many years. Other projects involve the aerospace, industrial, marine and automotive sectors.

Oxeon, headquarted in Sweden, will move to new larger tailored facilities in the spring to enable continued growth. The company will also implement new machinery for increased production capacity.

Parabeam Booth G29 Website:

Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics are being used to reduce vehicle weight and achieve fuel savings. They have been chosen for the production of defence vehicles. For example, the US Army uses them for the MATV vehicles which are designed for moving around in the rugged terrains of Afghanistan. Using Parabeam reinforcement, designers have achieved a significant weight reduction of 75% in critical, exposed parts of the MATV.

The characteristics of Parabeam glass fibre core material contribute to building lighter vehicles, thus reducing fuel consumption. Parabeam’s engineered fabrics are specifically tailored to the required application. Their drapeability also significantly enhances design freedom, which makes the creation of complex shapes easy.  

Quantum Composites Booth R39 Website:

Quantum Composites Inc (QCI), a developer of thermoset materials and parts solutions, will display several applications that use its Engineered Structural Composite (ESC™) materials technology. The display will include carbon fibre reinforced Advanced Molding Compounds (AMC®) used in Callaway Golf and in Lamborghini Forged Composite applications.

Quantum’s carbon fibre materials are engineered into Callaway’s RAZR Hawk™, the Diablo Octane™, and its new RAZR Fit driver released in January 2012. Lamborghini is using Quantum Composites’ AMC material technology in its Sesto Elemento platform for release in 2013. The production of technology demonstrators using AMC materials is based upon Lamborghini’s success in its monocoque/tub and suspension arms for the original Sesto Elemento concept car introduced at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.

The Callaway and Lamborghini partnership continues to develop Forged Composite applications for new automotive and sporting goods products. Quantum Composites continues to refine and improve its AMC materials technology to support these developments.

Quantum Composites Lytex® epoxy carbon fibre and glass fibre reinforced materials are used in compression moulded parts in various aircraft applications. Additional Quantum products include glass fibre and carbon fibre reinforced phenolic, BMI, polyimide, and vinyl ester ESC materials.

Rhodia Booth B66 Website:

Rhodia Engineering Plastics, a member of the Solvay group, will exhibit alongside Solvay Specialty Polymers.

Rhodia will highlight Evolite™ by Technyl®, an extension to its Technyl series of polyamide (PA)-based continuous fibre reinforced materials available in recyclable matrix, pre-impregnated fabrics and consolidated plates. Typical markets for Evolite include automotive and transportation, construction, sports and leisure, where the balance between lightweight, strength and impact resistance is essential. As a metal substitute, Evolite offers cost efficiency, shorter cycle times and greater recycling and environmental advantages.

Solvay Specialty Polymers will showcase its range of high-performance thermoplastic resins, films and foams. Virantage® PESU and reactive PESU tougheners are said to deliver excellent hot-wet performance, superior damage tolerance, enhanced solubility and processability, while Ajedium™ Films made using engineering and high-performance polymers are available up to 1.5 m (60 inches) wide in various thicknesses. Solvay's new super-tough thermoplastic foams are suited to replace honeycomb technology in structural and interior applications, offering very low moisture and resin absorption.

SCIGRIP Booth D43 Website:

SCIGRIP, the result of a merger of adhesive brands IPS Weld-On in the US and Holdtite in the UK, will be demonstrating the latest advances in bonding systems and adhesive chemistries.

Following the expansion of its European production facilities, SCIGRIP is now positioned to serve the marine, transportation, building construction and product assembly markets. This advance into the European composites market continues with the UK production of a new 10:1 methacrylate range that until now has only been produced in the US. These adhesives offer sophisticated curing speeds that can be micro adjusted by ratio change, facilitating optimal productivity levels without affecting final adhesive properties through all seasons.

Products being showcased at JEC 2012 include:

  • SG230HV, an established adhesive in the US marine sector, is a high build and low exotherm product suitable for marine, bus, truck, rail, wind and other renewable energy applications;
  • SG300, a reliable product for bonding metals and metals to plastic, replaces or reduces the need for metal fasteners; and
  • PPX5, a plastic bonder that features low energy thermoplastic substrates such as PP and PE.

Swancor Booth R19 Website:

Speciality chemicals manufacturer Swancor’s products are widely used in many industries, including petrochemical, power generation, electronics, marine, and pulp and paper. Its resin products provide corrosion resistance and enhanced mechanical properties. In recent years, Swancor has broadened its product lines to provide materials for wind turbine blades and LED encapsulation applications.

At JEC, Swancor will introduce its new prepreg system and epoxy resin infusion system with carbon fibre.

Syrgis Performance Initiators Booth J26 Website:

Syrgis Performance Initiators (SPI), a manufacturer of organic peroxides for the thermoset industry, is working to provide enhanced value to FRP converters. The company recently opened a new laboratory and development reactor facility, strengthened its global technical and sales support teams and have implemented the Syrgis Gate process for accelerating innovation.

Syrgis has also introduced the Syrging Ahead Award, which will recognise customers that are capitalising on chemistry and the company’s offerings to make significant strides in the areas of safety, environmental, quality, process advancement or novel applications. Several companies have already received Syrging Ahead awards, for process improvements (i.e. increasing line speed by more than 100% or reducing cycle times by 40%), new product capabilities (commercializing an 8.5 m diameter pipe, with improved quality and safety), and for quality improvements (reducing rework by 75%).

Teijin Aramid Booth H63 Website:

Teijin Aramid will be exhibiting its recently developed Twaron Black, the first high-modulus black para-aramid yarn available on the market. With Twaran Black it is possible to make all-black hybrid fabrics that combine technical performance and aesthetics. Teijin Aramid also offers Technora Black para-aramid and now supports a broad range of applications for black aramid, including sails and sporting goods.

Para-aramid fibres are used for reinforcing composites where weight reduction and excellent damage tolerance are required. Teijin Aramid’s products are used in composite applications in the marine, aerospace, civil engineering, ground transportation, engineering plastics and sporting goods markets.

TFP (Technical Fibre Products) Booth K52 Website:

TFP, a developer of nonwoven veils and mats, will launch its new branding and showcase its range of products manufactured from a diverse array of raw materials.

Drawing upon its knowledge of working with a wide range of polymers, particulates and speciality fibres, such as carbon, aramid, glass and polyester, coupled with its in-house metal-coated fibres production capability, TFP continues to offer a customisable range of advanced nonwoven materials. Suitable for use with all major composite fabrication techniques, TFP veils can deliver a superior quality surface finish, while providing functionality across areas spanning EMI/RFI shielding, electrical conductivity, static dissipation and enhanced corrosion and abrasion resistance. TFP’s track record of innovation and knowledge expertise also enables it to develop tailor-made solutions to suit customer requirements.

Umeco  Booth T50 Website:

Umeco businesses Advanced Composites Group, GRPMS, JD Lincoln and Richmond Aerovac are being rebranded under one name, Umeco.

Umeco is focused on delivering a range of services, from structural and process materials, to tooling and distribution solutions. It will be exhibiting a number of key projects at the show, including:

  • Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team’s 2011 (VJM04) race car, illustrating the application of Umeco’s prepregs for structural and bodywork applications in this sector;
  • a staggered sandwich panel demonstrating how Umeco’s products work in the production of large out-of-autoclave structures;
  • a Surrey Satellite Technology ltd (SSTL) modular, small scale satellite structure demonstrator manufactured from Umeco’s MTM®44-1 unidirectional and woven prepregs;
  • a prototype of the ‘TEMA’ staircase, manufactured by LoSon Srl, depicting the application of Umeco’s LTM®12 tooling prepregs, MTM®57 out of autoclave structural prepregs and vacuum bagging materials to manufacture a bespoke, 5 m high staircase for an Italian aerospace company.

Victrex Booth J16 Website:

Victrex Polymer Solutions, a manufacturer of high performance polyaryletherketones (PEEK) and a supplier of thermoplastics to the composites industry, will showcase its latest products. Victrex PEEK™ polymers, available in a variety of formats, are lightweight, durable, exceptionally strong, chemically resistant and inherently flame retardant. They can be used in aerospace, automotive and other demanding industries to successfully replace metals, resulting in enhanced application performance and lower costs.

New, durable, thin walled VICTREX Pipes™ offer a broad range of properties including chemical, corrosion, abrasion and permeation resistance at high temperatures, in a flexible format. For the aerospace industry, they offer weight savings of up to 68% compared to stainless steel. They are inherently halogen-free, with low levels of smoke and toxic gas emissions.

PEEK polymer APTIV® films reduce weight and improve performance in numerous applications. These lightweight versatile films, available in a range of thicknesses and widths, provide very good permeation barrier properties with low moisture absorption as well as excellent flame, smoke and toxicity (FST) performance. APTIV film laminates meet FAA requirements for radiant panel testing and specialised burn-through barrier systems.

VICTREX PEEK polymer's mechanical properties and processability make it an excellent solution for a range of thermoplastic composites in aerospace, oil and gas, medical and industrial applications. In the form of granules, powders, film and filaments they provide optimum impregnation and performance at the fibre-matrix interface. Examples include multiaxial fabric laminates, and unidirectional (UD) tapes and sheets. Their advantages include reduced manufacturing and maintenance costs, longer service life, good recyclability, processability and performance when compared to metals, thermosets and most other thermoplastic materials.

Web Industries Booth L55 Website:

Web Industries provides commercial-scale development, converting and contract manufacturing services to composites developers, fibre placement machine companies and end-product manufacturers. The company offers precision slitting, spooling and winding for prepreg carbon fibre, thermoset, thermoplastic, and non-carbon prepreg fibre materials. Its custom-designed spool packages are built to ISO 14001 and AS9100C standards. Web Industries reports that it is a qualified slit tape partner on nearly all major automated fibre placement (AFP) lines.

Web Industries’ Composites Automation Development Center is a one-of-a-kind facility dedicated to working with its partners to develop, test and analyse new and emerging prepreg carbon fibre composites for qualification and use on AFP lines. The environmentally controlled centre is equipped to provide complete materials traceability, aerospace-grade freezer storage and processing rooms, class 100k clean rooms, electronic documentation, and process controls.

Zyvax Stand M43 Website:

Zyvax Inc will be prepared to discuss your mould release requirements and help design a solution to reduce costs, improve production rates and support the environment.

The company will be showcasing its StayZ Spray Interface tackifier line, now available with a new delivery system which permits two types of easy application for use with lay-up and prepregs. This epoxy based formula is said to provides improved structural properties over conventional tackifiers.

EnviroShield, Sealer GP, Departure, Fresh Start, MultiShield, PreFlight,Nano Release, Sealer SF, Flex-Z, WaterShield, WaterClean, and StayZ Spray Interface will all be a part of the exhibit. ♦