Show preview: JEC Europe 2014 (Part 1 - Updated 7 March 2014)

Beta LM105-3 from Airtech is a benzoxazine infusion resin.
Beta LM105-3 from Airtech is a benzoxazine infusion resin.
ESAComp by Componeering works together with ComposicaD for filament winding  simulation.
ESAComp by Componeering works together with ComposicaD for filament winding simulation.
Delcam will demonstrate its PowerMILL robot programming software.
Delcam will demonstrate its PowerMILL robot programming software.
FORMAX is opening an automotive production facility.
FORMAX is opening an automotive production facility.
Huntsman is introducing Araldite FST 40002/40003, a high-performance RTM and infusion processing solution for interior aerostructures.
Huntsman is introducing Araldite FST 40002/40003, a high-performance RTM and infusion processing solution for interior aerostructures.
Johns Manville is tackling applications in the automotive and transportation segment.
Johns Manville is tackling applications in the automotive and transportation segment.

3A Composites Stand number: 7.3/M32

3A Composites has developed a new technology platform for PET foam core materials called AIREX® GEN2.

GEN2 PET foam features a very homogenous cell structure and yet further enhanced mechanical properties compared to AIREX® T92. While it remains a recycled and recyclable material, its formability and processing have also been improved. Thanks to a lean and highly automated production process, GEN2 will offer a considerable total cost saving in the end application.

3A Composites says that GEN2 marks an important milestone in the further industrialisation of structural foam core materials and will leverage the use of PET foam cores in yet more applications. 

3B Stand number: 7.2/F34

A new composite system has been introduced by DSM and 3B, with support from DTU Wind Energy. The system uses 3B’s SE3030 glass roving which the company says offers enhanced fibre/resin adhesion through optimised sizing, resulting in improved composite properties that ensure long-lasting blade operations.

The new composite system provides many benefits, including:

  • reliable wind turbine operations due to improved strength and fatigue resistance;
  • increased production output;
  • reduced manufacturing costs.

At JEC, 3B will also highlight its commitment to the automotive sector with large CNG tanks displayed on its booth.

In addition, 3B will introduce two new grades of chopped strands which are food-contact compliant (FDA, EC 10/2011, BfR) and hydrolysis resistant:

  • DS 1135-10N - for the polyamide family (PA6, PA66, PA610, PA6/66 copolymers and semi-aromatic PA); and
  • DS 8800-11P - for high temperature resins (PES, PSU, PPSU, PPS, PEI, PEEK…).

AFPT - Advanced Fibre Placement Technology Stand number: 7.2/S26

AFPT is exhibiting developments in tape placement-technology. The company will also present new applications produced with the technology, such as  tubes, pressure vessels and reinforced structures.

Autonational Composites BV Stand number: 7.3/N71

Autonational Composites BV is showing its new winding solutions. One of these innovations is a high end five-axis winder for creating complete tanks. These tanks can vary from natural gas tanks up to huge silos of 12 metres long. The company’s machines are customised and designed with dedicated 3D-software, which assists in predicting the behaviour of the machine in real time.

Anaglyph Stand number: 7.3/S48

Anaglyph is exhibiting its composites design and analysis software tools: LAP, CoDA and Laminate Tools, as well as its PlyMatch technology for ply placement.

Laminate Tools addresses the entire Geometry (CAD surface import), Design (draping simulation), FEA (pre- and post-processing) and Manufacture (ply-book preparation) sequence of design work. It interfaces with most industry standards, both CAD and FEA.

LAP (Laminate Analysis Program) analyses any type of composite laminate subjected to in-plane loads and moments. Typically, the software is used in preliminary design for tailoring a stacking sequence and optimising the design by inspecting the laminate behaviour layer by layer.

Finally, CoDA (Component Design Analysis) deals with preliminary analysis of sub-components with Plate, Beam, Joint, Flange or Laminate geometries.

Anaglyph has also developed PlyMatch™, a visual technology for hand lay-up composites manufacturing and repair. Easy to use, compact and mobile, the company claims that PlyMatch is an alternative, or a complement, to existing ply-placement methods. It is ideal for complex, highly curved parts, or those including cavities. The upgraded PlyMatch 2014 offers improved accuracy, deviation measurement features and even better ease of use for the operator.

Airtech Advanced Materials Group Stand number: 7.3/K61

Airtech is highlighting Wrightlease 2R, which is an extruded fluoropolymer film coated with rubber-based pressure sensitive adhesive. The light green colour is visible on most substrates in addition to offering high elongation and tensile strength. Benefits include:

  • providing good release from all common resin systems for multiple releases;
  • good adhesion to metal, composite, tooling block and rubber tooling;
  • high elongation allowing for easier covering of complex contour surfaces; and
  • non-silicone adhesive for sensitive applications. 

Toolwright 3 is an extruded fluoropolymer film coated with silicone pressure sensitive adhesive. Toolwright 3 has a thinner film than the Toolwright 5 version and can be more easily applied over complex contour surfaces. Toolwright 3 has high elongation, good tear strength, high temperature resistance and excellent clean up after removal. The benefits claimed include:

  • extending the life of worn tools avoiding cost of new tools;
  • tougher film that is more tear resistant, easier and faster to apply; and
  • improved part surface quality.

Airtech is also presenting Airseal 2, which has a new and improved reformulation. Airseal 2 is reformulated to provide good tack, firm feel, good clean-up and long shelf life. Airseal 2 is a sealant tape for room and medium temperature applications, but can also be used for higher temperature envelope bag applications. Airseal 2 Tacky is a softer version with better tack in colder environments.

New Beta LM105-3 from Airtech is a benzoxazine infusion resin. Its benefits include:

  • no autoclave;
  • minimal shipping costs and freezer space;
  • easy layup fabrication with traditional bagging process; and
  • good surface toughness and ease of machining.

Airpad HTX is a non-silicone rubber that can be made into caul sheets and flexible mandrels. Airpad HTX has been formulated to provide enhanced performance in comparison to other rubber caul sheet materials. Benefits include:

  • low shrinkage, providing dimensional accuracy for better part quality;
  • better bonding to reinforcing layers and surfacing release films, resulting in a longer life tools;
  • bonds to itself aggressively, making it easier to repair;
  • heat aging studies show longer life in high temperature applications;
  • higher Shore hardness for better pressure intensification;
  • better resistance to solvents, so tools are more durable;
  • will work with standard release agents, allowing for more complex shape caul sheets and intensifiers.

Airtech recommends testing of Airpad HTX in any particular application prior to use.

Airtech is also highlighting Airflex, which is an uncured silicone rubber which has been specially formulated for use as a pressure intensifier on complex shapes parts during vacuum bagging. It can also be used to provide vacuum bag protection from puncture due to bolt heads. Benefits include:

  • improved part quality and reduced rework;
  • elimination of bridging and reduced scrap;
  • protects bags from puncture avoiding scrap parts;
  • makes vacuum bagging complex parts easier; and
  • cures out quickly for fast pre-moulding or can be used uncured on top of prepregs and will cure out before prepregs then apply even pressure.

Arkema Stand number: 7.2/D42

Arkema is launching its first range of liquid thermoplastic resins under the brand Elium®, which is transformed using the same processes as composite thermosets. The material is lightweight, cost-effective and recyclable. Arkema says that Elium® resins polymerise quickly and can be used to design structural parts as well as aesthetic elements in a number of applications anywhere from the automotive and transportation industries to wind power, athletic equipment and the building sector.

Elium® is an easy resin to use for lightweight and resilient composite parts. Composite parts made from Elium® are 30-50% lighter than the same parts made from steel, but offer the same resistance. When combined with Arkema Luperox® peroxide initiators, Elium® can be moulded into complex design forms for composite parts and perfectly blends with glass or carbon fibres. It is also compatible with conventional thermosetting resin transformation technologies (Resin Transfer Moulding, Infusion, Flex-moulding), which cuts down the costs of transformers.

Elium® is designed for high-performance parts that are recyclable and easy to thermoform. Unlike unsaturated polyesters, Elium® resins do not contain styrene. And because of their thermoplastic properties, they can be used to design composite parts that are easily thermoformed and recyclable with comparable mechanical performance to epoxy parts. Parts made from Elium® assemble effortlessly by welding and/or gluing, especially with adhesives from Arkema's subsidiary, AEC Polymers.

Parts made from Elium® cost less to manufacture than other thermoplastic technologies. Arkema adds that Elium® resins are multifunctional, lightweight, easy to use in manufacturing and high-performance. They are based on conventional technologies and processes that processors are already using-added product. Elium® technology reduces the cost of long staple thermoplastic composite parts. Three compelling factors contribute to its cost-effective advantage: the resins are easy to use in conventional thermoset resin processes, it transforms at room temperature and it does not contain any fabricated products like organo-sheets.

In addition to the Elium® range, Arkema is developing a polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) called Kepstan® to replace metal in extreme conditions (offshore, aviation), the Rilsan® range, a high-performance powdered or granulated polyamide that is 100% bio-sourced and makes thermoset composites resistant to abrasion and shock at very high or low temperatures.

Bcomp Ltd. Stand number: 7.2/D82

Swiss company Bcomp is showing its new ampliTex powerRibs, which offer more than 250% flexural stiffness for composite plates produced with the powerRibs. In addition, they can offer more than 250% damping properties, by combining a carbon fibre base with the powerRibs.

Blackman and White Stand number: 7.3/F30

Blackman and White will be showcasing its MasterCut Versa-Tech flatbed. The Versa-Tech is the latest machine in the MasterCut range, developed to handle a wide range of materials from technical textiles and prepreg composites to heavy-duty materials.  Built for high speed precision cutting, the Versa-Tech is available in cutting widths up to 3.2 metres, and can be customised with an integral conveyor bed, making it ideal for high volume production. This versatile machine features a multi-tool head which eliminates the need to change tools during operation. The multi-tool head can carry rotary or fixed blades, markers, or an oscillating blade which leaves a clean and accurate cut even in the toughest prepreg material. The head will also accommodate a router if cutting of cured composites is required, or an ink jet printer tool head can be integrated onto the machine for identification of cut parts, eliminating any need for manual marking.

Blackman and White customises the software to ensure that accurate patterns can be created for almost any type of composite material. The software also converts 3D files to 2D profiles so that templates can be automatically nested which saves time and minimises wastage of expensive prepreg materials. 

The company says that the main advantage of itsr machines is the enhanced production capabilities that they provide, especially when linked to CAD/CAM software. Cutting with an automated machine allows streamlining, which dramatically saves production time, reducing manual costs and maximising profitability. Blackman and White adds that an automated cutter represents a significant investment but customers find the improved efficiency and savings in labour costs mean that the machines pay for themselves within the first year.

Cannon Group Stand number: 7.2/Q54

The Cannon Group is highlighting its recent developments in processing technologies for composites and thermoforming. Cannon says that it can now supply the complete manufacturing line required for the production of a thermosetting or a thermoplastic composite part – from glass- or carbon-preformer to finished part trimming, including chemical dispensing unit and mixing head, moulds, mould carriers, handling and heating systems, trimming and controls.

Among the products on show Cannon is highlighting ESTRIM, a complete moulding solution for an epoxy-based fast RTM process designed for the production of automotive, leisure and sport parts. On top of dedicated preformers, polymerisation clamps and moulds, Cannon offers the E-System, high-pressure metering and mixing equipment that guarantees very fast demoulding times and good distribution of the resin across the entire mould surface. In addition to a standard high-pressure injection system in a closed mould – now available for three different methods of injection – two methods for the distribution in an open mould of the epoxy resin over the carbon fibre inserts have been developed. These are ESTRIM LLD for a liquid laydown and ESTRIM SLD for a spray application, which allow a reduction in the specific pressure of the polymerisation press, thus reducing the investment in clamping equipment.

In addition, Cannon will show the first industrial results of a project named CRESIM (Carbon Recycling by Epoxy Special Impregnation), aimed at the development of processing methods for the manufacture of CFRP parts using recycled carbon fibres. This Life+ EU-sponsored project addresses the waste reuse issue by demonstrating a new innovative manufacturing process which will potentially reuse up to 100% of the carbon fibre waste and scraps from different industrial sectors, transforming a costly environmental problem of today into an opportunity for ‘greening’ the production processes and getting economic benefit for tomorrow.

Chomarat Stand number: 7.3/M29

Chomarat is highlighting ROVICORE™ FR reinforcement for railway applications. ROVICORE™ FR helps to meet requirements for the hazard level (HL) under new European fire classification standards for train materials that will come into effect in 2016. 

ROVICORE™ FR (Fire Resistant) is a glass fibre based reinforcement for sandwich materials that complies with the hazard level (HL) classifications under the EN 45545 standard, the new European benchmark for fire protection on railway vehicles. Chomarat adds that parts made of ROVICORE™ FR successfully passed the FIRST tests (Flame spread, Ignitability, Rate of heat release, Smoke opacity and Toxicity of smoke) and met the most stringent certification requirements for vehicles that travel underground (metro, rapid-transit trains, sleeper trains). 

Chomarat explains that the EN 45545 standard, which was established in Europe in 2013, comes into effect in 2016. The aim of the standard is to minimise the probability of incipient fires and control the spread of any fire to protect travellers and onboard personnel. Because ROVICORE™ FR helps to meet these criteria, parts made using ROVICORE™ FR can be used on all types of railways, including underground, and on all types of train in the design of interior parts such as windows, covers, trap doors, partition panels and walls, for example. Rovicore FR enables the railway market to make progress on fire safety, says Chomarat.

ROVICORE™ FR is also a solution for fire-resistant composite parts manufacturing in construction applications. It is halogen-free to minimise the toxicity of smoke in case of a fire. Like all the other products in the line, ROVICORE™ FR is particularly suited to closed mould processes, including RTM and RTM Light. Its specific core construction makes it especially effective in low-pressure injection processes.

Advantages of ROVICORE™ reinforcements include:

  • good deformability and elongation properties make it suitable for creating complex parts;
  • strength and compressibility of the core material make it adaptable for variable thicknesses in composite parts;
  • a highly permeable core, facilitating rapid resin flow and meaning no ‘filtering’ of fillers; and
  • uniform wet-out throughout the reinforcement. 

Chromaflo Technologies Stand number: 7.3/E8

Chromaflo Technologies will present a number of pigment paste lines and a chemical thickener line. The product lines include specialised pigment pastes for unsaturated polyester (CF line), polyurethane pultrusion (UPL line), other polyurethane processes (DL line), epoxy (EDC-ND line) and plasticiser applications (DH line). Along with these standard product lines, Chromaflo Technologies also provides custom-formulated dispersions, colour matching and toll processing.

The AM line offers a number of chemical thickener dispersions for SMC and BMC applications. AM products are among the most consistently reactive magnesium oxide dispersions available and have been designed to deliver a specific, controlled, thickening response. All products are solvent free and based on REACH compliant raw materials.

Clariant Stand number: 7.3/B25

Clariant is highlighting the major advantages of its non-halongenated, phosphinate-based Exolit® OP range and Exolit AP range of flame retardants for transport and construction applications. Clariant says that through effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and performance, its flame retardants fulfill the key requirements and regulations of these sectors.

Designed initially for the demanding requirements of the electronic and electrical markets, the Exolit OP range offers high thermal stability and good property profiles at a comparably low dosage. It is also well suited for challenging transport applications, such as railway rolling stock and airplanes.

The Exolit AP range is based on ammonium polyphosphate with formulations for various thermoset resins used in fibreglass reinforced composites for construction and transportation. All products are fully compliant with current WEEE and RoHS regulations. The portfolio on-show at JEC Europe includes:

  • Exolit OP 1230 for high performance polyamides (HPPA);
  • Exolit OP 1240 for polyesters (PBT/ PET), thermoplastic elastomers (TPE);
  • Exolit OP 1312 / OP 1314 for polyamides (PA 6, PA 66);
  • Exolit OP 930/OP935 for epoxy based-laminates, adhesives for printed circuit boards and TPE;
  • Exolit AP 422, Clariant’s benchmark quality ammonium polyphosphate; and
  • Exolit AP 740, Exolit AP 742, Exolit AP 766 tailor-made intumescent formulations for thermoset and thermoplastic systems.

COIA GmbH Stand number: 7.3/M31

COIA GmbH specialises in cost-effective and eco-friendly UV-curing technology, processing composite products with high speed UV-pultrusion machinery and UV resins. Key benefits of the COIA UV-system compared to conventional thermal curing are sustainable savings in energy (up to 95%), space (up to 99%), curing time (minutes instead of hours), resin material (no losses during processing and curing, as well as significantly extended shelf-life), mixing devices (no additional components, ie: hardener, is needed), special ventilation (no solvents, therefore no hazardous fumes are produced), cleaning time and material.

As a technology provider and licensor, COIA offers turnkey solutions, set-up and pre-qualification of Type IV LPG composite cylinders, manufacturing plants and testing facilities.

Componeering Inc Stand number: 7.3/N78

Componeering Inc is launching the 4.5 release of its composite design and analysis software ESAComp. One of its major new features is an analysis module for composite pressure vessels. The module utilises input from ComposicaD filament winding process simulation tool by Seifert and Skinner & Associates. ESAComp adds the structural simulation capability in the design process. The combination of ComposicaD and ESAComp provides an efficient and economical way for reliable process and design simulation, design verification and manufacturing.

The ESAComp structural analysis follows the winding simulation performed by ComposicaD. The analysis results, such as layer stresses, stains and failure margins, can be shown as contours over the pressure vessel geometry and further studied as through-the-thickness charts.

Another ESAComp module demonstrated at JEC is a composite post-processing interface for HyperWorks, the FEA simulation suite by Altair Engineering. Developed jointly with Altair, this interface allows smooth transfer of finite element analysis results to ESAComp where advanced composites failure criteria can be applied. Detailed analysis results are further returned to HyperWorks for display with the model geometry. This development has been customer driven to meet the demands of the aerospace industry. 

Compose Stand number: 7.3/R7

Compose will present its new subsidiary, CT1, which is dedicated to composites processing. CT1 has been established in a 600 m2 composite manufacturing facility, which is focused on RTM, hot forming, SMC and compression. Activities include:

  • checking tools/moulds (dimensions, operating criteria);
  • testing tools/moulds in operating conditions (moulding/demoulding of initial parts);
  • approving tools/moulds with customers;
  • moulding initial parts and pre-series;
  • machining composite parts;
  • making CT1 facilities available (confidentiality areas);
  • assisting research projects technically;
  • developing process and transfer technology; and
  • training.

Equipment available to CT1 includes:

  • compression moulding presses (100T, 250T and 300T);
  • heating plates; infrared oven (400°C);
  • oven up to 250°C;
  • temperature controllers (oil/water) from 30-1 20kW;
  • 1K and 2K dispensing equipment;
  • vacuum equipment to control RTM moulds;
  • transfer line;
  • low temperature freezer storage equipment (-18°C);
  • control and recording means;
  • milling and finishing of composite parts;
  • surface plate to control tools/moulds;
  • 3D control; and
  • two technical halls of 160 m2 and 360 m2 equipped with suction piping, a pressurised area and 10T cranes.

CT1 says that it has run series of tests clients in aerospace, automotive and construction (RTM, compression and hot forming).

Cytec Industries Inc. Stand number: 7.3/D17

Cytec Industries Inc. is demonstrating how its prepreg, resin system and adhesive technologies reduce weight and increase performance in extreme demand applications. 

For aerospace applications, Cytec will feature CYCOM® and MTM® out-of-autoclave products and PRISM® resin infusion systems. These products support the industry’s need for increased flexibility in composites part manufacturing. Also featured are the SurfaceMaster® advanced surfacing films and the BR® water-based primers. 

Cytec will also be launching new products and accompanying technologies for the Serial Automotive market. XMTR50, a new, two part component epoxy resin system, was developed specifically for the high rate manufacture of components using a High Pressure Resin Transfer Moulding (HP-RTM) process, which enables the manufacture of components in 3 minutes at 120°C for a 135°C Tg.

MTM® 23, the industry's first application of a volatile-organic compound (VOC)-free thermoset vinyl hybrid resin woven glass reinforced prepreg, enables the manufacture of parts by press moulding in 5 minutes or less. 

Cytec’s automation manufacturing technology developments demonstrate the cost effectiveness of serial automotive manufacturing through a repeatable and robust automation process while using rapid cure materials. 

These new automotive focused products come at a time when Cytec is preparing a multi-million dollar investment to expand its Applications Centre, based in Heanor, UK to support the company’s work in collaborating with the OEMs and their supply chains in the development of novel materials, design and processing technologies.

Finally, Cytec will promote its Process Materials Extra Wide High Temp Nylon Film and co-ex film manufacturing capability, specifically developed to meet the needs of the aerospace and wind energy markets. Indeed this film can run as wide as 4.7m LFT/9.4 m sheets for co-ex film and enables the manufacturing of significantly larger components much more efficiently (labour, time and material costs).

DD-Compound Stand number: 7.3/E41

DD-Compound is highlighting its MTI process (Membrane Tube Infusion) for vacuum infusion. The company says that the most important element for the new process is the MTI hose – an air-permeable and resin-blocking line for the evacuation of air.

Advantages of using the MTI hose for the vacuum infusion process include:

  • a significant increase in process safety;
  • complete impregnation of the fabrics;
  • minimisation of resin consumption;
  • no resin is lost via the suction lines (save costs and an optimum part quality is reached);
  • high fibre volume ratio (>50%);
  • a visible infusion process;
  • reduction of dry spots;
  • parts must not be reworked; and
  • the suction line remains free of resin and in this manner, the vacuum is maintained during the entire period of the infusion process along all points of the suction line.

After the complete impregnation, a closed system is achieved.

Delcam Stand number: 7.2 S67

Delcam will show its PowerMILL Robot CAM system. Robots programmed with PowerMILL Robot are already used extensively in the marine, aerospace, rail and wind energy sectors of the composites industry for the manufacture of models, patterns, moulds and fixtures for component manufacture, and for the finish machining of composite parts. Robots can be extremely cost-effective for the production of larger items of tooling, and for the trimming and drilling of composite panels. The working area can be extended with linear tracks and rotary tables for even greater flexibility over the size and types of parts that can be manufactured.

PowerMILL Robot makes it as easy to program a robot for machining as it is to program a five-axis machine tool. Furthermore, with PowerMILL Robot, users have access to the comprehensive range of multi-axis machining strategies within PowerMILL and can use all the system’s project management options to manage, store and retrieve data quickly and easily. The core functionality of PowerMILL Robot consists of three main steps: programming, simulation (including analysis) and creation of the robot programs.

PowerMILL Robot can be used to simulate the complete machining operation and to control the robot’s movements through different variables, such as axis limits, axis priorities and workplane constraints. Various aspects within the configuration of the robot cell, such as axis limits, tool constraints and home position, can be defined, and the simulation of the robot completed within those constraints.

e-Xstream Engineering Stand number: 7.3/K37

e-Xstream Engineering is introducing Digimat-RP, the new GUI guided workflow tool for coupled analyses in the new release of Digimat 5.0.1. Digimat-RP (Reinforced Plastics) provides engineers with a guided workflow tool that aids in the setup and streamlines the process of accurate analysis of plastic parts in a robust, fast and easy manner. e-Xstream says that it bridges the gap between injection moulding and non-linear FEA of plastic parts.

The new release supports the setup of 3D analyses with Marc, Nastran, Abaqus, Ansys, and LS-Dyna based on Moldflow, Moldex3D, Sigmasoft or Timon 3D processing results. All Digimat solution technologies are supported. Jobs can either be run and monitored on a local computer or packaged for the remote solution on a cluster.

Digimat-RP is an intuitive 3-step process that enables a part engineer (not necessarily a material expert) to do predictive analysis of plastic parts using one single process oriented product (RP) instead of the original four. RP is easy to learn and to use by ‘non-experts’. Experts can continue to use the general-purpose building blocks and prepare the models for easy use in RP.

FORMAX Stand number: 7.3/N63

FORMAX, a manufacturer of carbon fibre and speciality composite reinforcements, will be announcing plans to open an automotive production facility alongside the company’s UK headquarters. The new site will be dedicated to producing specialist carbon multiaxial fabrics designed specifically for meeting the requirements of high volume automotive applications.

This latest investment and subsequent site expansion follows FORMAX’s recent launch of a number of new automotive textiles. These include:

  • aFORM, a specialised +/-45° material ranging in weight from 150-300 g/m2 for Class A surface finishes;
  • reFORM, a recycled materials range produced from carbon wastage; and
  • specialist Drape Simulation software that allows customers to optimise their fabrics performance by identifying creasing and permeability issues.

Fulcrum SP Materials Ltd Stand number: 7.2/Q77

Fulcrum SP Materials will demonstrate its SP1/CNT composite reinforcement technology with carbon nanotubes.

Fulcrum says that it has already made significant advancements in the commercialisation of its protein and carbon nanotube (SP1/CNT) technology. The company will demonstrate its solution as well as detailing the commercial go-to-market strategy for customers in end markets such as aerospace, automotive, marine and smart textiles. Fulcrum adds this enables customers to develop stronger, lighter and more cost effective composite yarns and fabrics.

Future Materials Group Stand number: 7.2/J68

Future Materials Group (FMG), the business consultancy and advisory group specialising in the high value manufacturing and Advanced Materials sectors, will be running one-to-one Think Tank sessions throughout JEC 2014. The sessions will be based around the theme Growth and Return on Capital with FMG providing practical and actionable advise on creating and maintaining value within the advanced composites sector. FMG invites all entrepreneurs, senior management figures, corporate finance, and development personnel, plus regional and business managers, to attend a consultation.

FMG specialises in the following services: Accelerating Growth and creating value, Corporate Strategy, Business Unit Strategy, M&A Transactions, Growth Financing and Exits.

Henkel Stand number: 7.3/F17

Henkel is presenting its portfolio of benzoxazine resins, also marketed under the Loctite brand, for injection processes such as vacuum resin transfer moulding (VARTM). These products can be stored and transported at room temperature, thus significantly reducing energy consumption. They also offer weight savings of up to 30% compared to the conventional metal structures they replace. In production, the lower shrinkage on cure offers further advantages, substantially reducing the stress to which the components are subjected and therefore improving the durability of the finished component.

Also on show will be a number of highly efficient Frekote solutions for complex mould geometries. The use of Frekote CS-125 mould sealer, for example, reduces the cost of mould manufacture. The product is able to seal porosities in foams or other moulding materials, eliminating the need for a mould gel-coat. The product creates an excellent, high-gloss surface in the moulded component beyond the capabilities of competitor products. 

Henkel is also presenting a completely new adhesive technology for the manufacture of wind turbine rotor blades. The polyurethane adhesives, developed by Henkel and marketed under the Loctite brand, have been tested and certified by Germanischer Lloyd and will be of particular interest due to the fact that they substantially reduce manufacturing time.

Hexcel Stand number: 7.3/F30

Hexcel will be promoting innovations developed for aerospace and industrial markets. In addition to launching a new carbon fibre and aerospace prepreg, Hexcel is showcasing some of the latest customer applications. These new products include: 

HexTow® HM63 carbon fibre: Hexcel is adding to its range of IM and AS fibres by launching a new high modulus carbon fibre, called HexTow® HM63. Hexcel says that this new fibre has the highest tensile strength of any HM fibre and provides good translation of fibre properties in a composite, including superior interlaminar shear and compression shear strength. It is therefore ideal for any high stiffness and strength-critical applications including space, satellites, UAV, commercial aerospace and helicopters. It also meets the special requirements for premium sports and recreation applications including F1, marine craft, bikes and fishing rods.

HexPly® M92 prepreg for aerospace structures: Hexcel is launching HexPly® M92, a prepreg that combines all the major benefits achieved individually with other 125°C curing epoxy resins in one new ‘multi-purpose’ system. These benefits include excellent hot wet Tg performance of 115°C, allowing HexPly® M92 to operate at higher service temperatures from a lower cost 125°C cure. The system is self-adhesive to honeycomb, making it suitable for sandwich structures as well as monolithic components. Other benefits include high toughness, fire resistance, low exotherm, a long out/tack life and the ability to cure by vacuum bag. HexPly® M92 is available in a wide range of prepreg forms (woven and UD tape).

HexPly® M77 ‘Snap Cure’ prepreg: To further extend the use of thermoset resins in mass produced composite parts Hexcel has developed HexPly® M77, a rapid curing epoxy prepreg that allows automotive components and sports goods to be press-cured in a 2-minute cycle at 150°C (80 bar pressure). The low tack of HexPly® M77 enables the prepreg to be cut into precise shapes by laser cutter. The individual plies can then be oriented, assembled and consolidated into a flat preform by robot. Once in the mould HexPly® M77 has an optimised gel time that allows the resin to flow into the contours to produce the precise geometries required. The high Tg of 125°C enables the cured parts can be demoulded while hot for a faster production cycle.

This rapid-curing product, with a 6-week outlife at room temperature, is available in various forms including unidirectional or woven reinforcements and heavy tow fibres. It is also supplied as HexMC®, Hexcel’s high performance carbon fibre/epoxy compound developed specifically for compression moulding processes. HexMC® is ideal for the series production of complex shaped parts with thickness variation, sharp angles or parts that require inserts to be integrated into the moulding process such as screw threads.

HexPly® M79 Low Temperature Cure Prepreg for wind blades and marine: HexPly® M79 was developed to meet industry requirements for a faster and lower temperature curing prepreg for thick laminates. It has evolved from HexPly® M10, Hexcel’s long-established and widely used prepreg resin for marine structures and wind blades. A number of cure cycle options are possible for HexPly® M79 including a very low temperature cure of 8-10 hours at 70°C or a more rapid cure cycle of just 4-6 hours at 80°C. With previous systems it could take 10 hours to cure a laminate at 80°C. HexPly® M79 also has a very long out life at room temperature of at least 6 weeks.

When HexPly® M79 carbon fibre UD prepreg is used in conjunction with Hexcel’s patented grid technology a void content in the cured laminate of less than 1% is achievable, regardless of the part thickness.

Hutchinson Stand number: 7.3/D61

Hutchinson has established the CTeC, a new specialized technical centre dedicated to composites. The new CTeC (Composite Technical Center) is working on new manufacturing processes, with greatly reduced cycle times, such as injection in all its forms, stamping, thermoforming and pultrusion or filament winding, in addition to new materials such as specific thermoplastic alloys. The CTeC is dedicated to the development of new composite products, materials and processes and allows a very high standard of support in the design, development and qualification of systems or composite parts: complex structures, fluid distribution systems, smart panels with their supporting structures.

Hutchinson has also developed carbon fibre cockpit modules in collaboration with Airbus, and been awarded the the JEC Innovation Award for Design.

Huntsman Advanced Materials Stand number: 7.3/E17

Huntsman is highlighting epoxy resin systems for the mass production of structural parts, including preform set, injection, curing and demoulding. For example, Araldite® LY 3585 and Aradur® 3475 allows parts production in five and three minutes respectively in HP-RTM and compression moulding, exhibiting a one minute latency at 110°C. For HP-RTM, this equates to a 30% time saving when compared with first generation HP-RTM. During the show, resin systems for HP-RTM that produce high levels of targeted performance on vehicle wheel rims will be showcased.

Huntsman is also introducing Araldite FST 40002/40003 as a new, high-performance RTM and infusion processing solution for interior aerostructures. The company says that this system combines inherent FST properties with high quality, user-friendly composites processing methods. In contrast to other thermoset materials for interiors, Araldite FST 40002/40003 is an unfilled system. Filled systems are processed with open fabric where low fibre content sacrifices composites performance. With the new unfilled Araldite system, good matrix mechanical properties and high fibre volume capabilities enhance performance, meeting the aerospace industry’s requirements for further weight savings.

A new methacrylate adhesive – Araldite 2048 – will also be showcased, which offers strength and durability for a wide ranging industrial applications and multiple materials. Huntsman adds the adhesive exhibits some of the highest lap shear strengths available (24 MPa on aluminium) and high elongation, making it ideal for dynamic loading. It also offers good chemical resistance, low ionic content, ease of application and high impact resistance and elasticity at subfreezing temperatures.

In addition, Huntsman offers the tri-functional, TGHPM type epoxy resin Tactix® 742, which provides higher glass transition temperature resistance than any other epoxy resins with which it is fully compatible. It can also be processed easily into prepreg formulations designed for high temperature applications. Similarly, Araldite MY 0816 can be a component of choice to increase toughness without sacrificing on thermal resistance.

Huntsman will also highlight curative solutions for snap-cure type behaviour. For example, Aradur 1167, a latent accelerator recommended for dicy-based adhesives and composites applications, shows good latency up to 80°C and similar reactivity as a urea accelerator at 120°C and above.

ITA - Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University Stand number: 7.2/F36

ITA is presenting:

Carbon parquet: consists of up to 98 percent carbon nonwoven fabric made of recycled carbon nonwoven sheets. Allows recycling of carbon waste in new applications and large saving in energy costs of carbon manufacturing.

Crash absorber: braided composite structures which have superior damage tolerance. They absorp the energy caused by an accident to spare the occupants of a car.

Composite control arm with integrated inserts: functions as a decision tool in the project DeMaCo to ease the application of fibre-reinforced components for small and medium businesses

Local reinforced woven carbon fabric: manufactured with the newly open reed technology by Lindauer Dornier,Lindau, Germany. Allows the production of multiaxial and locally reinforced fabrics in a single step process.

Textile-reinforced concrete: possesses some advantages over ferroconcrete. These features, especially flexibility and frei ductility, allow architects and designers many possibilities.

JETCAM International  Stand number: 7.3/P69

JETCAM International is showcasing the latest versions of JETCAM Expert and CrossTrack, along with its concept ply unloading and sorting system. Visitors will be able to see a complete walkthrough of the software/hardware combination – from the tracking of material upon delivery through to physically unloading and stacking plies, ready for lay-up.

JETCAM adds that CrossTrack tracks materials, material life, plies, kits, orders and nests – all in real time. It is available in versions to suit SMEs and multinationals, and provides a common interface for all staff managing composite part manufacturing from material delivery to lay-up. The software is already in use by several companies, including Bombardier.

The JETCAM Expert CAD/CAM and nesting system provides the nesting engine and NC code output for composite cutting machines. Orders are received from CrossTrack for automatic processing, and associated geometry files are located, profiling information applied, plies are nested and NC code is generated – all without human intervention. This information is passed back to CrossTrack and logged, providing end-to-end traceability of material, plies and finished parts.

Visitors can supply JETCAM with CAD files of parts, along with a DXF of their best nest of those parts and JETCAM will provide a comparison using its High Performance Nesting engine, which usually demonstrates a 5-15% material saving.

Johns Manville Stand number: 7.2/M33

Johns Manville is presenting solutions for short-fibre thermoplastics, LFT (long-fibre thermoplastics) and structural thermoplastic composites with new applications for the automotive and transportation segment.

Johns Manville will also introduce new glass nonwovens for thermoplastic composites where surface performance needs outstanding technical performances. Evalith™ glass composite mat with self-impregnated sheet material for thermoformable sandwich constructions will be introduced together with developments in thermoformable honeycomb core materials with high mechanical properties.

New StarStran® 862 chopped fibres for BMC applications requiring higher mechanical performance and SMC sustainable composites applications using MultiStar® 272 will be introduced. ♦

 Read Part 2 of the preview here.

 This article was published in the March/April 2014 issue of Reinforced Plastics magazine.

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