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(c) POLARYSE
18.11.2022

Grand Largue Composites and Sicomin enable flax-fibre-built Racing Yacht

Fibres, fabrics, epoxy resins and adhesives from Sicomin have been used by Grand Largue Composites (GLC) to construct the first Class40 racing yacht to feature a significant quantity of flax-fibre reinforcements.
The yacht, called Crosscall, won the Class40 World Championships in June 2022 and is a prototype of the new Lift V2 design by Marc Lombard, one of the leading naval architects in this field.

Class40 is one of the most competitive fleets in yacht racing. The hulls of Class40 yachts must be light in weight, strong and stiff, and durable in the most extreme of conditions. Furthermore, to keep costs down, they cannot be reinforced with carbon fibres. The quality and reliability of the resins used for the infusion and lamination of the hulls are therefore of paramount importance.

Fibres, fabrics, epoxy resins and adhesives from Sicomin have been used by Grand Largue Composites (GLC) to construct the first Class40 racing yacht to feature a significant quantity of flax-fibre reinforcements.
The yacht, called Crosscall, won the Class40 World Championships in June 2022 and is a prototype of the new Lift V2 design by Marc Lombard, one of the leading naval architects in this field.

Class40 is one of the most competitive fleets in yacht racing. The hulls of Class40 yachts must be light in weight, strong and stiff, and durable in the most extreme of conditions. Furthermore, to keep costs down, they cannot be reinforced with carbon fibres. The quality and reliability of the resins used for the infusion and lamination of the hulls are therefore of paramount importance.

Crosscall's cockpit was designed to be effectively non-structural, with the mainsheet, which can generate huge shock loads, supported separately. This would allow the cockpit to be made from a hybrid biaxial fabric comprising 50% flax fibres. Other parts of the boat that incorporate flax fibre include the tunnel, the engine cover, the ballast tanks and the cap. The rest of the boat is reinforced with 100% glass-fibre fabrics.

To help it realise this ambitious design, GLC, an infusion specialist, turned to its long-time material supplier, Sicomin. The hull was moulded and infused in one piece and the deck – including the hybrid flax-fibre cockpit – was also infused as a single part. The internal structure was then laminated into the hull by hand before the hull and deck were finally bonded together.

The infusion resin selected was Sicomin’s SR 1710, a high-modulus structural epoxy. Designed specifically for use in infusion and injection processes, it has exceptionally low viscosity and its low-reactivity hardener makes it suitable for the production of large parts. Composites components made from SR 1710 possess high interlaminar shear-strength and the resin retains its mechanical properties in wet environments.

Sicomin’s low-toxicity SR 8200 was used to laminate the internal structures onto the skin of the hull. Ideal for hand laminating, this system includes a choice of hardeners with a wide range of reactivities, which makes it equally suitable for making large or small parts. The hull and deck were joined together with Sicomin’s Isobond SR 7100, which demonstrates high fatigue strength and is very resistant to microcracking.

An epoxy bonding primer – called Undercoat EP 215 HB+ and supplied by Sicomin’s sister company, Map Yachting – was applied to the moulds first to make demoulding easier. It also serves as an undercoat in the polyurethane exterior paint system that is used instead of gelcoat to protect the epoxy hull from UV damage.

Since the launch of Crosscall, GLC has started building a second Lift V2 Class40 and a third one is now planned, both for which Sicomin will supply the materials.

Source:

Sicomin / 100% Marketing

04.10.2022

Hexcel HexPly® M9.6 Prepregs receive Bureau Veritas Type Approval

Hexcel Corporation has received Type Approval for its HexPly® M9.6GF prepreg products from Bureau Veritas (BV), a leader in testing, inspection, and certification services.

This certification enables carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy prepregs to be used in the production of parts for all BV-approved marine vessels. It also guarantees the quality, performance and consistency of the prepregs for ship and boat builders.

BV-approved HexPly M9.6GF prepregs can be reinforced with unidirectional, non-crimp and twill-weave fabrics. They are particularly suitable for use in the manufacture of masts and other large structural components for wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP). To reduce reliance on engines and cut fuel usage, WASP vessels harness the power of ocean winds often using large carbon fiber-reinforced masts flying durable composite solid sails.

Hexcel Corporation has received Type Approval for its HexPly® M9.6GF prepreg products from Bureau Veritas (BV), a leader in testing, inspection, and certification services.

This certification enables carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy prepregs to be used in the production of parts for all BV-approved marine vessels. It also guarantees the quality, performance and consistency of the prepregs for ship and boat builders.

BV-approved HexPly M9.6GF prepregs can be reinforced with unidirectional, non-crimp and twill-weave fabrics. They are particularly suitable for use in the manufacture of masts and other large structural components for wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP). To reduce reliance on engines and cut fuel usage, WASP vessels harness the power of ocean winds often using large carbon fiber-reinforced masts flying durable composite solid sails.

HexPly M9.6 prepregs were recently used to manufacture the mast for the Chantiers de l’Atlantique Silenseas project. The HexPly M9.6 prepregs satisfied all the requirements of the Silenseas consortium’s mast-section manufacturers for quality, mechanical performance, and processing characteristics, while also proving to be cost effective.

Source:

Hexcel Corporation / 100% Marketing

Natural fibers combined with bio-derived epoxy resins provide sustainable options for Industrial markets (c) Hexcel
Hexcel HexPly® Nature Range
11.05.2022

Hexcel Launches HexPly® Nature Range

  • Natural fibers combined with bio-derived epoxy resins provide sustainable options for Industrial markets

Hexcel has developed a new product range that combines Hexcel resin systems made with bio-derived resin content with natural fiber reinforcements to create material solutions for Automotive, Winter Sports, Marine and Wind Energy applications.

HexPly Nature Range includes proven resins such as HexPly M49, M78.1-LT and M79 but with bio-derived epoxy resin content. The excellent resin characteristics remain unchanged in the new Nature Range products, maintaining high mechanical performance and consistent processing properties.
In addition, the HexPly Nature Range provides prepreg options with natural fiber reinforcements that can be seamlessly integrated into existing production processes.

Hexcel worked with TÜV Austria to provide independent, high-quality measurement and assessment of the bio-content of HexPly Nature Range products. TÜV Austria’s OK biobased certification uses a standardized measurement of the biobased carbon content enabling transparency and easy like-for-like comparison between products.

  • Natural fibers combined with bio-derived epoxy resins provide sustainable options for Industrial markets

Hexcel has developed a new product range that combines Hexcel resin systems made with bio-derived resin content with natural fiber reinforcements to create material solutions for Automotive, Winter Sports, Marine and Wind Energy applications.

HexPly Nature Range includes proven resins such as HexPly M49, M78.1-LT and M79 but with bio-derived epoxy resin content. The excellent resin characteristics remain unchanged in the new Nature Range products, maintaining high mechanical performance and consistent processing properties.
In addition, the HexPly Nature Range provides prepreg options with natural fiber reinforcements that can be seamlessly integrated into existing production processes.

Hexcel worked with TÜV Austria to provide independent, high-quality measurement and assessment of the bio-content of HexPly Nature Range products. TÜV Austria’s OK biobased certification uses a standardized measurement of the biobased carbon content enabling transparency and easy like-for-like comparison between products.

At JEC World in Paris on May 3-5, Hexcel presented an alpine ski produced by the Tecnica Group Ski Excellence Center which produces skis for Blizzard and for Nordica using HexPly Nature Range M78.1-LT UD flax fiber prepreg. In addition to providing a bio-based material solution, the natural fiber-reinforced prepreg also offers the potential to improve impact performance and vibration damping in the ski.

Claude Despierres, VP of Sales and Marketing – Industrial at Hexcel, said, “Our new HexPly Nature Range forms an important part of providing customers with biobased, TÜV-certified material options based on our established prepreg resin systems. Marine, winter sports, wind energy and automotive manufacturers can now have the choice to switch from petroleum-based material solutions to Hexcel HexPly Nature Range with no compromise in performance or process efficiency.”

More information:
Hexcel’s HexPly® JEC World
Source:

Hexcel

(c) Hexcel Corporation
29.04.2022

Hexcel Composite Solutions for the Automotive, Marine, Wind Energy and Recreation Markets at JEC World 2022

Hexcel will present a wide range of high-performance composite innovations for the Automotive, Marine, Wind Energy and Recreation markets during JEC World 2022 in Paris on May 3 – 5.

Hexcel will present a wide range of high-performance composite innovations for the Automotive, Marine, Wind Energy and Recreation markets during JEC World 2022 in Paris on May 3 – 5.

G-Vent Technology for Marine Structures
Hexcel has developed a new technology for out-of-autoclave (OoA) processing that delivers a game-changing reduction in process time and cost for marine manufacturers without compromising mechanical performance. Hexcel has leveraged its experience in aerospace and wind energy to develop its new G-Vent technology for OoA processing of highly loaded, thick section marine structures such as masts, foils, and wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP) components. A full range of Hexcel marine prepregs are now available with integrated G-Vent technology, reducing the requirement for debulking steps and ensuring extremely low porosity (<1%) regardless of the laminate thickness. Leading marine non-destructive testing specialists Q.I. Composites recently confirmed that the thick section G-Vent panels they had evaluated had void contents and laminate quality in line with state-of-the-art autoclaved prepreg components. Visitors to the Hexcel stand will see a unique 400mm carbon cube cured in a single stage using 695 layers of HexPly M79 carbon fiber UD600 prepreg with G-Vent technology.

New HexPly® Nature Range Sustainable Prepregs
HexPly® Nature Range prepregs feature proven resins such as HexPly M49, M78 and M79 with bio-derived epoxy resin content. Created for use in all industrial markets, HexPly Nature Range materials can be seamlessly integrated into existing production processes, maintaining consistent mechanical performance and processing properties. A dedicated sustainability corner of the Hexcel stand will detail Nature Range products optimized for automotive, marine, wind energy and winter sport applications. The display will include an alpine ski produced by leading manufacturer Tecnica Group Ski Excellence Center which produces skis for Blizzard and for Nordica using HexPly Nature M78.1 UD flax prepreg material. In addition to the reduced environmental impact of the sustainably grown reinforcement, the flax fiber laminates also improve impact resistance and vibration damping in the ski.

HexPly® XF Surface Technology for Improved Part Surface Finish Quality
HexPly XF is a lightweight, semi-preg material that replaces traditional in-mold gel coat. It eliminates time-consuming refinishing work typically required to obtain a paint-ready surface and produces lighter, more consistent parts with shorter cycle times and a cleaner working environment. Visitors to the stand will see a composite panel illustrating a high-quality painted surface enabled with XF technology in a diverse range of industrial applications such as super yacht roof parts, Class A surface automotive panels, and both prepreg and infused wind turbine blades.

HexPly® M49 Prepreg for Automotive Visual Carbon Parts
HexPly M49 is easy to process and is especially suitable for visual carbon fiber-look applications such as the Brabus hood scoop on display on the Hexcel stand at JEC.

HexPly® Prepregs and HiMax® Reinforcements for Performance Marine Structures
Using a scale model of a Gunboat 68 performance sailing catamaran, Hexcel will illustrate how its HexPly and HiMax materials provide manufacturers with a complete set of lightweight composite solutions for high-performance marine structures. HexPly prepreg was selected for critical structural parts of the Gunboat 68 and provides very high mechanical performance including high dry and wet Tg.

Heavyweight HiMax reinforcements offer high deposition rates and remain easy to handle after cutting, making them highly suitable for industrial applications. In combination with a lightweight PrimeTex® woven fabric, the package of carbon fiber HiMax materials developed for the Gunboat 68 enabled consistent resin flow during infusion with reduced surface print-through.

Hexcel Fibers and Reinforcements for Lightweight Sporting Equipment
Sporting equipment manufacturers rely on Hexcel composite materials to deliver the ultimate performance at the lowest possible weight. Hexcel will exhibit a number of the latest high-performance sporting equipment applications such as a Bauer hockey stick featuring PrimeTex 98 gsm AS4C 3K fabric and a Corima tri-spoke cycling wheel made with lightweight Hexcel carbon fiber UD tape. Hexcel will also demonstrate how its HexTow® carbon fibers are used in key leisure and marine applications by displaying an AEROrazr solid carbon rigging component manufactured by spar and rigging manufacturer Future Fibres for the 36th America’s Cup.

 

Source:

Hexcel Corporation / 100% Marketing

(c) Cobra International
26.04.2022

COBRA International: Highlights Diversification into New Market Sectors at JEC World 2022

Cobra International, a leading manufacturer of advanced composite products for the watersports, automotive, marine, and industrial sectors, will highlight recent diversification into new composite markets at JEC World 2022, with exhibits ranging from VTOL drones to carbon fibre prosthetics.  Cobra will also demonstrate how it is working alongside automotive and water sports customers to further enhance the sustainability of products in these sectors.

High Volume Production Capacity for the UAV sector
Cobra will display a wing from the Swiftlet UAV. This compact tactical fixed wing UAV platform has a 5.5m wingspan and was developed by the Royal Thai Air Force and National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) for survey, monitoring and search and rescue operations. Cobra manufactured the 32kg Swiftlet composite airframe using a combination of CNC cut carbon sandwich internal structure and PVC foam sandwich skins using both high grade glass fibre and carbon fibre reinforcements.  

Cobra International, a leading manufacturer of advanced composite products for the watersports, automotive, marine, and industrial sectors, will highlight recent diversification into new composite markets at JEC World 2022, with exhibits ranging from VTOL drones to carbon fibre prosthetics.  Cobra will also demonstrate how it is working alongside automotive and water sports customers to further enhance the sustainability of products in these sectors.

High Volume Production Capacity for the UAV sector
Cobra will display a wing from the Swiftlet UAV. This compact tactical fixed wing UAV platform has a 5.5m wingspan and was developed by the Royal Thai Air Force and National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) for survey, monitoring and search and rescue operations. Cobra manufactured the 32kg Swiftlet composite airframe using a combination of CNC cut carbon sandwich internal structure and PVC foam sandwich skins using both high grade glass fibre and carbon fibre reinforcements.  

Sustainability Options for Automotive and Watersports
Sustainability has a been a key focus for the Cobra Waterports division and CAC, the Cobra automotive business unit. At JEC World 2022, Cobra will showcase the increasing material and process options it has developed with both bio-resin and natural fibre reinforcements variants presented alongside more traditional carbon fibre parts.

Visitors will be able to get up close to a new Bio SUP Wingfoil board featuring a basalt, flax, bamboo and GreenPoxy bio-epoxy construction created for partners NSP, as well as state-of-the-art compression moulded prepreg foils. Cobra’s first fully recyclable surfboard incorporating the Recyclamine® resin technology that Cobra was recognised for in the 2020 JEC Innovation Awards will also be on display alongside a new Audi e-tron foil by Aerofoils – the world’s safest electric hydrofoil board.

The CAC team (Automotive Business Unit of Cobra) will present a set of OEM mirror cap parts that showcase a range of carbon SMC, woven visual carbon, pure woven visual flax, hybrid flax-carbon and painted flax construction options for the same component.  Clear carbon aesthetic and structural parts including CAC made M-carbon components for the BMW S 1000 RR Motorcycle will furthermore underline the high quality and eye-for-detail for which CAC is renowned.

Carbon Prosthetics
An entirely new composite application for the company, Cobra will also show two composite prosthetic devices at JEC which were productionised by the in-house design and development team. Working alongside a leading Thai university and a medical device OEM, Cobra created a rapid and cost effective series production process for a lightweight carbon fibre prosthetic foot. In another example of lightweight composites creating major quality of life improvements, Cobra has also designed and manufactured a carbon and glass fibre prepreg foot support for Elysium Industries.

More information:
COBRA Composites UAV
Source:

Cobra International

(c) Dubai Museum of the Future
02.03.2022

Sicomin supports Dubai's Museum of the Future with fire-retardant epoxy solutions

Sicomin supported the build of Dubai’s Museum of the Future and supplied its bio-based intumescent gelcoat as well as fire-retardant laminating resins for the production of over 200 double curved panels making up the interior of the Museum’s entrance lobby.

The Museum of the Future, a new addition to Dubai’s skyline by architects Killa Design, engineers Buro Happold and contractor BAM International, opened last week on 22nd February 2022 and features a large percentage of composite materials in the interior construction.

Advanced Fiberglass Industries (AFI) manufactured 230 double curved interior panels, a double-helix DNA structure staircase that scales the full seven levels of the museum and 228 GRP oval shaped light structures for the museums car parking area.

Sicomin supported the build of Dubai’s Museum of the Future and supplied its bio-based intumescent gelcoat as well as fire-retardant laminating resins for the production of over 200 double curved panels making up the interior of the Museum’s entrance lobby.

The Museum of the Future, a new addition to Dubai’s skyline by architects Killa Design, engineers Buro Happold and contractor BAM International, opened last week on 22nd February 2022 and features a large percentage of composite materials in the interior construction.

Advanced Fiberglass Industries (AFI) manufactured 230 double curved interior panels, a double-helix DNA structure staircase that scales the full seven levels of the museum and 228 GRP oval shaped light structures for the museums car parking area.

Adaptable mould technology from Danish company Adapa, was introduced by Advanced Fiberglass Industries, Dubai (AFI) to ensure that the interior panels could be delivered in line with the project schedule. As well as allowing each panel shape to be rapidly configured without the machining of traditional moulds, the adaptive mould technology massively reduced waste generated in the moulding process, contributing to the building’s low carbon LEED platinum credentials.

With a challenging structural and fire safety specification defined, Sicomin’s bio-based SGi128 intumescent gelcoat and SR1122 fire retardant laminating epoxy were chosen for the panels, an additional advantage being that in addition to high fire properties, SGi 128 is also formulated with over 30% carbon from renewable sources, reducing the final carbon footprint significantly.  

Sicomin worked alongside the panel manufacturer, providing technical support for the fire test panels and the initial Adapa moulding trials.

Source:

Sicomin / 100% Marketing

(c) HYPETEX® / adidas
07.02.2022

HYPETEX® and adidas selected as JEC Innovation Awards 2022 Finalists

Hypetex®, a leader in colouring carbon fibre materials, is delighted to announce that its Hypetex® Kromaskin™ field hockey stick for adidas has been selected as a finalist for the 2022 JEC Innovation Awards.

Hypetex® was commissioned by adidas to develop a market leading hockey stick differentiated from existing equipment not just by its unique pigmented carbon fibre finish, but also by its game changing hitting power and consistency. The patented range of Kromaskin™ sticks, created with support from project partners Textreme® and Marque Makers, was found to outperform competitors in a benchmark study against eight other premium hockey sticks carried out by Loughborough’s Sports Technology Institute (STI).

Hypetex®, a leader in colouring carbon fibre materials, is delighted to announce that its Hypetex® Kromaskin™ field hockey stick for adidas has been selected as a finalist for the 2022 JEC Innovation Awards.

Hypetex® was commissioned by adidas to develop a market leading hockey stick differentiated from existing equipment not just by its unique pigmented carbon fibre finish, but also by its game changing hitting power and consistency. The patented range of Kromaskin™ sticks, created with support from project partners Textreme® and Marque Makers, was found to outperform competitors in a benchmark study against eight other premium hockey sticks carried out by Loughborough’s Sports Technology Institute (STI).

Hypetex® lead the design, engineering, materials, and production process development for the adidas field hockey stick project. By incorporating the stick’s finish colour within the outermost carbon fibre layer, the stick mould could be adjusted outwards, placing the highly structural spread tow materials right at the outer extremities of the mould cavity, increasing mechanical performance and maximising the structural benefits of the composite materials used.

Whilst the Kromaskin™ surface provides a stunning depth of colour with minimal finishing required after demoulding, the Hypetex® technology, including an epoxy based expanding microsphere system used in the core, delivers significant performance gains on the hockey pitch. In tests at the STI, adidas Kromaskin™ sticks had up to 16% higher coefficient of restitution (COR), meaning they will return more energy and the ball will travel faster. In addition, through the production led design and materials used, the variation in COR was 70% less than the other sticks on test, a significant reduction in the production inconsistencies common with the manufacturing of performance sporting goods.

Source:

Hypetex® / 100% Marketing

 Hexcel’s innovative surface technology yields parts with paint-ready surfaces for builder of luxury yachts (c) Hexcel
Sunseeker 90 Ocean Luxury Yacht
26.01.2022

Hexcel Selected for Sunseeker 90 Ocean Luxury Yacht

  • Hexcel HexPly® XF Selected for High-Quality, Paint-Ready Parts for Sunseeker 90 Ocean Luxury Yacht
  • Hexcel’s innovative surface technology yields parts with paint-ready surfaces for builder of luxury yachts

Yacht builder Sunseeker has chosen Hexcel’s HexPly® XF surface technology to produce prepreg parts with high-quality, paint-ready surfaces quickly and efficiently for its 90 Ocean luxury yacht, one of its newest models.

The lightweight composite hardtop for the Sunseeker 90 Ocean yacht is manufactured from a combination of HexPly® XF and Hexcel's HexPly® SuperFIT® semi-preg. The hardtop is lighter in weight than versions made using resin-infusion processes, and it de-molds with a pinhole-free surface that needs minimal preparation to be ready for paint. Sunseeker has recorded an overall reduction in process time of around 30%, saving three days of manufacturing time per hardtop.

  • Hexcel HexPly® XF Selected for High-Quality, Paint-Ready Parts for Sunseeker 90 Ocean Luxury Yacht
  • Hexcel’s innovative surface technology yields parts with paint-ready surfaces for builder of luxury yachts

Yacht builder Sunseeker has chosen Hexcel’s HexPly® XF surface technology to produce prepreg parts with high-quality, paint-ready surfaces quickly and efficiently for its 90 Ocean luxury yacht, one of its newest models.

The lightweight composite hardtop for the Sunseeker 90 Ocean yacht is manufactured from a combination of HexPly® XF and Hexcel's HexPly® SuperFIT® semi-preg. The hardtop is lighter in weight than versions made using resin-infusion processes, and it de-molds with a pinhole-free surface that needs minimal preparation to be ready for paint. Sunseeker has recorded an overall reduction in process time of around 30%, saving three days of manufacturing time per hardtop.

The hardtop provides shade and protection for the yacht’s uppermost deck space. Its reduced weight helps to ensure the stability of the vessel, and the paint-ready finish with HexPly XF provides Sunseeker with more options for customizing its color to the individual needs of its clients.
 
HexPly XF is a lightweight, non-woven semi-preg that eliminates the need to use a traditional in-mold gel coat. The innovative surface technology significantly reduces the costly and time-consuming refinishing work typically required to impart a paint-ready finish to prepreg or semi-preg parts, and yields lightweight, consistent components in short cycle times.

Working with Sunseeker, Hexcel developed a material format, a laminate ply sequence, and a production process that satisfied the structural requirements for the hardtop and enabled the yacht builder’s production team to lay up and cure the part in a single shot – slashing cycle times.

Hexcel supplies Sunseeker with a HexPly XF product that comprises both the surface layer and the first structural reinforcement ply, eliminating the need for a cosmetic barrier coat. Neither the HexPly XF surface layer nor the following layers of HexPly SuperFIT require time-consuming debulking steps – significantly reducing lay-up time – and both are based on Hexcel's rapid-curing M79 epoxy resin system. Adhesive resin films are not needed to bond the hardtop’s foam core, as the resin content of the SuperFIT plies has been adjusted to further reduce overall process time.

Once de-molded, the cured hardtops are inspected before they are passed to Sunseeker’s finishing and painting technicians for final preparation and painting. The HexPly XF resin surface allows the yacht builder’s quality technicians to inspect the laminate below quickly and easily, ensuring the quality and consistency of the structural reinforcement plies.

“Composite materials that improve our production processes, as well as great technical support, are what makes working with Hexcel such a success story," said Stuart Vaughan-Jones, Composite Development Manager, Sunseeker. "With the switch from gel coat and resin infusion to HexPly XF and SuperFIT in the new hardtops, we are now building lighter, more consistent parts, more quickly than before, with a higher quality surface finish. XF really has ticked all the boxes.”  

Garth Thomas, Account Manager – Marine, Hexcel, said: "With the HexPly XF surface technology now well established, XF will soon be used in other large moldings where minimizing weight is critical, as well as additional hardtops across the Sunseeker model range."

(c) AVK - Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e. V.
24.11.2021

The AVK – Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe – presents its Innovation Awards 2021

The AVK – Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe – has once again presented its Innovation Awards to companies, institutes and their partners. Three composites innovations were recognised in each of the three categories – “Innovative Products/Applications”, “Innovative Processes” and “Research and Science” – at the new event JEC Forum DACH on 23 November 2021, the first edition of which was held in Frankfurt.

“As usual, the submissions included a lot of very interesting and promising products and processes this year. The Innovation Awards highlight the outstanding efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of fibre-reinforced plastics as well as the companies and institutes operating in the sector,” explains Dr. Elmar Witten, Managing Director of the AVK. The jury of leading experts from the industry honoured the following innovations this year:

The AVK – Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe – has once again presented its Innovation Awards to companies, institutes and their partners. Three composites innovations were recognised in each of the three categories – “Innovative Products/Applications”, “Innovative Processes” and “Research and Science” – at the new event JEC Forum DACH on 23 November 2021, the first edition of which was held in Frankfurt.

“As usual, the submissions included a lot of very interesting and promising products and processes this year. The Innovation Awards highlight the outstanding efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of fibre-reinforced plastics as well as the companies and institutes operating in the sector,” explains Dr. Elmar Witten, Managing Director of the AVK. The jury of leading experts from the industry honoured the following innovations this year:

Category “Research and Science”
First place in the “Research and Science” category was awarded to the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for its Bondline Control Technology (BCT). This innovative process is used for quality control and assurance of bonded joints. The core element is a porous fabric which is applied to a joining surface using an epoxy adhesive or matrix resin. Peeling away the fabric creates a chemically reactive and undercut surface and can also be used as a test to check adhesion to the substrate. BCT has potential in a variety of possible applications. For example, peel ply can be replaced by BCT fabric to produce composite components with an optimised joining surface. The cost-effective BCT peel test is suitable for coupon testing and process control. In addition, the combined adhesion test and surface pre-treatment can be used for quality assurance of bonded repairs on fibre composite structures.

Second place was taken by the Institute of Textile Technology (ITA) at RWTH Aachen University and its partners AEROVIDE GmbH, Altropol Kunststoff GmbH, Basamentwerke Böcke GmbH, TechnoCarbon Technologies GbR with “StoneBlade – Lightweight construction with granite for the wind industry”. This innovation enables manufacturers to reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials used in rotor blade construction. At the same time, it reduces the weight of these components and improves the mechanical properties relating to the stability of wind turbines. The innovative approach replaces glass-fibre reinforced plastic in the blade components with hard rock – a natural, cost-effective and recyclable lightweight material. The slabs of rock are cut and ground to a thickness of just a few millimetres and embedded in a fibre composite laminate with carbon fibre, which stabilises them for alternating load cases. The pre-stressed material is pressure-stable in the composite and can absorb tensile forces in the event of continuously alternating loads without any loss of stiffness.

Third place went to the Dresden University of Technology – Institute for Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology (ILK) with its partner Mercedes Benz AG for the interdisciplinary development of a highly integrated inductive charging module for electric vehicles. The ultra-thin charging module was designed to make optimum use of space in the vehicle underbody without reducing ground clearance. An interdisciplinary approach was adopted for the development process. This involved the electrical, mechanical and process characterisation of high-frequency Litz wires, ferromagnetic foil and metal wire cloth as well as the creation of a simulation model. The result is a demonstrator for a charging system with a structural height of 15 mm and a total weight of 8 kg. It achieves a transmission efficiency of up to 92 percent at 7.2 kW nominal power and active air cooling. The hardware demonstrator was fabricated in a 3-step process using RTM and VARI techniques.

Overview of all the winners in the three categories:
Category “Innovative Products/Applications”
1st Place: “Traffic signs from Nabasco (N-BMC)” – Nabasco Products BV and Lorenz Kunststofftechnik GmbH, partners: Pol Heteren BV and NPSP BV
2nd Place: “Novel, ultratough vinyl ester resin for the construction of large marine vessels” Evonik Operations GmbH
3rd Place: “Air intake housing with a multi-material design for gas turbines” – MAN Energy Solutions SE, Leichtbau-Zentrum Sachsen GmbH and Leichtbau-Systemtechnologien KORROPOL GmbH.
Category “Innovative Processes”
1st Place: “In-mould wrapping” off-tool, film-coated, fibre composite components for exterior applications – BMW Group, Partner: Renolit SE
2nd Place: “Adaptive automated repair of composite structural components in the aviation sector” – Lufthansa Technik AG, Partner: iSAM AG
3rd Place: “Automated surface pre-treatment using VUV excimer lamps” – CTC GmbH
Category “Research and Science”
1st Place: “Bondline Control Technology (BCT)” – German Aerospace Center (DLR)
2nd Place: “StoneBlade – Lightweight construction with granite for the wind industry” – Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University, Partners: AEROVIDE GmbH, Altropol Kunststoff GmbH, Basamentwerke Böcke GmbH, TechnoCarbon Technologies GbR
3rd Place: “Interdisciplinary development of a highly integrated inductive charging module for electric vehicles” – Dresden University of Technology – Institute for Lightweight Construction and Plastics Technology (ILK), Partner: Mercedes Benz AG

Submissions for the next Innovation Award can be made from the end of January 2022.

Source:

AVK - Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e. V.

08.11.2021

Composites Evolution showcased prepregs and new thermoplastic unidirectional tapes

Composites Evolution exhibited at the Advanced Engineering 2021 show on 3rd - 4th November highlighting its range of prepreg and introducing a new thermoplastic tape manufacturing capability.

Composites Evolution is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of prepregs for the production of lightweight structures from composite materials. A flexible approach allows Composites Evolution to offer short lead times and low minimum order quantities, while decades of combined expertise ensure that in-depth technical support is on-hand when customers need it.

Showcased was a battery box from a high-performance luxury electric vehicle manufactured from Evopreg® PFC bio-based, fire-resistant prepreg, a rear wing from a Ginetta G56 GTA GT4 race car utilising Evopreg® ampliTex™ natural fibre prepreg, and parts fabricated from the company’s newly-launched Evopreg® PA thermoplastic tape range.

Composites Evolution exhibited at the Advanced Engineering 2021 show on 3rd - 4th November highlighting its range of prepreg and introducing a new thermoplastic tape manufacturing capability.

Composites Evolution is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of prepregs for the production of lightweight structures from composite materials. A flexible approach allows Composites Evolution to offer short lead times and low minimum order quantities, while decades of combined expertise ensure that in-depth technical support is on-hand when customers need it.

Showcased was a battery box from a high-performance luxury electric vehicle manufactured from Evopreg® PFC bio-based, fire-resistant prepreg, a rear wing from a Ginetta G56 GTA GT4 race car utilising Evopreg® ampliTex™ natural fibre prepreg, and parts fabricated from the company’s newly-launched Evopreg® PA thermoplastic tape range.

Composites Evolution has a family of specialist prepregs for various applications, including Evopreg® EPC epoxy component prepregs which are a range of pre-impregnated fabrics suitable for moulding into high-performance, lightweight, structural components; Evopreg® EPT epoxy tooling prepregs which have been designed to help composite tooling manufacturers improve the flexibility and efficiency of their tooling manufacturing processes; and Evopreg® PFC fire-retardant prepregs a 100% bio-derived alternative to phenolics for applications where fire performance is a critical requirement.

Evopreg® ampliTex™ combines Composite Evolution’s high-performance Evopreg® epoxy resin systems with Bcomp’s award-winning ampliTex™ flax reinforcements, to deliver a family of materials which offer outstanding performance for component applications.

Composites Evolution launched their new range of Evopreg® PA Thermoplastic Tapes at Advanced Engineering; these are manufactured from polyamide-6 (PA6) polymer with unidirectional carbon fibre and are suitable for automated tape laying, winding and compression moulding into high-performance, lightweight components.

Source:

Composites Evolution Ltd

Hexcel and HP Composites Collaborate to Develop Class A Body Panels (c) Hexcel
2020-Alfa-Giulia-GTAm
29.09.2021

Hexcel and HP Composites Collaborate to Develop Class A Body Panels

Hexcel has collaborated with HP Composites S.p.A (HP Composites), a world leader in the production of carbon fiber components for automotive and motorsports, to develop carbon fiber Class A body panels. Hexcel HexPly® XF surfacing technology is being extensively used by the Italian component producer to manufacture external body panels and other components for supercars such as Alfa Romeo’s stunning new supersport sedans, the Giulia GTA, and GTAm.

With five production plants in Italy, HP Composites has built an impressive track record of high-performance composite successes on both road and racetrack. HP has combined this processing expertise with Hexcel HexPly® XF3 surfacing material, HexPly® M47, and HexPly® M49 prepregs, working to the highest standards set by the most prestigious supercar OEMs and leading motorsport teams.

Hexcel has collaborated with HP Composites S.p.A (HP Composites), a world leader in the production of carbon fiber components for automotive and motorsports, to develop carbon fiber Class A body panels. Hexcel HexPly® XF surfacing technology is being extensively used by the Italian component producer to manufacture external body panels and other components for supercars such as Alfa Romeo’s stunning new supersport sedans, the Giulia GTA, and GTAm.

With five production plants in Italy, HP Composites has built an impressive track record of high-performance composite successes on both road and racetrack. HP has combined this processing expertise with Hexcel HexPly® XF3 surfacing material, HexPly® M47, and HexPly® M49 prepregs, working to the highest standards set by the most prestigious supercar OEMs and leading motorsport teams.

Hexcel’s automotive composites portfolio is the result of decades of industry experience and the creation of strategic partnerships to develop and optimize leading-edge technologies. HexPly XF3 is an epoxy prepreg surface material, developed with processing input from the HP Composites team to address the challenges of producing high-quality Class A automotive body panel surfaces with excellent resistance to aging tests.

Applied as the first ply in the mold and after curing at 120-180˚C in an autoclave, HexPly XF3 produces a smooth part surface with no porosity, that requires minimal preparation for painting.

HexPly XF3 is supplied in an easy-to-handle roll format with good tack and drapability. After curing, it can be easily prepared for painting with a rapid sanding process. HP Composites has incorporated automated robotic sanding techniques for this finishing stage with the paint-ready HexPly XF3 surface providing excellent paint adhesion according to EN ISO 2409.

HP Composites typically uses autoclave processing for HexPly XF3 parts, maximizing weight savings and structural performance of the final components. In addition, HP has also developed its own proprietary press and compression molding processes, including Air Press Moulding® technology, compatible with HexPly XF3 and other HexPly prepregs for higher volume production series that require increased production rates.

“Our long-term experience has given us a detailed understanding of the critical features that influence how prepregs and surfacing technologies interact with different production processes,” said Abramo Levato, General Manager, HP Composites S.p.A. “The relationship we have with Hexcel is both highly technical and highly supportive. As a result we have a complete material package for high-quality Class A body panels that are formulated specifically with our requirements in mind.”

“Combining the expertise of HP with a strong technical interaction and collaborative dialogue, Hexcel and HP were together able to develop the optimum HexPly XF surfacing technology,” said Claude Despierres, VP Sales and Marketing, Hexcel. “With HexPly XF3 we satisfy the toughest industry standards.”

(c) Notus Composites. Notus NE7 low temperature curing prepreg
15.09.2021

Notus Composites Launches New Low Temperature Curing NE7 Epoxy Prepreg

Notus Composites (UAE), the award-winning producer of epoxy prepreg materials, announces the latest addition to its high-performance epoxy range with the launch of its new NE7 low temperature curing prepreg system. The Notus NE7 formulation allows composite manufacturers to cure components at temperatures as low as 70˚C, reducing energy consumption and enabling more cost-effective tooling options.

Notus Composites has developed the new NE7 prepreg systems for applications across the Marine, Architecture, Industrial and Wind Energy sectors, with the novel low temperature curing chemistry delivery significant cost benefits. Existing prepreg manufacturers can now use more cost-effective composite tooling, with new prepreg users able to switch easily from existing infusion or wet laminating processes without creating expensive new high temperature tooling.

Notus Composites (UAE), the award-winning producer of epoxy prepreg materials, announces the latest addition to its high-performance epoxy range with the launch of its new NE7 low temperature curing prepreg system. The Notus NE7 formulation allows composite manufacturers to cure components at temperatures as low as 70˚C, reducing energy consumption and enabling more cost-effective tooling options.

Notus Composites has developed the new NE7 prepreg systems for applications across the Marine, Architecture, Industrial and Wind Energy sectors, with the novel low temperature curing chemistry delivery significant cost benefits. Existing prepreg manufacturers can now use more cost-effective composite tooling, with new prepreg users able to switch easily from existing infusion or wet laminating processes without creating expensive new high temperature tooling.

NE7 prepregs can be cured at temperatures as low as 70˚C, with the standard cure cycle being 12 hours at 70˚C, matching the typical cycle time for an infused part with a component Tg of 85˚C. NE7 materials have a good outlife of 30 days at 20˚C and are available in all prepreg and Notus single sided N1-Preg formats with unidirectional, multiaxial, and woven reinforcements. NE7 can also be supplied as a resin film.

Notus has recently supplied NE7 low temperature prepregs to Dubai based Aeolos Composites for the production of their new Aeolos P30 racing yacht. The P30 is a futuristic new craft created by top German sailor and designer, Hans Genthe, with a super light carbon fibre construction and large sail area that promises spectacular on the water performance for a thirty foot yacht. Notus delivered a range NE7 prepregs for the build, including woven, multiaxial, and unidirectional carbon fibre reinforcements as well as adhesive films for core bonding.

More information:
Notus prepreg material
Source:

Notus Composites.

powerribs with inset bonnet (c) Composites Evolution
04.08.2021

Composites Evolution: New range of flax-epoxy prepreg materials

Composites Evolution Ltd has teamed up with leading natural fibre reinforcement specialists Bcomp to launch a new range of flax-epoxy prepreg materials, designed to offer enhanced sustainability without compromising on performance.

Evopreg ampliTex™ prepregs combine Composites Evolution’s high-performance Evopreg epoxy resin systems with Bcomp’s award-winning ampliTex™ flax reinforcements, to deliver a family of materials which offer outstanding performance for component applications.

To reach the full performance of natural fibres, Evopreg ampliTex™ prepregs have been tailored to be compatible with Bcomp’s powerRibs™ reinforcement grid, enabling the same stiffness and weight as thin-walled monolithic carbon fibre parts while decreasing the CO2 footprint by 85% and improving safety thanks to a blunt braking behaviour without dangerous debris or sharp edges.

Composites Evolution Ltd has teamed up with leading natural fibre reinforcement specialists Bcomp to launch a new range of flax-epoxy prepreg materials, designed to offer enhanced sustainability without compromising on performance.

Evopreg ampliTex™ prepregs combine Composites Evolution’s high-performance Evopreg epoxy resin systems with Bcomp’s award-winning ampliTex™ flax reinforcements, to deliver a family of materials which offer outstanding performance for component applications.

To reach the full performance of natural fibres, Evopreg ampliTex™ prepregs have been tailored to be compatible with Bcomp’s powerRibs™ reinforcement grid, enabling the same stiffness and weight as thin-walled monolithic carbon fibre parts while decreasing the CO2 footprint by 85% and improving safety thanks to a blunt braking behaviour without dangerous debris or sharp edges.

Composites Evolution’s Sales & Marketing Director, Ben Hargreaves, explains further.
“Sustainability is an increasingly important factor for many of our customers - particularly those involved in motorsports and high-performance automotive applications. As you’d expect in these sectors though, sustainability can’t come at the expense of performance the two must go hand-in-hand. This is something that other prepreggers can struggle with, as natural fibres behave very differently to carbon or glass, for example.”

Customers would be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of natural fibre composites, and to show where and how they can be adopted without the need for significant changes to existing composite component production processes.

One such customer is Retrac Group, whose composites division is one of the UK’s most experienced composites engineering companies across motorsports, automotive and aerospace. It recently used Evopreg ampliTex™ + powerRibs™ to produce a demonstrator bonnet panel for a race-bred supercar. Project Manager Alan Purves explains.


“We’re seeing a growing interest in flax fibre composites, particularly in the motorsports and niche vehicle sectors. It is therefore essential that we have developed an in-depth understanding of the processing requirements and performance capabilities of these materials, and are ready to respond to our customers' requirements. Being able to tap into the combined expertise and experience of both Composites Evolution and Bcomp is proving invaluable.”

Source:

Composites Evolution

20.07.2021

Hexcel: Speeding up new Product Development Cycles for Rassini

Hexcel, a global leader in advanced composites technologies, confirms that its HexPly® M901 prepreg system has been selected by Rassini, a Mexico-based technology leader in composite vehicle suspension systems, to speed up prototype and new product development cycles, reducing overall time to market with an easy to process material solution that enables effective early-stage design screening and cost-effective production.  

As a specialist in the mass production of composite helper leaf springs for various leading OEMs, Rassini continuously develops innovative new suspension component designs. Due to cost and timing, however, these new products cannot easily be prototyped using conventional high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) technology.

Hexcel, a global leader in advanced composites technologies, confirms that its HexPly® M901 prepreg system has been selected by Rassini, a Mexico-based technology leader in composite vehicle suspension systems, to speed up prototype and new product development cycles, reducing overall time to market with an easy to process material solution that enables effective early-stage design screening and cost-effective production.  

As a specialist in the mass production of composite helper leaf springs for various leading OEMs, Rassini continuously develops innovative new suspension component designs. Due to cost and timing, however, these new products cannot easily be prototyped using conventional high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) technology.

With more than 15 years of experience in delivering glass fiber prepregs for the serial production of composite leaf springs, Hexcel developed its high-performance HexPly M901 prepreg system specifically for this type of application. HexPly M901 combines the right level of structural performance required with simple processing, providing Rassini with a reliable material solution optimized for rapid development and fine-tuning iterations.

HexPly M901 is a high Tg epoxy resin prepreg system specifically developed for structural components that will be exposed to harsh thermal and environmental conditions.  With short cure cycles of 10 minutes and below producing excellent green, or handling, strength of the composite part for demolding and unidirectional glass fiber aerial weights up to 1,600gsm, HexPly M901 delivers a powerful combination of benefits for suspension component applications.

More information:
Hexcel’s HexPly® Hexcel
Source:

Hexcel Corporation

02.06.2021

Teijin: Tenax™ Carbon Fiber Prepreg Adopted for Next-Generation Aircraft Engine Nacelle

Teijin Limited announced today that its Tenax™ carbon fiber prepreg has been adopted for a part of nacelle, or streamlined housing, for next-generation aircraft engine to be used by Airbus. A prototype of the nacelle part, which Nikkiso Co., Ltd. is developing for Airbus’s Propulsion of Tomorrow project, will be delivered to Airbus by the end of 2021.

The Tenax™ prepreg used for the nacelle part was developed especially for aircraft applications using high-performance and rapid-curing epoxy resin. Notably, the Tenax™ prepreg can be molded at a lower temperature and in a shorter time than conventional prepregs for aircraft applications. In addition to general autoclave molding, the Tenax™ prepreg also is suited to press molding for mass production, achieving excellent quality required for aircraft applications. Furthermore, it is compatible with automated fiber placement (AFP) therefore can be combined with automatic laminating technology and short-time molding to maximize production efficiency. The excellent productivity and cost efficiency of the Tenax™ prepreg were key reasons why it was adopted for Nikkiso’s nacelle.

Teijin Limited announced today that its Tenax™ carbon fiber prepreg has been adopted for a part of nacelle, or streamlined housing, for next-generation aircraft engine to be used by Airbus. A prototype of the nacelle part, which Nikkiso Co., Ltd. is developing for Airbus’s Propulsion of Tomorrow project, will be delivered to Airbus by the end of 2021.

The Tenax™ prepreg used for the nacelle part was developed especially for aircraft applications using high-performance and rapid-curing epoxy resin. Notably, the Tenax™ prepreg can be molded at a lower temperature and in a shorter time than conventional prepregs for aircraft applications. In addition to general autoclave molding, the Tenax™ prepreg also is suited to press molding for mass production, achieving excellent quality required for aircraft applications. Furthermore, it is compatible with automated fiber placement (AFP) therefore can be combined with automatic laminating technology and short-time molding to maximize production efficiency. The excellent productivity and cost efficiency of the Tenax™ prepreg were key reasons why it was adopted for Nikkiso’s nacelle.

Teijin is intensively accelerating its development of mid- to downstream applications for aircraft, one of the strategic focuses of its medium-term management plan for 2020-2022. Going forward, Teijin intends to further strengthen its carbon fiber and intermediate material businesses to contribute to increasing global sustainability, aiming to become a company that supports the society of the future.

Source:

Teijin

GREENBOATS, Sicomin and Bcomp Selected as JEC Innovation Awards 2021 Finalists (c) JEC Group
17.05.2021

GREENBOATS, Sicomin and Bcomp Selected as JEC Innovation Awards 2021 Finalists

GREENBOATS, Sicomin and Bcomp are nominated as finalists for the JEC Innovation Awards 2021. The three project partners have been selected as finalists in the awards’ Renewable Energy category for their innovative Green Nacelle – the first offshore nacelle manufactured with natural fibre composites (NFC).

The Green Nacelle was designed by NFC innovators GREENBOATS, who were also responsible for the structural engineering, manufacturing and assembly of the nacelle.  By incorporating Bcomp’s ampliTex™ flax reinforcements, FSC certified balsa wood cores and bio-based resins, the Green Nacelle’s NFC construction saves approximately 60% CO2 equivalent and reduces the energy consumption by over 50% compared to a nacelle made with existing GFRP technology.

In addition to the lower CO2 footprint, the natural fibre composite structure also introduces viable options for the end of the nacelles’ life unlike traditional GFRP structures - an issue of increasing concern for the wind energy sector that presents a great opportunity for natural fibre composites to bring a sustainable change to this market.

GREENBOATS, Sicomin and Bcomp are nominated as finalists for the JEC Innovation Awards 2021. The three project partners have been selected as finalists in the awards’ Renewable Energy category for their innovative Green Nacelle – the first offshore nacelle manufactured with natural fibre composites (NFC).

The Green Nacelle was designed by NFC innovators GREENBOATS, who were also responsible for the structural engineering, manufacturing and assembly of the nacelle.  By incorporating Bcomp’s ampliTex™ flax reinforcements, FSC certified balsa wood cores and bio-based resins, the Green Nacelle’s NFC construction saves approximately 60% CO2 equivalent and reduces the energy consumption by over 50% compared to a nacelle made with existing GFRP technology.

In addition to the lower CO2 footprint, the natural fibre composite structure also introduces viable options for the end of the nacelles’ life unlike traditional GFRP structures - an issue of increasing concern for the wind energy sector that presents a great opportunity for natural fibre composites to bring a sustainable change to this market.

Sicomin, the formulator and supplier of the leading range of GreenPoxy bio-based epoxy resin systems, supplied its DNV GL approved InfuGreen 810 resin system that was used to infuse the Green Nacelle’s main structural sandwich panels, as well as providing intumescent FR gelcoats, bio-based laminating resins and UV resistant clear coatings for the groundbreaking new nacelle.  Materials, as well as on-site technical support, were delivered by Sicomin’s German distributor TIME OUT Composites.

The winners of the awards will be announced during JEC Connect which will be held on the 1st and 2nd June 2021.

Source:

100% Marketing

15.02.2021

Hexcel’s HexPly® XF Surface Technology for Blade Surface Finishing Process

Hexcel announces its latest HexPly® XF surface technology that reduces shell manufacturing time within the wind blade surface finishing process. HexPly XF increases overall blade manufacturing efficiency by reducing time in the mold by up to two hours and by banishing surface defects that require rework before painting.

Hexcel’s HexPly XF surface technology has been formulated to address the limitations of current blade shell surfacing techniques whereby pinholes and other surface defects have to be repaired by hand to achieve the perfectly smooth surface required for painting.

HexPly XF surface technology introduces a new material format as the surface finishing layer, eliminating the need for a traditional in-mold gel coating process. HexPly® XF for infused rotor blades, is a lightweight non-woven semi-preg construction, comprising an epoxy resin matrix, that co-cures with standard epoxy infusion systems. The product has a successful track record in prepreg blades and has now been adapted for infusion processes.

Hexcel announces its latest HexPly® XF surface technology that reduces shell manufacturing time within the wind blade surface finishing process. HexPly XF increases overall blade manufacturing efficiency by reducing time in the mold by up to two hours and by banishing surface defects that require rework before painting.

Hexcel’s HexPly XF surface technology has been formulated to address the limitations of current blade shell surfacing techniques whereby pinholes and other surface defects have to be repaired by hand to achieve the perfectly smooth surface required for painting.

HexPly XF surface technology introduces a new material format as the surface finishing layer, eliminating the need for a traditional in-mold gel coating process. HexPly® XF for infused rotor blades, is a lightweight non-woven semi-preg construction, comprising an epoxy resin matrix, that co-cures with standard epoxy infusion systems. The product has a successful track record in prepreg blades and has now been adapted for infusion processes.

Easy to handle and supplied in a ready to use roll form, HexPly XF can be quickly applied by hand or with semi-automated layup equipment. It features one self-adhesive, surface finishing side - indicated by a removable protective foil. This side of the prepreg is placed against a release agent treated mold surface. Once the material has been positioned, the lay-up of the blade shell structure can start immediately, and the laminate can be infused. After curing, the blade is de-molded with the manufacturer benefitting from a pinhole-free surface that needs minimal preparation before painting.

HexPly XF material is less than half the weight of a typical gel coat per square meter, reducing the overall weight of the blade. Additionally, the consistent areal weight and thickness of the prepreg film provide a completely uniform surface coating, ensuring blade weight distribution and balance are maintained, which is critical as rotor diameters continue to increase. With no need to handle or mix liquid chemicals as in the gel coat process, HexPly® XF also improves the health and safety working conditions on the shop floor.

The material has a shelf life of six weeks at ambient temperature, which also minimizes cold storage requirements and helps to reduce scrap.

Source:

100% Marketing

09.02.2021

Sicomin: Collaboration with GREENBOATS® for natural fibre composite

Sicomin announces its latest collaboration with GREENBOATS® as they deliver the first ever natural fibre composite (NFC) nacelle for an offshore wind turbine.  

With more than 2.5 million tons of composite materials in use in the wind industry globally, and the first generation of wind turbines now approaching end of life, there is still a lack of well-established recycling options. GREENBOATS’ mission is to demonstrate how large-scale NFC structures in wind energy can lower energy consumption in manufacturing and significantly improve the sustainability of the composite materials used in the turbine.

In 2020, GREENBOATS was commissioned by a leading wind energy technology developer to design and manufacture a sustainable NFC nacelle. The resulting 7.3m long structure has a surface area of approximately 100m2 and was engineered by GREENBOATS to satisfy all DNV-GL load cases required for an offshore turbine nacelle, including 200km/h max wind loads and 2KN loads on the guard rails.

Sicomin announces its latest collaboration with GREENBOATS® as they deliver the first ever natural fibre composite (NFC) nacelle for an offshore wind turbine.  

With more than 2.5 million tons of composite materials in use in the wind industry globally, and the first generation of wind turbines now approaching end of life, there is still a lack of well-established recycling options. GREENBOATS’ mission is to demonstrate how large-scale NFC structures in wind energy can lower energy consumption in manufacturing and significantly improve the sustainability of the composite materials used in the turbine.

In 2020, GREENBOATS was commissioned by a leading wind energy technology developer to design and manufacture a sustainable NFC nacelle. The resulting 7.3m long structure has a surface area of approximately 100m2 and was engineered by GREENBOATS to satisfy all DNV-GL load cases required for an offshore turbine nacelle, including 200km/h max wind loads and 2KN loads on the guard rails.

Sicomin’s market leading GreenPoxy® range met these challenging engineering requirements, with the company’s recently expanded manufacturing capability also matching the potential supply volumes required by wind turbine manufacturers.  

Sicomin’s DNV-GL type approved bio-based epoxy was used to infuse BComp flax fibre reinforcements and balsa cores, with Sicomins’ intumescent weatherproof gelcoat applied on the outer surface. Cured panels were cut to shape, formed over a male plug and bonded together, before flax reinforcement plies, hand laminated with GreenPoxy resins and vacuum bagged, were added along all the panel joints lines.  Finally, Sicomin’s highly UV resistant clear coating products were used to protect and enhance the finish of the flax fibre feature stripe details.

Source:

100% Marketing

Sonntag Fins Switch to Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® 33 Bio Resin (c) Sicomin
Ben vd Steen Flying high
30.11.2020

Sonntag Fins Switch to Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® 33 Bio Resin

Sicomin’s latest marine collaboration with Sonntag Fins sees its industry leading GreenPoxy® 33 bio-based epoxy resin used for custom carbon fibre windsurf fins - combining speed, fatigue performance and sustainability for some of the fastest sailors afloat.

Targeted at windsurf slalom sailors, racers and speed sailors, each Sonntag fin is a custom made product, tailored specifically to the user based on a discussion about riding style, physical size and weight, as well as how the rider likes to load the fin whilst sailing.  This attention to detail and bespoke manufacturing places a huge importance on the performance and consistency of the raw materials used, with all new materials having to be validated in production, on the test rig in the lab, and on the water by the team riders.

Sicomin’s latest marine collaboration with Sonntag Fins sees its industry leading GreenPoxy® 33 bio-based epoxy resin used for custom carbon fibre windsurf fins - combining speed, fatigue performance and sustainability for some of the fastest sailors afloat.

Targeted at windsurf slalom sailors, racers and speed sailors, each Sonntag fin is a custom made product, tailored specifically to the user based on a discussion about riding style, physical size and weight, as well as how the rider likes to load the fin whilst sailing.  This attention to detail and bespoke manufacturing places a huge importance on the performance and consistency of the raw materials used, with all new materials having to be validated in production, on the test rig in the lab, and on the water by the team riders.

With this in mind, Sonntag Fins approached Time Out Composite, Sicomin’s German distributor,  looking for a new resin system that could reduce cycle times and improve manufacturing output.  Bio-based systems were discussed, but the first product used by Sonntag was Sicomin’s SR1280 laminating system which delivered immediate results, enabling shorter cure cycles, and exceeding all of the previous mechanical test targets.

In 2020, Sonntag and Time Out Composite revisited the topic of a more sustainable epoxy resin system. It was the perfect time for Sonntag Fins, with their new unique bright green UV resistant outer finish, to go green on the inside too with Sicomin’s GreenPoxy® 33 resin.

Test fins were produced with the new material performing well in production trials. Pure resin samples were also tested and post-cured at 140 ̊C, with the new GreenPoxy® 33 samples showing significantly higher elongation at maximum resistance, meaning the cured epoxy was less brittle and susceptible to damage should a customer’s fin meet a rock. With mechanical properties improved, Sonntag switched production to GreenPoxy® 33 in August 2020.

Sonntag fins are manufactured in CNC machined aluminium moulds using GreenPoxy® 33 and a bespoke lay-up of woven, stitched biaxial and heat-set unidirectional carbon fibre fabrics in four steps:
• The first step in the moulding process is the application of Sonntag’s unique green in-mould coating.
• Next, the individual fabric plies, cut using precisely machined templates, are placed into the mould and then wet-out with the low viscosity epoxy. With the laminate stack complete, the mould is closed and loaded into a heated press for around 2 hours to consolidate and cure the fin.
• After curing, the demoulded fins are tempered in an oven at 140 ̊C, then only a light sanding is required to create the final surface roughness for optimum flow characteristics in the water.
• Finally, the fins are cut to the required length and the base adapter is molded to the epoxy-carbon blade in a specific mould.
With each fin being optimized for its rider, it is critical that each piece produced will bend and twist in exactly the way it has been designed to do so, providing the rider with exactly the feel and feedback they want for their board and fin. Each Sonntag fin is tested on a unique CNC controlled servo and stepper motor driven test bench that Joerg has developed, building a database of test results that not only ensures the products perform as designed but also validating the consistency of the manufacturing process and raw materials.
“We produce high-performance windsurfing fins that need to accommodate significant loads during sailing. Fins need to combine flexibility with extremely high torsion stiffness that places high interlaminar shear forces on the resin, especially in our softer fins.” commented Joerg Sonntag, MD, Sonntag Fins. “A key requirement for us is a resin that maintains its mechanical properties for many years, and this is where the Sicomin systems deliver”

COBRA provides high-quality mass production for ARE Tahiti’s new composite canoes (c) COBRA
23.11.2020

COBRA provides high-quality mass production for ARE Tahiti’s new composite canoes

Cobra International, Chonburi, Thailand: COBRA International, one of the world’s largest OEM manufacturers of composite goods for Water Sports, Automotive, Marine and Civil Engineering, is pleased to confirm the shipment of its first 36 composite canoes to ARE Tahiti.

COBRA has collaborated with leading outrigger canoe brand ARE Tahiti to mass produce its new OC-1 canoe, ‘Mana’. Designed by former professional windsurfer Baptiste Gossein  (JP Australia and Neil Pryde), ‘Mana’ features a closed deck on which the paddler sits on top of the hull. Available in two models; a hybrid version weighing 12kg, using an 80:20 mix of E-glass and carbon fibre reinforcement fabrics, and the PRO model – a weight optimized, ultra-light, full carbon version that weighs as little as 9kg.   

“We required the best in composite construction for both models, a stunning final finish and a build rate that could keep up with our growing order book”, comments Baptiste Gossein.

Cobra International, Chonburi, Thailand: COBRA International, one of the world’s largest OEM manufacturers of composite goods for Water Sports, Automotive, Marine and Civil Engineering, is pleased to confirm the shipment of its first 36 composite canoes to ARE Tahiti.

COBRA has collaborated with leading outrigger canoe brand ARE Tahiti to mass produce its new OC-1 canoe, ‘Mana’. Designed by former professional windsurfer Baptiste Gossein  (JP Australia and Neil Pryde), ‘Mana’ features a closed deck on which the paddler sits on top of the hull. Available in two models; a hybrid version weighing 12kg, using an 80:20 mix of E-glass and carbon fibre reinforcement fabrics, and the PRO model – a weight optimized, ultra-light, full carbon version that weighs as little as 9kg.   

“We required the best in composite construction for both models, a stunning final finish and a build rate that could keep up with our growing order book”, comments Baptiste Gossein.

As with all of COBRA’s watersports’ projects, a perfect master model formed the basis of the mass production tooling and two sets of composite hull tooling were taken from the master plug allowing a build rate of up to 50 OC-1 canoes per month.

For the lay-up and construction process, COBRA’s high-performance PVC foam sandwich windsurf board construction provided a solid starting point.  Having selected vacuum consolidated epoxy wet layup for the mix of woven and stitched biaxial reinforcements, COBRA was able to build down to the customer’s weight target with the absolute minimum of waste and additional consumables.  Top and bottom sections of the hull were moulded separately then bonded together, with the smaller outrigger hull – known as the ‘ama’ – produced in the same way.  Prepreg carbon fibre and in-house split mould tooling was also used for the two ‘Iakos’ - the two cross beams that join the ama to the main hull. 

An in-mould applied finish coat was then used for the hybrid OC-1 while the PRO carbon fibre model benefits from COBRA’s ultra-light paint system.

“COBRA is able to provide mass production capability and rapid new model turnaround, as well as delivering consistently high quality. We are delighted with the first COBRA built OC-1s and have received exceptionally positive feedback from both customers and racers” comments Baptiste Gossein.

The next ARE project to enter mass production at COBRA will be the V-1 canoe. Similar to the OC-1 but an open boat that the paddler sits inside, the V-1 will have no rudder or steering system, requiring more finesse to manage underway.

“The OC-1 outrigger canoe is a superb example of our customer focused approach to production process development.  By working closely with Baptiste and the ARE team, COBRA is able to provide mass production capability and a rapid new model turnaround, as well as delivering consistently high quality.  This is a sector in which we expect to see significant expansion over the next few years”, comments Danu Chotikapanich, CEO, COBRA International.