In brief Ashland Composite Polymers (www.ashland.com) is increasing production capacity for its epoxy vinyl ester resins DERAKANE and HETRON, which are used to manufacture corrosionresistant equipment for wastewater treatment, chemical processing and mining industries. The company says that it will be adding capacity over the next two years, in the Americas and elsewhere. Europe’s DSM Composite Resins AG (www.dsm compositeresins.com) has signed a license agreement with Hitech Industries Ltd (www. hitechresins.com) of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), for unsaturated polyester resin technology. This will allow Hitech to manufacture and sell a range of resins for piping applications in the Middle East markets based on DSM Composite Resins’ technology. Group Arnaud is now the sole distributor in France for Ashland Composite Polymers (www.ashland.com) unsaturated polyester resins, gel-coats and epoxy vinyl ester resins. Organisers of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (www.speautomotive.com) are awarding two scholarships of US$2000 for graduate work in polymer composites that has an impact on ground transportation. This year's scholarships will be awarded in honour of composites journalist Steve Loud.
Degussa builds first North American ROHACELL plant DEGUSSA HAS announced that it is constructing its first manufacturing facility for its ROHACELL® polymethacrylimide (PMI) foam core material outside of Germany. The new facility in North America will be operated by Degussa subsidiary Inspec Foams Inc. The plant, which represents an investment for the company of around US$10 million, will be located at Degussa's largest US site in Mobile, Alabama. Production is expected to start by mid-2008. Until now ROHACELL foam has been exclusively manufactured and shipped from Darmstadt, Germany. As well as establishing the North American production facility,
Inspec Foams will offer technical and engineering services, and greatly reduced ROHACELL lead-times. Degussa says that this move underlines the importance of North America to its business as well as its commitment to service its clients in this region. It will also enable the company to meet increasing demand for ROHACELL products. Inspec Foams already produces its SOLIMIDE polyimide foams at a manufacturing facility in Magnolia, Arkansas. These are typically used in thermal and acoustic insulation applications. Degussa/Röhm GmbH; www.rohacell.com
Ticona builds LFRT facility in China TICONA IS building a Celstran® long fibre reinforced thermoplastic (LFRT) facility in Nanjing, China. “When the new facility goes online in Nanjing, we will have an annual global LFRT production capacity of more than 35 000 tons,” comments Frank Reuter, Ticona global product manager for Celstran LFRT. Celstran LFRT is currently produced in Germany and the USA. According to the company, investment in the facility supports the Ticona Asia growth strategy, which also includes previously announced plans to construct a production facility for GUR® ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. Ticona; www.ticona.com
Aurora awarded US Air Force contract AURORA FLIGHT Sciences, headquartered in Columbus, Mississippi, USA, has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force to develop a concept demonstrator for its Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA) programme. The contract amounts to US$47 million and will be funded in two phases. The first phase covers the design of a next generation tactical cargo airplane, while the second phase, if authorised, includes the actual fabrication and manufacture of the design. Once the second phase is concluded, the aircraft will take to the skies for the first time.
The Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles Directorate, based at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, USA is acquiring the design, development and manufacture of a technology demonstration aircraft that features advanced structural design and manufacturing techniques integrated with advanced aerodynamic design. The purpose of this aircraft is to demonstrate the application of structural design and manufacturing technologies that can significantly reduce the structural weight and cost of future military transport type aircraft.
The ACCA will be built in Aurora’s new facility at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, Mississippi. Aurora’s other facilities in Virginia, West Virginia, and Massachusetts will all support the project. “ACCA will allow us to combine our experience in rapid prototyping, composite manufacturing, and advanced UAV technologies to provide the Air Force with a state of the art, all-composite, advanced cargo transport,” explains John Langford, president of Aurora Flight Sciences. Aurora Flight Sciences; www.aurora.aero