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Honoring big breakthroughs in composites

Orlando, Fla. — Large-scale projects for water management and refrigerated shipping won top honors from the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX).

CAMX and event organizing partners ACMA and SAMPE recognized projects and individuals advancing creativity and innovation in composites technology.

Honors were distributed in several sessions during the fourth annual CAMX conference Dec. 11-14 in Orlando.

The American Composites Manufacturers Association of Arlington, Va., and the Society for the Advancedment of Material and Process Engineering of Diamond Bar, Calif., jointly produce the CAMX event focusing on composites and advanced materials.

Honors for a river gate

Composite Advantage LLC of Dayton, Ohio, won in the CAMX combined strength category, and Structural Composites Inc. of Melbourne, Fla., scored in the CAMX unsurpassed innovation category.

Composite Advantage collaborated with West Virginia University in Morganville, W.Va., and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' research center and construction laboratory in creating a viable replacement for white oak chanoine-type wicket gates that adjust water levels on commercially navigable inland rivers.

The project started in 2014 with the first prototype deployed in July 2015 for what became a successful 15-month trial. Development expenditures totaled $650,000.

The new wickets of glass fiber reinforced polymers are projected to have a lifespan of 50 years versus the existing wickets of old-growth hardwood at 15 years.

Matrix Composites Inc. of Henderson, Ky., supplied the fiberglass, Ashland Specialty Chemical of Dublin, Ohio, provided the vinyl ester, ISO Technologies Inc. of Hebron, Ohio, supplied polyurethane foam and LinkTech Inc. of Bangor, Mich., supplied an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene for the abrasion-resistant top cover.

Composite Advantage says the Army wants 200 more GFRP wicket gates and is pursuing funding through the government procurement process. The 200 gates could cost a total of $1.5 million.

Wabash National Corp. Structural Composites Inc. teamed up with trailer maker Wabash on a composite refrigerated trailer. A cool composite van

Structural Composites' "unsurpassed innovation" involves use of its next-generation Co-Cure-brand hybrid metal/composite technology for a fully certified 53-foot-long refrigerated van for the cost chain market.

The customer is publicly traded semi-truck manufacturer Wabash National Corp. of Lafayette, Ind., which has licensed rights to the CoCure technology for its market segment.

Structural Composites, the research-and-development division of The Composites Co., started on its Co-Cure path several years ago through a U.S. Navy small business innovation research program and a Florida small business state grant.

The product families include coatings, structural resins and adhesives, all produced under the Co-Cure brand.

The trailer has composite wall and roof systems and a hybrid metal/composite integrated floor. The floor has a certified forklift rating for 24,000 pounds. A comparable conventional floor has a rating of 16,000 pounds.

Structural Composite developed the laminable technology and built the floor and wall prototypes in Melbourne, Fla. Wabash National assembled the components in Lafayette and plans to scale-up production at a recently acquired 53-acre Little Falls, Minn., site that formerly housed Larson Boats LLC.

Designers say the material substitutions increased the trailer's thermal, fuel efficiency and life cycle characteristics and was neutral in cost and weight comparisions.

BASF Corp. supplied material from its Wyandotte, Mich., facility and worked on fine tuning Structural Composites' Co-Cure technology for commercialization.

Interplastic Corp. of St. Paul, Minn., provided coating and resin components and a sister division of Structural Composites manufactured PU rigid foam for the floor beams.

The Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne supported the project.

Ashland LLC sponsored the CAMX competition.

About 50 entries were received, and judges identified 10 finalists before selecting the Composite Advantage and Structural Composites submissions.

ACMA competition

ACMA's Awards for Composite Excellence went to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Aerospace Corp. in the design category, Gifu University students and Autodesk Inc. in the manufacturing category and Ashland LLC in the market growth category.

The laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., received the ACE innovation in green composites design award for large-scale 3D printing using 100 percent biocompatible materials.

Aerospace of El Segundo, Calif., captured the ACE award for most creative application with its rapid manufacturing of ultra-high-purity composite mirrors.

Two students at the university in Gifu, Japan, won the ACE equipment and tooling innovation award for a carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic processing technology using commingling, fiber laying and light molding techniques.

Autodesk of San Rafael, Calif., received the ACE material and process innovation award for a comprehensive composite manufacturing software platform.

Ashland won the infinite possibility award for a carbon-fiber-reinforced subframe for original equipment manufacturer Ford Motor Co. and component supplier Magna International Inc.

Material distributor Composites One of Arlington Heights, Ill., again sponsored the ACE competition, which drew 30 entries of which 18 were finalists.

SAMPE Charles Browning, left, received SAMPE's George Lubin memorial award, and Howard Kliger won SAMPE's distinguished service award. SAMPE recognitions

Advanced composite material advocate Charles Browning won SAMPE's 16th George Lubin memorial award for contributions over many years with the U.S. Air Force research laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, and multiple SAMPE programs.

From 1983 to 2005, Browning was influential in shaping the government's investment strategy relating to the use of composite materials on the F-16, B-1, B-2, F-22 and F-35 aircraft programs.

Currently, Browning is with the University of Dayton holding the Torley chair in composite materials and serving as chair of the chemical and materials engineering department.

Howard Kliger of Somerset, N.J., received SAMPE's distinguished service award for more than 35 years of dedication to the society's missions. He is active with the SAMPE finance committee and a director of the SAMPE Foundation board.

For many years, he directed the popular SAMPE micro bridge-building programs giving students a way to demonstrate their skills.

Currently, Kliger is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

SAMPE added six Fellows:

• Brian Flinn, research associate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

• Faramarz Gordaninejad, professor and researcher at the University of Nevada in Reno.

• The late Gaku Kimura, who was chairman of GH Craft Ltd. in Itazuma Gotenba-shi, Japan.

• Karl Nelson, a technical fellow with Boeing Co. in Seattle.

• Nobuo Takeda, professor at the University of Tokyo in Japan.

• Anthony Vizzini, provost and senior vice president of Wichita State University in Kansas.

Over 35 years, the society has recognized 156 members as SAMPE Fellows.

ACMA recognitions

ACMA Board Chairman Kevin Barnett presided during a session recognizing four individuals:

• Kim Howard, now vice president of business development with Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio, received the ACMA chairman's award.

• Robert Steffen captured the ACMA outstanding volunteer award. He is an associate professor at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.

• Robert Haberlein of Annapolis, Md., was given the ACMA hall of fame award. He is a consultant with expertise in engineering environmental and regulatory issues.

• Bob Long received the ACMA lifetime achievement award. He is the former CEO and owner of the design and tooling firm Marine Concepts in Cape Coral, Fla.

» Publication Date: 13/12/2017

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [605658].

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