CINCINNATI - An insulated railcar designed by Hardcore DuPont Composites LLC won the top design award Feb. 7 during the SPI Composites Institute's annual conference in Cincinnati. The Northern Star railcar is molded using Scrimp technology. Scrimp, which stands for Seemann Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process, is a low-cost way to make very large, thick composite parts.
Total weight of the composites railcar is 15,452 pounds, for a 50 percent reduction compared with steel cars, the New Castle, Del., company said.
The railcar body uses vinyl ester resin, glass fiber, e-glass fiber and polyurethane foam core. This one-piece construction is designed to improve damage tolerance, save weight and minimize labor costs. Two railcars were made for Trinity Industries and Burlington Northern Railroad. Hardcore DuPont is a joint venture between DuPont Co. and Hardcore Composites Ltd.
The company also won in the marine category for its fendering system, which proved to have superior energy-absorbing characteristics, enhanced aesthetics and improved life-cycle costs. There were no other entrants in the marine category this year. At the 1995 Composites Institute show, the fenders won an award in the development category.
Six prototype composite fenders were produced in 1994 for the Delaware River and Bay Authority. The fenders are being used in the Port of Buenos Aires.
Morrison Molded Fiber Glass Co. of Bristol, Va., received four design awards:
In the construction category, Poly-Blok polymer concrete floor blocks won. MMFG's Quazite Division in Lenoir City, Tenn., makes the blocks, which have been installed in several heavy manufacturing plants to replace wood-block floor.
The Quazite Division also won in the corrosion category for its polymer concrete panel vaults for environmental reclamation. The vaults were used in the reclamation of a 245-acre industrial site on the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund list in Woburn, Mass.
MMFG won in the energy category for its phenolic grating offshore platforms. The platforms offer weight savings, fire resistance with low smoke and toxic fumes emissions.
MMFG's polymer-composite short-span highway bridge won in innovation. The bridge, designed by Lockheed Martin, demonstrates a replacement for aging concrete and steel bridges.
Glastic Corp. in Jefferson, Ohio, earned two awards: one in appliance/business equipment for a one-piece housing for a Singer sewing machine, and in electrical/electronics for a Buss-mann plug fuse body.
Another multiple winner was Hadlock Plastics Corp. in Geneva, Ohio. It won in the medical category for its Model Electra 1400 coagulation instrument base and in the specialty category for its optics bench.
The New York-based Composites Institute, a division of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. of Washington, announced additional best-of-category awards for composite products:
Aerospace. Sherwood R.T.M.Corp. of Louisville, Ohio, fuel cell power system-electrolyte tank. This three-compartmenttank has interior bulkheads with five access latches, and is molded as one piece. The tank was molded for Loral Defense Systems of Akron, Ohio.
Automotive. Ford Motor Co.'s 1996 Taurus/Sable has an integrated front-end structure with two compression molded SMC components. Budd Co.'s Plastics Division in Troy, Mich., molded the parts.
Consumer. Polymer Compos-ites Inc.'s thermoplastic composite bicycle frame. The frame is injection molded from long-carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite. Mid-Central Plastics Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, molded the bike for Ross Bicycles of Farmingdale, N.Y. PCI is in Winona, Minn.
Nonautomotive transportation. Caterpillar Loader G Series cab floor made by Nero Plastics Inc. of Owosso, Mich.
Infrastructure. Marshall Industries Composites Inc. in Lima, Ohio, made a c-bar designed to reinforce concrete in corrosive settings. It is made using a continuous pultrusion compression molding process.