DALLAS - A fiber-reinforced nylon manhole cover won the $5,000 Best of Show honor in the Composites Fabricators Associa-tion's 1996 ACE awards competition. Environ Products Inc., based in Lionville, Pa., began manufacturing the 88-pound, 39-inch-diameter cover in April, according to Steve Maloney, project engineer.
``The cover will support a central load of more than 80,000 pounds, which is as high as our test press will go,'' he said.
Maloney said the cover competes with polyester-based fiberglass versions as a metal-replacement structural part.
Environ has shipped product to customers in Washington state, Utah, Indiana and northeastern states, said Danny King, manager for reactive injection molding, the fast-cycle-time process used to make the cover.
Environ employs 150, generates annual revenues of about $50 million, operates 150,000-square-foot manufacturing and 45,000-square-foot shipping facilities in Wilson, N.C., and is planning to expand next spring. Environ has manufacturing capability in England and has sold covers there and in Germany and Israel.
Winners in four other ACE categories received $2,500 each.
Kaylien Inc. of Santee, Calif., won the Market Viability award for its contemporary-design Milennium #1 Door, which has a 10160R foam-filled honeycomb core from WestWind Composites Inc. Facings are fiberglass reinforced polyester panels with Neste polyester gel coat surfaces and two coats of urethane stain or solid colors. The Milennium is the first in a series of a dozen designs with various fire ratings, sizes and finishes.
Alternative Automotive Design of Crockett, Texas, won the Technical Innovation award for a prototype Yahama motorcycle featuring extensive use of carbon fiber, Kevlar and room-temperature-curing epoxy resin. Lami-nation processes included wet-lay-up vacuum bagging and hand lay-up.
Regal Marine Industries Inc. of Orlando, Fla., won the Quality of Manufacturing award for its model 2100 LSR. Regal made the 2,800-pound power boat with an open molding process. Reverse chines on the aft hull improve acceleration to speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour, and deep chine fins reduce slide in turns.
Harwood Industries Inc. of Tyler, Texas, won the People's Choice award, signifying popularity in a poll of Composites '96 attendees, for a reproduction of a jet-black '32 Hi-Boy Roadster. In creating the custom hot rod body, technicians apply multiple layers of fiberglass mat and honeycomb using a resin mixture that produces a uniform curing process.
Contest sponsor PPG Indus-tries Inc.'s fiberglass reinforcements business unit presented the ACE awards Oct. 4 at Composites '96. The CFA contest attracted more than 25 entries.