Correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at the Suppliers of Advanced Composite Materials Association's fall meeting and conference, held Oct. 22-24 in San Diego. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. created a menu of materials for the new F-22 Air Force fighter, scheduled for its first flight in mid-1997.
``We tried to integrate the materials applications and use fewer numbers of similar materials'' to provide consistent design properties, said Al Fenstermaker, manager of F-22 parts, materials and process technology for the military airplane division in Boeing's defense and space group.
In mid-October, Seattle-based Boeing shipped the first aft fuselage section with composite upper skins and keel panels to prime contractor Lockheed Martin's plant in Marietta, Ga.
In November, Boeing will ship the main wing section with composite skins and many composite internal spars. A contoured-tape machine is used to layup the skins. Parts of bismaleimide and carbon fiber and a number of titanium castings and forgings form the wing.
Cost, performance and the environment are issues in material selection, Fenstermaker said.
``We need to look carefully at the global environmental impact of the materials,'' he said.
Opportunities exist for ad-vanced composites to penetrate markets for heavy trucks, trailers and buses, said Caulton Irwin, interim director of the Carbon Products Con-sortium.
``Weight is money'' to operators, Irwin said. About 15 percent of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks hauling fuel or bulk products reach vehicle weight limits, and about 85 percent of buses hit the maximum. If lighter composites replaced existing materials, operators could haul more and increase profit.
Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require stronger rear-impact guards on trailers beginning in 1998, Irwin said. Composites could provide the strength, he said.
Irwin also suggested the use of carbon as a replacement for stainless steel in the undercarriage of tour buses.
Irwin manages market and program development for the National Research Center for Coal and Energy and is a West Virginia University professor. The consortium and center are located in Morgantown, W.Va.
Industry consultant Jon B. DeVault said plant expansions will ease the shortage of polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fiber.
``We will have more fiber than we know what to do with again,'' DeVault said. ``For the next year, it's touch-and-go.''
The industry's sold-out condition affects users of carbon fiber, prepreg, weave, pultrude or filament-wind products.
The hardest-hit are users who have accepted lower-priced commercial grades.
Now, supply is extremely tight, and the full-price aerospace-grade material continues to go to prime contractors and their suppliers.
DeVault, operator of DeVault & Associates Inc. in Scottsdale, Ariz., received SACMA's highest honor, the Materials Leadership Award.
A survey of architects, contractors, engineers and developers points to the need to resolve standards, technical, legal and code issues before advanced composites can receive wide acceptance for vertical construction applications.
Researcher Robin Auger of Washington-based Civil Engineer-ing Research Foundation, plans to complete the report in December. The study focuses on the market potential and applications in repair, retrofit and rehabilitation of vertical construction and includes contacts with users and prior nonusers of the materials.
CERF, an affiliate of the American Society of Civil Engi-neers, conducted the survey at SACMA's request.
In the wake of terrorist bombings, the Defense Department is seeking ways to provide structures with blast resistance.
Polymer matrix composites may answer part of the need for blast-mitigating technologies, according to federal research.
The National Research Coun-cil's infrastructure board published Protecting Buildings from Bomb Damage, a 102-page book that discussed terrorism, technology for blast-effects mitigation and the value of hardening features following the 1995 federal building attack in Oklahoma City.