Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported the following items from the Composites '97 show, held Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 in Orlando, Fla.
Braiding firm A&P seeks larger facility
Reinforcement braider A&P Technology Inc. hopes to relocate soon within driving distance of its existing Covington, Ky., facility.
``We have experienced significant growth in the last couple years,'' President Andrew Head said at the firm's Composites '97 booth.
``Our first choice is to build, but we need to do something quicker.''
A&P Technology seeks an existing plant of 85,000-100,000 square feet in northern Kentucky or southern Ohio, accessible to its work force.
The company transforms modern braiding technology into processes to make reinforcements for aerospace, recreation, medical, automotive and industrial markets.
Braiding industry giant Atkins & Pearce Inc. started A&P in 1986 as a research and development division and incorporated the business as a subsidiary in 1995. While continuing in traditional braiding lines, Atkins & Pearce spun off A&P Technology to new owners July 1.
For now, A&P Technology leases 60,000 square feet from its former parent.
Thiokol expanding its composites unit
In committing to composites technology, Thiokol Corp. is expanding an operation that preimpregnates resins with carbon, Kevlar and glass fiber to make woven fabrics, braided sleeves and tapes and fiber tows.
The composites division, which uses the trademark TCR as part of its name, is moving 40 miles to a leased, 40,000-square-foot facility in an Ogden, Utah, economic development zone, said Rolf Johns, division general manager.
The division now is located at the Thiokol rocket motor facility near Brigham City, Utah.
The new site will have production capability by the end of 1997. The move is to be completed in the spring. The division is adding prepregging equipment that it designed and built, and some components from vendors.
The TCR division employed 15 as of July 1 and expects to have 30 or more workers by July.
Composites provision urges health, safety
A comprehensive ``composites care program'' aims to help improve health, safety and environmental activities within the corporate planning and operations of Composites Fabricators Association member companies.
A development team met Nov. 1 to review a draft of a voluntary code of conduct and responsibility.
A survey at CFA's 1995 annual meeting identified the need for such a uniform code, and CFA subsequently adopted the concept.
The program will prescribe guidelines on how to handle materials responsibly.
The code will seek to improve worker safety, protect the environment and fortify community relations.
Provisions will apply to the fabrication, distribution, materials and equipment segments of the industry.
Craftech debuts bolts, anti-corrosion handles
Craftech Industries Inc. of Hudson, N.Y., exhibited a new line of corrosion-resistant handles and hinges for fluid-handling equipment.
The items come in 30 percent short-glass-fiber Isoplast polyurethane from Dow Plastics, polycarbonate and 40 percent-glass-filled polypropylene.
Also, Craftech showed new eye bolts and shoulder eye bolts. Craftech makes high-performance plastic components, fasteners and structural hardware using horizontal and vertical injection molding, encapsulated and insert molding, computer numerically controlled machining, die cutting and screw machining.
Neste unit licenses antimicrobial coating
Neste Group's North American polyester unit has licensed antimicrobial protection technology exclusively from Microban Products Co. for polyester gelcoat applications.
The coating agent can protect the surfaces of reinforced plastic products such as bathroom fixtures from the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
The market is calling for these value-added gelcoat products, said Matti Kaarnakari, president of Neste Polyester Inc. USA in Fort Smith, Ark. Neste Group is a Finland oil and chemicals firm.
Microban was formed in 1990 and is headquartered in Huntersville, N.C. Through other liaisons, it has developed specific toy, household and medical products with antibacterial protection for a range of consumer firms.
Dow official nets CFA President's Award
Larry J. Craigie received the 1997 President's Award of the Composites Fabricators Association in a ceremony at Composites '97.
Craigie ``led the charge'' to assure product stewardship in CFA exhibitors' showcases and publications, launched the new composites care program, has played a key role in an air-emission development work group and was instrumental in a CFA program to test styrene emissions.
Craigie is development associate in industrial composites in Freeport, Texas, with Dow Chemical Co., his employer for 25 years. He represents the supplier industry as an ex officio member of CFA's executive committee.