NASHVILLE, TENN. — Judges at the Composites Institute's conference handed the top design award to a stainable, paintable garage door, molded from sheet molding compound by Applied Composites Corp.
The woodgrain panels measure 16 feet wide by 22 inches high, with a deep draw. That made compression molding them a challenge, said Anthony Garofalo, sales manager at Applied Composites of St. Charles, Ill. ``We had to modify our 2,000-ton press in order to accommodate the extra width of the tool,'' he said.
Applied Composites' customer, Raynor Garage Doors of Dixon, Ill., rolled out the Genesis door at the Builders' Show in Dallas Jan. 16-19. The Composites Institute's conference, the International Composites Expo '98, was held in Nashville Jan. 19-21.
Until now, Raynor had just offered doors made from steel, which is by far the dominant garage door material. The company sells through licensed distributors.
The Raynor door is not the first SMC garage door. At the 1997 Builders' Show, Clopay Building Products Co. of Cincinnati introduced one with SMC skins and a foamed core of insulation.
But Raynor's Genesis has some key design features, said Brian Morgan, project engineer. ``This door is not a laminate assembly. It is a complete garage door assembly out of the mold,'' he said.
The initial door model does not have any insulation, but Morgan said the company plans to offer a snap-on kit with foam polystyrene insulation panels. Raynor also will offer a fully insulated SMC door, under its Showcase product line, he said.
One big feature is a No-Pinch design that pushes fingers out of the joints between the panels when the door closes. Morgan said Genesis meets strict European pinch-proof standards.
Applied Composites won the Counterpoise Grand Design Award, during a ceremony to close ICE '98. The garage door also won in the construction category. The SMC molder also makes parts for entry doors and storm doors.
The door was selected from 57 entries.
The New York-based Composites Institute also announced the following design awards:
Budd Co. of Troy, Mich., won the automotive category for its SMC windshield surround for Chrysler Corp.'s Prowler. The two-piece Budd part replaces 14 metal stampings that had to be spot welded together.
Firefighter helmets, made from SMC from Premix Inc. of North Kingsville, Ohio, won the new color innovations category. Departments use different colored helmets to differentiate the chain of command between different firefighters. SMC won out over thermosets, rubber and other thermoplastic composites to make the thin-wall, lightweight helmet. Plasticolors Inc. of Ashtabula, Ohio, sponsored the first-time color award.
Creative Pultrusions Inc. of Alum Bank, Pa., won the business equipment/electronics category for its pultruded radome antenna for cellular communications. Pultruded composites were used to make the radome, a housing that protects the antenna.
Composite stereo speakers from Escondido, Calif.-based Audio Composite Engineering picked up the consumer award. The company uses carbon prepreg, e-glass prepreg and a honeycomb core to replace wood and molded plastic speaker cabinets.
A coaxial pipe system called Bondstrand II won the category for corrosion-resistant products. A porous layer between the secondary and primary layers of pipe protects against leaks. The dual walls give the pipe improved impact resistance. The Burkburnett, Texas, plant of Ameron International Fiberglass Pipe Group won the honor.
Supplied on rolls, grids from Clark Schwebel Tech-Fab Co. can be used to reinforce asphalt overlays, concrete and masonry walls. The company in Anderson, S.C., won the development category. A patent is pending on the grids, made with glass fibers reinforced with epoxy resin.
An above-ground, thermoset-resin conduit that can be bent in the field, like vinyl and galvanized steel, won the electrical/electronic award for FRE Composites Inc. of St-Andre Est, Quebec. The company said this is the only conduit that complies with the new harmonized codes of Underwriters Laboratories and the Canadian Standards Association.
Glasforms Inc. of San Jose, Calif., won the infrastructure award for its pultruded trapezoidal bridge deck beam. The composite deck is 15-20 percent stiffer than a comparable concrete deck, at just one-fifth the weight.
Composites replace welded tubular steel on a boom for a crop sprayer. Wausaukee Composites of Wausaukee, Wis., won the innovation category for the boom.
Strongwell of Bristol, Va., and Formed Plastics Inc. of Long Island, N.Y., won the medical/diagnostic category for a spineboard used by emergency squads for moving patients. The board is made by insert rotational molding, in which pultruded carbon-fiber tubes are sealed in high density polyethylene. Laerdal Medical Corp. of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., is the customer.
Creative Pultrusions won the nonautomotive transportation category for components used in a moving truck trailer floor that makes it easier to load and unload cargo. The company pultrudes slats for Wilkens Walking Floor Trailer in Stockton, Kan.
Strongwell makes returnable shipping cores used by Clark Schwebel, the development category winner, to wind glass fabrics for shipping. The tubes netted Strongwell the specialty category award. The core, which replaces disposable cardboard tubes, comprises compression molded end caps and a center spacer.
K2 Corp. rode off with the award in sporting goods/recreational equipment for its mountain bike using thermoplastic materials. K2, of Clearwater, Fla., wanted to make the frame with automated machinery.
Charles McClaskey, vice president of business development Reichhold Chemicals Inc., and a long-time activist at the Composites Institute, won the Clare E. Bacon Person of the Year Award.