Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered the following from SAMPE 2002, held May 12-16 in Long Beach, Calif.
SAMPE has upswing in financial arena
Lower operating costs and higher magazine advertising sales have helped to improve the financial condition of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, but significant challenges remain.
``SAMPE is now on a much more sound financial footing,'' Allen Penton, international president, said in a May 15 speech in Long Beach.
For the first time in several years, SAMPE is on track to be in the black for the fiscal year ending June 30.
The bimonthly SAMPE Journal should break even or be profitable after years of losses. SAMPE's cash reserves have dropped 68 percent since 1998, Penton said.
As with most societies, SAMPE finds building membership among its challenges. Individuals, particularly in domestic aerospace positions, form SAMPE's core, but many have retired or are near retirement, he said.
``Many or most new, younger SAMPE-type U.S. aerospace technologists seem not to be oriented to society membership,'' he said. Covina, Calif.-based SAMPE relies on volunteers for many functions.
``Much of the future U.S. aerospace design, fabrication, lab, test and design work will not be performed in the U.S.,'' he said. Six non-U.S. firms are among eight members of the advanced materials and composites technology team developing Boeing Co.'s Sonic Cruiser.
Penton said SAMPE must seek ways to transition relevant technologies to automotive, sports and recreation, energy, non-U.S. aerospace and other foreign composite applications and also serve emerging technologies in nanocomposites, fire safety, infrastructure and blast mitigation.
* 3M Co.'s performance materials division introduced hollow glass microspheres for injection molding and extruding engineering thermoplastics. Scotchlite Glass Bubbles with isostatic crush strength of 18,000 pounds per square inch are useful as an additive for automotive, truck and aerospace components, according to the St. Paul, Minn.-based firm. Until now, lower-crush-strength 3M microspheres were used mostly in traffic signs.
* Lantor BV has developed a flexible polyester nonwoven Soric core for use between reinforcements in closed-mold processes such as resin transfer molding. A user infuses resin between raised hexagonal cells that form an inverse honeycomb structure. Lantor of Veenendaal, the Netherlands, sells and markets in the United States and Canada through Baltek Corp. of Northvale, N.J.
* Wilson Composites Technologies Inc. of Folsom, Calif., received a U.S. Air Force contract to mitigate temperature, pressure or stress microcracking of polymer-composite structures such as liquid tanks or pump casings. Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico is overseeing work during the six-month contract awarded in May.
* 2Phase Technologies Inc. of Dayton, Nev., during August expects to begin shipping beta versions of a reconfigurable tooling system useful for thermoforming tools and adaptable for injection molds. The system's state-change, ceramiclike properties can conform to any shape and be transformed repeatedly into precision tools. The system is designed for repair work on polymer composites on aging aircraft at aviation depots.
* SAMPE inducted four members May 15 as Fellows: Steve Loud, president of publishing and market-studies firm Composites Worldwide Inc. of Solana Beach, Calif.; Michael McCabe, associate vice president for research and director of the University of Dayton's research institute in Dayton, Ohio; Ching-Long Ong, material scientist in Taiwan for Light's American Sportscopter Inc., a subsidiary of a Virginia-based helicopter maker; and A. Brent Strong, a professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and the 1997-98 SAMPE international president.