The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering's incoming president said cutting material costs, building a broader industrial base for production and needing a strong technical base to certify materials are key issues facing the composites industry.
Bob Griffiths of Somerton, England, became the organization's first non-U.S. president, effective July 1. He succeeds Raymond Miller, president of Northern Fiber Glass Sales Inc. in Hampton, N.H.
Reducing composite costs is especially important for nonaerospace applications, Griffiths said in an interview in Baltimore. New developments include the use of textile technology to lay up fibers, the use of resin transfer molding or vacuum-assisted RTM for processing large parts and a trend toward using less preimpregnated material, Griffiths said.
Griffiths mentioned work on the next generation of narrow body transports. Separately, Leonard Poveromo said those transports are likely to enter the commercial market around 2015 with composite content of 53-70 percent. The current Boeing 737 line has about 5 percent composites and the Airbus 320 has about 15 percent, said Poveromo, technology development director for Northrop Grumman Corp.'s integrated systems in Bethpage, N.Y.
Griffiths operates EGH Ltd., a consulting company that evaluates composite and aerospace technology and processes for commercial applications, and advises clients on mergers and acquisitions.
He established EGH in 2001. Before that, he was a materials and processes engineer with Westland Helicopters Ltd., continuing in a sales position after GKN plc acquired Westland.
Griffiths joined SAMPE more than 30 years ago. He served as SAMPE's Europe president from 2001-02 and in July 2006 was named the group's international vice president.
Other SAMPE officers are: Executive Vice President William Avery, associate technical fellow with Boeing Co.'s advanced structural technologies in Seattle; Senior Vice President Steven Rodgers, research and development director with EDO Corp.'s fiber science division in Salt Lake City; Vice President Allan Crasto, associate director of the University of Dayton's Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio; Treasurer Katie Thorp, composites section chief with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio; and Secretary Anthony Vizzini, aerospace engineering department chair at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss.