The following items were collected by Plastics News correspondent Roger Restrom during SAMPE 2010, held May 17-20 in Seattle.
* Hexcel Corp. promoted a recently introduced carbon fiber as offering the industry's highest commercially available tensile strength. HexTow IM10 carbon fiber is a continuous intermediate modulus polyacrylonitrile-based fiber available in 12,000-filament-count tows.
Hexcel began development on the carbon fiber in late 2008 and launched customer trials in early 2010, said Dan Pappano, group product manager for carbon fiber. It produces the material in Salt Lake City.
The technology in IM10 constitutes a significant advantage over Hexcel's IM9, Pappano said. Hexcel's early IM7 carbon fiber came to the market 25 years ago.
In February, industry veteran Tom Haulik became Hexcel carbon-fiber sales manager. Haulik was the 2002-03 SAMPE international president.
* Cytec Industries Inc.'s engineered materials business unit in Tempe, Ariz., recently introduced its EP2400 resin-infusion system. The one-part toughened epoxy system offers the potential to aircraft makers for weight and cost reductions through lower part counts and fewer post-manufacturing processes.
* General Plastics Manufacturing Co. of Tacoma, Wash., introduced recycled content of at least 10 percent in its new cellular-solid-foam 4500, 7100 and 9300 series of the Last-a-Foam line. GP incorporates post-consumer recycled and rapidly renewable organic materials in the new products.
In addition, GP now offers its quality-assurance testing and Federal Aviation Administration-approved burn-test capabilities to those outside the GP family.
The company employs 200 in 14,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
* Vector Composites Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, with partner Quickstep Holdings Ltd. of North Coogee, Australia, received a Phase II small business innovation research contract from the U.S. Air Force for materials used in the F-35 joint strike fighter. The total program authorization is $4 million.
The contract seeks to validate the patented manufacturing-technology Quickstep process for use in making F-35 components. The team completed a SBIR Phase I effort in 2009 to demonstrate the concept of curing high-temperature carbon fiber and bismaleimide materials. In the new phase, research will focus on process qualification of BMI and epoxy resin composite materials using the Quickstep process.
The Vector facility in Dayton will handle material handling, preparation and fabrication of all test articles and prototypes, with subsequent curing at Quickstep's U.S. subsidiary, Quickstep Composites LLC, in an adjacent Dayton facility.
Vector is a subsidiary of DR Technologies Inc. of San Diego.
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