PARIS — Europe's biggest composites event opens its doors in Paris this week. European Plastics News takes a look at what to expect.
The composites industry turns its attention towards Paris this month, as JEC Europe opens its doors. The largest composites exhibition in the world this year, JEC Europe will be held March 12-14 in the Porte de Versailles conference center.
The organizers expect more than 32,000 visitors, 80 percent of whom are expected to be travelling from abroad. Excluding attendees from the host nation, last year's JEC Europe received visitors from (ranked in numerical order) Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Japan and South Korea. And its 1,181 participating companies came from (again ranked in numerical order) Germany, the U.S., China, the U.K., Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, India, Turkey and Austria.
German industrial giant BASF SE will be exhibiting materials for automotive lightweighting, including new epoxy and polyurethane systems for producing composite parts in resin transfer molding (RTM) processes. It will also be showing Kerdyn, its PET-based foam for use in wind turbine rotor blade applications and also in transportation, marine and building/construction sectors. The new material is a high performance foam supplied in panels that can be used inside rotor blades to provide additional stability. It will be demonstrated in a cross-section wind turbine rotor blade made entirely from BASF products, including Baxxodur epoxy resin and semi-structural Elastan polyurethane adhesive.
British bioresin maker Dragonkraft will be demonstrating its new epoxy resin system which has a 100 percent renewable carbon content and a hardener/booster package containing 20 percent renewable matter. The company will also promote its 97 percent renewable UV cure system which it claims cures within 15-30 minutes in natural daylight.
Dow Formulated Systems, the Switzerland-based business unit of Dow Chemical Co., will be exhibiting at stand P14, by the show's main entrance. Dow's show highlights include filament winding, CNG and LPG pressure vessels made with Voraforce TW epoxy systems; long fiber injection, a new 800mm diameter, D400 manhole cover made with Voraforce KN; pultrusion, seawall and ladder profiles made with Voraforce TP 1200 polyurethane; resin transfer molding, automotive rear seat bases made with Voraforce 5200 epoxy; rotational molding, Rotakote P, a new elastomer designed for wet environments and higher temperature applications and vacuum infusion, curved panels for construction made with Voraforce TF epoxy.
Switzerland-based Gurit will launch a new fire-retardant epoxy wet laminating system in Pavilion 1 of the Porte de Versailles. It will also be showcasing its next generation automotive materials for high volume body panel production. In its structural core range, Gurit will be demonstrating its new fire-retardant PET foam, G-PET FR.
German materials producer Evonik will exhibit its whole range of products for composites including viscosity and thixotropic agents, tougheners, thermoplastic and thermoset resins, resin modifiers and coatings. The company will highlight its Rohacell structural foam core; which will be demonstrated in a large wind turbine blade on the stand. And the company will launch a new Rohacell grade, Rohacell Hero, a damage-tolerant sandwich core material for the aircraft industry.
The show will also host a large number of regional and international pavilions, with trade representatives from Germany (Bavaria, Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden Wurttemburg, CFK Valley), France (Aquitaine, Charente Maritime, Pays de la Loire, Picardie, Midi Pyrénées, Région Centre), China, Hungary, the UK, India, the USA, Bahrain and Belgium. National trade organisations are also represented with attendees from the Asia Pacific region including Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan.
The European division of Instron, the US-based manufacturer of test equipment, will be demonstrating its testing systems, grips and extensometers. It will showcase its new precision manual wedge grips (for measurements in accordance with NADCAP-requirements), the new AutoX750 extensometer, the ElectroPuls E10000 testing system for dynamic and fatigue testing of composites and a Ceast drop tower equipped for compression-after-impact (CAI) tests. It will also show its Model 5980 floor-standing universal test system for performing measurements on composites including carbon or glass fiber reinforced plastic materials and aeronautical or automotive structures.
3B, the Belgium-based fiberglass company will be exhibiting on stand M25, showing its products for wind, thermoplasatics and performance composite applications.
In partnership with Arkema, the French-based acrylic resin supplier, 3B has developed a sizing technology specially designed to reinforce acrylic TP systems for structural applications. 3B and Arkema – partnering with Chomarat, a composite weaver – will be using JEC Europe to showcase alternatives to existing thermoset systems.
3B will also be exhibiting its series of high performance rovings which include SE2020, HiPer-tex W2020 (both recently Germanisher Lloyd approved) and W3030. Specifically designed for various resin systems such as epoxy and polyester/vinyl resin for RIM (resin infusion molding) and prepeg processes, they are principally, but not exclusively, used in wind turbine applications.
Over in the Spanish Pavilion, Valencia-based composite rigging manufacturer, Future Fibers will be showing its range of composite products used for rigging, spars and booms in Formula 1 racing, super yachts and performance yachts. Although the company's primary focus is the maritime sector, it is hoping to use JEC Europe to show how its expertise can expand into other sectors.
CEO Hugues Jacquemin says development and manufacturing of cables for use in a high-tech composite footbridge highlights the company's intentions to expand.