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SPI Composites Institute's 46th Annual Conference and EXPO '91.

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The premier event of the U.S. composites industry is scheduled for Feb. 18 to 21, when the SPI composites Institute holds its 46th Annual Conference and EXPO '91 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. More than 3500 people are expected to attend the affair, the highlight of which is the presentation of the prestigious Product Awards in honor of outstanding new commercial applications of composite materials. The event will also feature a Composites Forum, offering workshops and seminars; a trade show (EXPO 91) of more than 125 exhibits representing technical and marketing advances of materials suppliers, molders, fabricators, consultants, and equipment manufacturers; and a technical program at which more than 100 technical papers will be presented in 21 sessions.

In addition, Best Paper Awards will be given to outstanding technical papers in areas ranging from R&D to recycling. PRODUCT SHOWCASE AND AWARDS

Products representing new uses of composites, new or innovative uses of existing technologies, or new versions of existing technologies are eligible for the awards competition, the winners of which will be announced at an awards luncheon on February 19. After evaluating product entries according to criteria of design, manufacturing, and market significance, judges from the Institute will select the best products in each of eleven market categories: aircraft/aerospace, appliance, business equipment, construction, consumer goods, corrosion-resistant equipment, electrical/electronic, energy, marine, specialty, and transportation.

Each winning product will receive a Best of Category Award sponsored by Amoco Chemical Co., which also sponsors awards for outstanding products in the areas of development, innovation, and contact molding. The Walter A. Szymanski Award, sponsored by Ashland Chemical Co., goes to the top product in the category of corrosion-resistant equipment. Certificates of excellence will be awarded to companies that have entered products deemed to be "of distinction."

The Most Innovative Advanced Composite Application Award, which covers all market categories, recognizes the product that uses composites in the most creative and practical application; it is sponsored by the periodical Composite Market Reports.

The product that is determined to be clearly superior to all other entries will receive the "Counterpoise" Grand Design Award, sponsored by Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. GM's APV Minivan, said to be the first all-composites-skinned recreational vehicle, won the award last year.

The Product Showcase, located in the EXPO'91 exhibit area, will display all the products entered in the awards program, including the winners.

BEST PAPER AWARDS

The Composites Institute will sponsor awards for technical papers judged to be the best in six categories: design, materials, testing, processing, research, and applications. Magazines within the industry will sponsor awards for the best papers in advanced composites, commercial innovation, and fillers and additives, and for the best overall paper. All awards will be announced and presented at the awards luncheon.

TECHNICAL PROGRAM

The technical program includes a total of 115 papers, to be presented in 21 sessions that cover thirteen different subjects. Twenty-three papers on the subject of SMC/BMC will be presented in four sessions. Reinforcements for thermoplastics will be the subject of twelve papers in two sessions; fillers and additives, eleven papers in two sessions; and pultrusion, ten papers in two sessions. Advanced thermoplastics, and resins in composites, will each be the subject of ten papers in two sessions.

Five papers will be presented on the subject of corrosion, and six each on marketing, R&D, marine, recycling, and RTM. Four papers will tackle the subject of construction. The sessions covering advanced thermoplastics, resins in composites, and recycling are new to the conference this year.

SLIGHT Dip IN SALES

The conference follows a year in which shipments of composites were expected to decline by 1.1% from total 1989 shipments, according to an interim statistical report released by the Composites Institute in September. The report parlayed data from the first half of 1990 with projected shipments for the second half of the year to produce an estimate of 2.51 billion lbs for total 1990 shipments; shipments for 1989 totaled 2.54 billion lbs. At the conference, the Institute will release the 1991 Industry Report, which will detail 1990 shipments to key composites markets and project the shipment figures for 1991.

The Institute predicts that 1990 shipments of composites to the aircraft/ aerospace/military market will decrease by 4.4%, to 39.1 million lbs. The projection was based on an anticipated decline in military spending. The Beech Starship, the "stealth bomber," and components such as modular lavatories for commercial aircraft are some of the composites applications in this market. Properties that favor composites for such applications include high strength and low weight, as well as the capability of exhibiting stiffness in one direction and flexibility in another.

Shipments to the appliance/business equipment market in 1990 are projected to total 152.5 million lbs, an increase of 0.7% over 1989. In this market, composites are reportedly well suited, because of their inherent nonconductivity, to components that require electrical insulation. However, they reportedly can also be formulated to be conductive, thus permitting their use in applications that require the dissipation of static electricity.

In the construction market, composites shipments are expected to drop to 463.5 million lbs in 1990, down 1.3% from 1989. The decline reflects a marked slowdown of the construction market, in which composites are used to make polymer concrete, swimming pools, and prefabricated homes.

Golf club shafts, as well as arrows that are reinforced with carbon fiber, are some of the composites applications in the consumer products market. New applications include a basketball backboard, made by compression molding a sheet molding composite formulated with graphite and glass fibers. Estimated shipments to this market total 157.9 million lbs, up 0.2% from 1989.

The use of composites in applications such as corrosion-resistant pipes, tanks, and pollution control equipment has contributed to the expectation that shipments to the corrosion market will rise in 1990 by 0.4%, to 336.0 million lbs. Also contributing to the forecast has been the increasing use of pultruded composites in the construction of corrosion-resistant walkways and platforms for wastewater treatment facilities.

Composites applications in the electrical/electronics market include the manufacture of pole line hardware, substation equipment, and printed circuit boards. Shipments to this market are projected to climb 1.4% in 1990, to 232.6 million lbs. Composites have been able to penetrate the market because of their electrical resistance, high strength, and performance in high temperatures-- characteristics that have permitted the design of smaller and lighter motors, transformers, and switch gear.

The Institute estimates that because of high interest rates and overproduction of boats, shipments of composites to the marine market will fall by 9.6% in 1990, to 366 million lbs.

Shipments to the transportation market, in which composites are used to make auto body panels, structural components, and parts for mass transit equipment, figure to rise 1.4% in 1990, to 687.1 million lbs. Because of increasing use of markets and project the shipment figures for 1991.

The Institute predicts that 1990 shipments of composites to the aircraft/ aerospace/military market will decrease by 4.4%, to 39.1 million lbs. The projection was based on an anticipated decline in military spending. The Beech Starship, the "stealth bomber," and components such as modular lavatories for commercial aircraft are some of the composites applications in this market. Properties that favor composites for such applications include high strength and low weight, as well as the capability of exhibiting stiffness in one direction and flexibility in another.

Shipments to the appliance/business equipment market in 1990 are projected to total 152.5 million lbs, an increase of 0.7% over 1989. In this market, composites are reportedly well suited, because of their inherent nonconductivity, to components that require electrical insulation. However, they reportedly can also be formulated to be conductive, thus permitting their use in applications that require the dissipation of static electricity.

In the construction market, composites shipments are expected to drop to 463.5 million lbs in 1990, down 1.3% from 1989. The decline reflects a marked slowdown of the construction market, in which composites are used to make polymer concrete, swimming pools, and prefabricated homes.

Golf club shafts, as well as arrows that are reinforced with carbon fiber, are some of the composites applications in the consumer products market. New applications include a basketball backboard, made by compression molding a sheet molding composite formulated with graphite and glass fibers. Estimated shipments to this market total 157.9 million lbs, up 0.2% from 1989.

The use of composites in applications such as corrosion-resistant pipes, tanks, and pollution control equipment has contributed to the expectation that shipments to the corrosion market will rise in 1990 by 0.4%, to 336.0 million lbs. Also contributing to the forecast has been the increasing use of pultruded composites in the construction of corrosion-resistant walkways and platforms for wastewater treatment facilities.

Composites applications in the electrical/electronics market include the manufacture of pole line hardware, substation equipment, and printed circuit boards. Shipments to this market are projected to climb 1.4% in 1990, to 232.6 million lbs. Composites have been able to penetrate the market because of their electrical resistance, high strength, and performance in high temperatures-- characteristics that have permitted the design of smaller and lighter motors, transformers, and switch gear.

The Institute estimates that because of high interest rates and overproduction of boats, shipments of composites to the marine market will fall by 9.6% in 1990, to 366 million lbs.

Shipments to the transportation market, in which composites are used to make auto body panels, structural components, and parts for mass transit equipment, figure to rise 1.4% in 1990, to 687.1 million lbs. Because of increasing use of composites in the manufacture of automobiles, shipments to this market have been strong despite soft sales of cars and concerns regarding the price of gasoline.

PRODUCT ENTRIES

American Cyanamid Co.'s Cyglas composite valve cover is compression molded from Cyglas 685 thermoset composite molding compound, which reportedly offers advantages over die cast aluminum in powertrain applications. Benefits include reductions in weight 1.32 lbs/vehicle) and engine noise. General Motors' introduction of the valve covers in its 1990 model 3.8L and 3.3L engines represents the first use of this thermoset engineering material in an engine component. The part is found on models such as the Buick Century, LeSabre, and Riviera; the Oldsmobile Calais and Cutlass; and the Pontiac Bonneville.

Another entry in the transportation category is Vynckier N.V's water pump for an automotive engine. The pump's housing, impeller, and sprocket are compression molded from a glass reinforced phenolic composite, Vyncolite novolac phenolic. Its hydrodynamic design and smooth phenolic surfaces are said to provide improved pump efficiency, and it reportedly is 33% lighter than its metal counterpart. Carl Freudenberg Co. molded the part for Volkswagen AG.

Creative Pultrusions Inc. is entering a fiberglass reinforced composite telephone booth in the development category. The booth is said to eliminate problems of electrolytic corrosion and electrostatic interference that occur during phone conversations. It incorporates pultruded post and housing sections and compression molded hood and base sections, and is said to be lightweight, nonconductive, and corrosion resistant. The booth is produced from fiberglass reinforced polyester resin and features polyurethane weather coating.

An entrant in the innovation category is The Ohio Willow Wood Co.'s Carbon Copy System III prosthetic device. The System III's lightweight components reportedly help the wearer to increase endurance. The pylon reportedly can be heated and reshaped several times to achieve proper alignment; the leaf spring design of the deflection plates is said to simulate functions of missing muscles by providing lift and thrust for the prosthesis. The pylon is made from nylon 6 and either carbon fiber of S-glass fiber; the deflection plates, of graphite fiber and epoxy resin.

Contending in the specialty category is Vital Visions Corp.'s Recyclaimer, a recycling container system for segregating and storing recyclable materials recovered from multi family or commercial sites. The structure reportedly requires less maintenance than containers made from conventional materials, and can be serviced manually or by semiautomatic equipment.

Vertex Composites Inc.'s Dharma office chairs are entered in the business equipment and innovation categories. The one-piece molded shell of the chair features a narrow "waistline" that reportedly permits automatic movement of the backrest. The firm used composite reaction injection molding (CRIM) to manufacture the contoured shell from SRIM polyurethanes, encapsulating carbon, and glass fibers.

The Zipp 2001 Bicycle Frame, designed and molded by Compositech Inc., is an entrant in the development category. Designed for comfort and favorable aerodynamics, the frame is composed of unidirectional prepreg carbon fiber tape with a Nomex honeycomb core; press and pressure bladder techniques are used to compact the prepreg. The frame reportedly can withstand temperatures below 0 degrees F and as high as 250 degrees F. The high strength and stiffness of the carbon epoxy composite is said to result in light weight (1.81 lbs) and reliability.

Kuau Technology, Ltd.'s Rainsong guitar, entered in the consumer goods category, is said to be the first acoustic guitar made of composite material. Constructed primarily of graphite reinforced wet system" epoxy, the guitar reportedly is not susceptible to damage from heat, humidity, and moisture. It is processed by means of wet lay-up in multipart molds, with the use of vacuum bagging, to produce four separate pieces that are then bonded together.

The Durafloor Raised Floor System, manufactured by the Glass-Steel and AFC Division of Morrison Molded Fiber Glass Co., features fiberglass reinforced, fire retardant polyester (or vinyl ester) columns and grating. It is said to be corrosion resistant, nonconductive, and capable of retaining its structural integrity when it is raised higher or altered to permit access by workers.

Other entries include a 4.6-liter cam cover assembly, an airline document printer mainframe and housing, a process piping secondary containment system, and an architectural fiberglass handrail.

UNIVERSITY PROGRAM The conference will again offer the University Program for students and professors from selected universities that have demonstrated a commitment to the study of composites. The purpose of the program is to familiarize future professionals and their instructors with the composites industry, by allowing four students and one professor from each participating university to attend all technical sessions, Composites Forum sessions, and EXPO'91.

The third annual Dow Chemical Award of Excellence in Composites Research will be presented at the awards luncheon. The award was established to support research and foster student interest in the field of composites; graduate students nominated by a professor and department chairperson are eligible for the 2000 cash award.

For further information on the 46th Annual Conference and EXPO '91, contact the SPI Composites Institute, 355 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017; (212) 351-5410.
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Title Annotation:Society of the Plastics Industry
Author:Shortt, Mark W.
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Words:2479
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