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UPCOMING COUNTERPOISE AWARD SHOWCASES WHY U.S. REMAINS ON TOP IN ONE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FIELD

 UPCOMING COUNTERPOISE AWARD SHOWCASES WHY U.S. REMAINS ON TOP IN
 ONE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FIELD
 TOLEDO, Ohio, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Name an area of technology where the U.S. is still number one and the spirit of innovation is growing.
 Although it's a tough call, advanced composites should be toward the top of the list. Advanced composites are consistently listed by government and industry as technologies critical to the nation's future competitiveness.
 Advanced composites leads the Critical Technologies Lists of the White House, the Defense and Commerce departments, the European Community and Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
 And the top industry award -- called Counterpoise -- will be presented at a gala event at a Cincinnati trade show Feb. 4.
 The upcoming Counterpoise Award, given each year by the Composites Institute of the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) and underwritten by Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation, will showcase advanced technology that is on the cutting edge of design and critical to the future competitiveness of the U.S.
 President Bush is expected to renew the Administration's commitment to advanced materials in his upcoming State of the Union address, where he will mention a previously announced "crosscut" initiative in advanced materials and biotechnology.
 The 1991 analysis "Gaining New Ground: Technology Priorities For America's Future" by the Council on Competitiveness said that "new materials are driving advances in products and processes that are critical to all nine sectors the Council studied."
 Owens-Corning has underwritten the Counterpoise award annually since it was first awarded in 1959 as a symbol of the company's continuing commitment to excellence in composites technology. Several past Counterpoise award winners, including last year's Alcoa SMART rail car auto hauler, used Owens-Corning's glass fiber reinforcements technologies in their winning designs.
 Past Counterpoise Award Winners
 Year Winning Product Company
 1991 SMART Rail Car Alcoa Goldsworthy Engineering
 1990 APV Van General Motors Corp.
 1989 Beech Starship aircraft Beech Aircraft Company
 1988 Aircraft engine nacelle Grumman Aerospace
 translating cowl
 1987 Composite bowling lane Glastic Company
 1986 Ducting/display panel The Pultrusions Corp.
 1985 Sewing machine parts Singer Company
 1984 Pontiac Fiero General Motors Corp.
 1983 Survival capsule Whittaker Systems
 1982 Glass-reinforced nylon Ford Motor Company
 radiator tank
 1981 Corvette leaf spring General Motors Corp.
 1980 GMC truck door General Motors Corp.
 1979 Bumper system General Motors Corp.
 1978 Dual action station General Motors Corp.
 wagon tailgate
 1977 Circuit breaker Rostone Corp.
 1976 Three parts/Phoenix car General Motors Corp.
 1975 36-inch reinforced Amoco Reinforced Plastics Corp.
 plastic mortar pipe
 1974 Eagle I aircraft Windecker Industries
 1973 GMC Motor Home Premix/EMS
 1972 Insulated, refrigerated Dana-Whitney Company
 cargo container
 1971 Spinnaker pole Grumman
 1970 X-ray machine housing Warminster
 1969 Ford Cobra GT500 car Iona Plastics/A.O. Smith Corp.
 1968 49-foot sailplane Boelkow GmbH (Germany)
 1967 TFX fighter plane nose Brunswick Corp.
 1966 16-foot canoe Old Town Canoe Company
 1965 4-person aerial gondola K. Ruggles Company
 1964 Sculptured display parts Rand Development Corp.
 1963 Studebaker Avanti body Molded Fiber Glass Body Company
 1962 Buildings constructed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
 from barrels
 1961 26-foot Navy whaleboat Lunn Laminates Inc.
 1960 Bowling alley bench and Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co.
 ball rack
 1959 White truck cab Molded Fiber Glass Company
 Background on Composites
 Composite materials, the building blocks of tomorrow, are resins (plastics) reinforced with a fiber, such as glass fiber. Composites are distinguished from regular plastics because of the reinforcement material.
 Composites are chosen generally for their characteristics that can lead to superior designs: high strength, low weight and resistance to corrosion. Composites also allow for new approaches to design, and many new applications for the fiber-reinforced plastics combine several parts into one composite part, saving time, money and labor on automotive parts, for example.
 Most of the time the reinforcement is in fiber form, such as glass fiber, carbon fiber or aramid fiber, but the reinforcement also can be a flake, whisker or other specialty product that can lead to the manufacture of a tailor-made, higher-performance material or structure.
 Advanced composites are being used to design everything from aircraft wings to bridges to running shoes.
 The most often used fiber is glass fiber, which can be found in many automotive components such as GM's Corvette and APV, as well as in nearly all new commercial and military aircraft and hundreds of other applications.
 Satellites also use composites extensively, as do sporting goods (for skis, tennis racquets and running shoes), medical products (from internal prostheses to wheelchairs), underground storage tanks (for gasoline, oil, etc.), as well as race cars, computers, jet engines and building products such as the roof material for Atlanta's new Olympic Georgia Dome.
 The Space Shuttle, for example, is a flying composite, using advanced materials in every critical section of its structure and propulsion system.
 New industries where composites are being tested include construction (to fight corrosion and add strength to structures like bridges), automotive (to improve engine efficiency and lessen vehicle weight), trains (for freight, passengers and in magnetic levitation projects), industrial power generation (for making electricity more efficiently) and dozens more.
 Counterpoise Award
 The Counterpoise Award, a Steuben crystal sculpture sponsored annually by Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation, has been awarded to such innovations as Alcoa's SMART car, an all-composite train car that solves many problems encountered when transporting automobiles, and the General Motors APV minivan, a futuristically designed vehicle that has composite body panels that resist corrosion.
 -0- 1/27/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Press wishing to attend and cover the SPI awards luncheon Feb. 4 at the Cincinnati Convention Center should contact Serena Siegfried at SPI at 212-351-5410. Press are admitted without cost./
 /CONTACT: Dick Kaverman of Owens-Corning Fiberglas, 419-248-7841; or Michael Miller of Burson-Marsteller, 212-614-5190, for Owens-Corning/ CO: Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation ST: Ohio IN: SU:


GK-TM -- NY045 -- 3713 01/27/92 11:54 EST
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