High-Performance Composites

NOV 2014

High-Performance Composites is read by qualified composites industry professionals in the fields of continuous carbon fiber and other high-performance composites as well as the associated end-markets of aerospace, military, and automotive.

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NEW PRODUCTS N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | 5 9 Basalt fibers, dry and compounded Mafc (Kells, County Meath, Ireland) promoted its basalt fber for automotive and other uses. Mafc mines and melts the basalt rock in Ireland, then ships fber to Ontario, Canada, for distribution as well as compounding. Fibers are available in diameters from 11 to 16 microns, and product forms include 300- tex direct roving and 600- to 4,800-tex assembled roving, with sizing systems compatible with polyester, vinyl ester and polyurethane. Chopped fber, mats, weaves and geogrids also are available. www.mafcbasalt.com New polyamides for auto applications Invista (Wichita, Kan.), reportedly the world's largest nylon 6/6 producer (as a subsidiary of Koch Industries that acquired DuPont's textile nylon business a decade ago), showcased its Torzen engineering polyamides for automotive applications. Torzen Marathon PA66 resin has been improved to withstand higher temperatures for longer periods, yet reportedly still provides ease of processability, attributable to its low melt viscosity. It retains high performance properties up to 230°C/445°F operating temperature, and exhibits a melt vis- cosity 40 to 50 percent lower than conventional polyamides, says the company. http://eps.invista.com Mold release alternative Another new exhibitor, startup Youtec (Nagareyama-shi, Japan, and Los Altos, Calif.), touted an alternative to conventional semipermanent mold release tech- nology. It's a new mold coating, described as "diamond-like," and applied via vapor deposition. A carbon/hydrogen-containing gas is pumped into a vacuum chamber, explains general manager Mitch Yanase, and a high voltage is ap- plied to create a plasma state. The positively charged plasma is attracted to the negatively charged metal mold, and a thin but durable carbonaceous flm is deposited on the mold surface. The surface coating reportedly eliminates the need for mold release. Youtec welcomes development partners, and plans, eventually, to build a North American facility. www.youtec.co.jp Prototyping, preforming and production services Laystitch Technologies (Warren, Mich.) revealed that it is now partnered with Coliant Corp. (Warren, Mich.), an innovator in the area of smart, heated clothing including motorcycle jackets. The partnership is intended to give Laystitch the freedom to devote time and resources to R&D for both wearables and com- posites. Laystitch says that the partnership will enable it to satisfy customer requests for services, such as prototyping, preforming and actual part produc- tion, which weren't always possible, previously. The company plans to build a new facility in Sterling Heights, Mich., to house the new efforts. Those endeav- ors will be aided by new machinery, including a 200-lb/hr, 10-head stitching machine. The new center should be open in about eight months. The company also is working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) lignin- based, very large tow (610K) carbon fber, which Laystitch says its equipment can transform into stitched preforms. www.laystitch.com; www.coliant.com

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