Composite sandwich structures: the new milestone in bridge building (Part 2)
Reports on the 140m long traffic bridge near Lunetten across the A27 motorway in the Netherlands. It features a load-bearing composite deck bonded to its steel frame with a customised adhesive. Initially a concrete bridge on seven supports was designed. However, that was going to weigh 2650 tons. An alternative solution was a composite road deck, which had the advantage over a steel road deck of being vibration dampening and sound deadening. The cost turned out to be virtually the same. The final design consisted of just two steel trusses, 6.5 m apart and 5 m high, connected on the bottom by a GRP and polyurethane foam sandwich road deck and on the top by a triangulation frame to combat wind loads. The whole structure comes in at about 400 tons.
Reinforced Plastics, 4 Dec. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/o94cnwc
Light weight electric car makes use of FRP panels and structural adhesives
Reports how the Zbee three-wheeler electric vehicle is employing fibre reinforced plastic body panels in combination with two Scott Bader structural adhesives: Crestabond M1-05 and Crestomer Advantage 30, selected for their combination of light weight adhesive jointing, build quality and productivity. The Zbee is an ultra-light, energy efficient electric vehicle, designed by Swedish company Clean Motion. Crestabond M1-05 and Crestomer Advantage 30 were specified by Clean Motion because they are proven structural adhesives with reliable long term bond strength performance combined with toughness and durability due to their high elongation and impact strength properties. Only a single bonded joint, with no mechanical fixings, was specified for joining the FRP body sections together to minimise weight.
Reinforced Plastics, 4 Dec. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/q4uajj8
Submersible features carbon fibre hull
Working with Boeing and the University of Washington in Seattle, OceanGate has completed the initial carbon fibre composite hull design and feasibility study for its new manned submersible, named Cyclops. The submersible will feature a 7-inch thick carbon fibre composite hull, which will be able to withstand the very high compressive loads at 3,000 m (300 bar/4300 psi). The company claims that the use of carbon fibre composite will make Cyclops significantly lighter than other subsea manned submersibles, making deployment operations faster, easier and more cost-efficient.
Reinforced Plastics, Nov./Dec. 2013 p.7.
DSM launches thermoplastic composites for automotive
Reports that DSM is to launch a range of thermoplastic composites, based on polyamide resins with various fibre reinforcements, which is initially aimed at the automotive industry. The company says that composites containing carbon fibres based on its EcoPaXX polyamide 410 (PA 410), Akulon polyamide 6 (PA 6) and Stanyl polyamide 46 (PA 46) will facilitate significant weight reduction in automobile body and chassis parts. Glass fibre reinforced composites will be targeted at reducing the weight of semi-structural components.
Reinforced Plastics, Nov./Dec. 2013 p.12.
Eight hot device technologies that will shape medical plastics
There is a general consensus that demand for medical plastics will grow 4-6% per annum. Meanwhile, some medical device technologies - which use plastics in one way or another could grow 10% or more a year. Looks at eight high-growth areas with an indication of plastics' involvement: lab-on-a-chip; home care/mobility; telemedicine; minimally invasive surgery; bioresorbable implants; diagnostic imaging; drug delivery systems; and 3D-printed implants.
PlasticsToday, 21 Nov. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/o263vf3
Transition to non-phthalate plasticizers speeds up in Europe
Reports that Arkema is closing its phthalate plasticiser plant in Chauny, France as the market shifts to non phthalates used to make polyvinyl chloride for medical bags, tubing and other applications. The plant closure also reflects significant structural weakness in the European PVC industry. Arkema is the leading supplier of phthalate plasticisers to the medical industry in Europe. According to ICIS, the Arkema plant in France can produce 70,000 metric tons per year of DOP and 90,000 metric tons/year of phthalic anhydride plasticiser. TOTM Plasticiser (tris -2-ethylhexyl- trimellitate) has already made significant inroads replacing DOP (bis-2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) in tubing in Europe. The closure of Arkema's DOP plant in France is expected to accelerate transition to alternates for medical applications.
PlasticsToday, 21 Nov. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/npppdmf
Switching on to electric
Reviews BMW's radical new electric car production and assembly processes. The company's i3 is a whole new manufacturing prospect as it is produced and assembled across several plants worldwide through joint ventures. In particular BMW created a joint venture with SGL to make carbon fibre-reinforced plastics for the body panels. The basic architecture of the life module comprises some 150 components, roughly one third the number required for a conventional sheet-metal structure. Fully automated bonding technology replaces welding. The newly developed adhesive used in CFRP production at the company's Leipzig plant is workable only 90 seconds after being applied to a component, before adhesion begins. An hour-and-a-half later it is hard, a tenfold acceleration of conventional adhesive hardening times. The company is looking to reduce this hardening time to less than ten minutes.
Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, vol. 14, issue 6, Nov./Dec. 2013. pp.20-22.
With an emphasis on lightweighting, reports on the increasing use of plastics in the automotive industry. Previously limited to concept cars, plastics are now widely used in standard production models. Interior applications for non-traditional materials range from air vents for heating and cooling to door handles, steering wheels and entire dashboard carriers. Other applications include sumps, sunroofs and engine supports. Details applications by Toyota, BMW, Opel/Vauxhall and Mercedes.
Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, vol. 14, issue 6, Nov./Dec. 2013. pp.52-54.