New Millennium Composites
Maybe it was the change of venue, or perhaps it was the show's theme: "Evolving and Revolutionary Technologies for the New Millennium." No matter what the reason, some 8,000 engineers, scientists, and industry representatives were in attendance at the 44th Annual SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition at the Long Beach (CA) Convention Center from May 23 through May 27.
Two exciting events attracted large crowds to the exhibit floor. The first enabled show goers to build their own pool cue stick. For a fee of only $15, with proceeds going to the local SAMPE chapter, the participants learned how to build a carbon-fiber cue stick from ground zero. The popular activity involved prepreg cutting, machine rolling, shrink wrapping, oven curing, mandrel processing, and logo printing.
The second crowd pleaser centered on the annual "Composite Bridge Building Contest." This happening drew more than 50 contestants with all levels of experience college students to seasoned professionals. The entrants were invited to "create the best bridge they can imagine." However, each bridge design had to conform to a set of requirements that allowed them to be tested on an Instron Corp. Model 5582 materials testing system. This year's winners: Professional Grade (kit materials)Karl Gillette and Bruce Powell of Edge Structural Composites; Professional Grade (non-kit materials)Greg Paulson and Ian Fernandez of NASA Ames; University Grade (kit materials)Eric Oakes, Marnie Huller, and Carolyn Nyugon of the University of Washington; University Grade (non-kit materials)Fuli Cavez, Ondre Sneed, Kurt Batson, and Carl Bruce of the University of Washington; and Most Innovative Design Stan Stawski of Scaled Composites.
With close to 300 companies exhibiting their products, the highest number in five years, attendees got a first-hand look at the materials and processes that can help them make the design of their next product an easier, faster, and more efficient task. Here's a sampling:
Materials for the 21st century
AirTECH International unveiled Safetape 5050, a vacuum bag sealant tape that changes from blue-grey to red when exposed to elevated temperatures...Allied Signal Specialty Films introduced Trilar release film, a fluorine-free alternative to FEFP and PTFE films that can withstand 375F (176C) epoxy/fiber cure in autoclaves and ovens...Burnham Products Inc. debuted Fiber-Lok 5000, a medium for machining homogeneous graphite block into a finished tooling ...Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Performance Polymers announced a waterborne adhesive, Epibond 820-A/B, and one-component syntactic, Epocast 1664, for air- craft manufacture and repair...Cytec Fiberite Inc. spotlighted BR 6747-1, a water-based primer compatible with 250 to 350F structural film adhesives approved for aerospace applications ...Dexter Corp. announced the approval of Dexter Eclipse high solids topcoat to Boeing's BMS 10-72 Type IX specification...FiberCote Industries Inc. unveiled epoxy prepregs with a tough 350F cure that can result in lower-cost tooling...Fortafil Fibers Inc. introduced continuous fibers with a nominal 40,000 filaments per tow ...ITW Plexus introduced two low-shrinkage, low-odor adhesives, MA1020 and MA1025, suitable for one-inch-thick use...National Aerospace Supply Co. announced it had received 18 qualifications from Boeing on its release film ply fabric, coated glass, control tapes, and nonwoven breather/ bleeder...National Nonwovens unveiled a Ballistic Protection Composite that provides dispersion and absorption of impact forces and also serves as a thermal and acoustical insulator...NuSil Technology introduced its "B-Stage" silicone elastomer laminating adhesive in sheet form for RFI/GI gasketing...PRC-Desoto International Inc. highlighted an electrically conductive sealant, PR-220 Class B, that cures rapidly and has a service temperature range from -67F (-55C) to 360F (182C)...Quantum Composites Inc. debuted QC- 8777, a vinyl ester-based, low-density sheet molding compound with a specific gravity of 1.3 for compression molding of structural components...Rogers Corp. featured PORON® HT-800 silicone sponge materials that meet UL-94V-0 and UL-94HF-1 flame requirements...3M Adhesives Div. demonstrated a film and adhesive system designed to replace paint and reduce drag on aircraft surfaces.