Composite awards feature aircraft, bicycles and the environment

Aerospace developments feature heavily among the 11 winners of the JEC Innovations Awards 2010 but there are also bicycle wheels, a biodegradable wind turbine and two new materials technologies.

In the aeronautics category, the winner was Fokker Aerostructures, for a 4m long rudder and 6m long elevators, which are said to be the first induction welded carbon/polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) thermoplastic composite based aircraft control surfaces to be made. These are in series production for the new Gulfstream 650 business jet. The light weight design is achieved through the use of a post buckled multi rib structure with thin skins.

In the process category, the winner was the MOJO (MOdular Joints for cOmposite aircraft components) demonstrator which combines tailored preformed profiles for modular joints with structural adhesive bonding.

In the automation category, one of two joint winners was Magestic Systems Inc in the USA for its Cured Laminate Compensation process developed for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter which combines Nikon's 'Laser Radar' and MSI's 'TruPLY' compensation to set up an automated production process that produces parts of predictable quality with less scrap. The other winner was EADS Deutschland for its automated preform production for carbon fibre reinforced plastic aircraft frames.

However, as well as aerospace, a carbon fibre wheel with carbon fibre spokes weighing only 500g won the French company Corima S.A. its accolade for the best development in the Sports and Leisure market. Another French company, LTP, on the other hand, in the Wind Energy category, was a winner for a vertical axis wind turbine to go on and power street lights that combines flax fabrics in a polylactic acid matrix.

In the Transportation category, the winner was Lomold from South Africa for a new long fibre thermoplastic manufacturing process for the manufacture of polypropylene pallets, while Advanced Fiber Materials Technologies from China won the Raw Materials category for a technology in which fibre sheets are bonded by 'Velcro' type hook and loop fastenings. The company claims this can increase interlaminate strength by 50% to 100%, compression strength by more than 20%, impact strength by about 20% and lay up efficiency by 40%.

The winners will receive their awards at the JEC Show in Paris on Tuesday April 13th at 5pm.

Tom Shelley

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