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Plastics and Composites industry - latest news

Composites the clear choice in telecom tower rehabs

Heavy antenna equipment, metal materials and flammable cabling on aging steel telecommunications towers are hazards for workers who must climb them to make welded repairs. Reports how US company Comptek Structural Composites developed lightweight, prefabricated carbon fibre composite shells that can be quickly and easily bonded and hoop-wrapped at any height on a tower to repair or add structural capacity for additional antennae. The Comptek material solutions have changed the landscape for tower operators. All the materials for a repair job can be transported to a project site in a pickup truck, and climbers can complete a major rehab in as little as one day — a far cry from the time necessary for steel-centric solutions.

CompositesWorld Weekly, 8 Apr. 2014. http://tinyurl.com/ppaud9c

Composites flying high (Part 1)

The use of composites in civil and military aircraft continues to increase. Looks at recent developments at both Boeing and Airbus. Aviation professionals are watching Boeing's Dreamliner closely as it is the first major commercial jet to have a composite fuselage as well as the less exceptional composite wings, empennage, control surfaces, nacelles - an almost fully composite airframe in fact. With issues around composites production, devolved supply chain and overheating lithium-ion batteries now largely addressed, Boeing's main focus now is on how a large passenger-carrying reinforced plastic tube will react in the medium term to the rigours of flight - cycling between extremes of altitude and temperature, cabin pressurisation between zero and nine psi, and repeated landing and take-off stresses - plus non-cyclic hazards such as turbulence and electrical storms. Airbus has adopted a different structural concept for fuselage of the Airbus A350XWB. Instead of tape winding barrel sections as Boeing has done, it has opted for composite panels attached to a sub-structure. Repairs can therefore be carried out by removing damaged panels and replacing them. Airbus also continues to deliver its double-deck superjumbo, the A380. The 25% composite content includes GLARE (glass and aluminium reinforced epoxy) panels in the crown of the fuselage.

Reinforced Plastics, 9 Apr. 2014. http://tinyurl.com/oetstxx

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