McCauley Shows BlackMac Carbon Series at Sun ’n’ Fun

April 2, 2014, 10:30 AM

Cessna Aircraft subsidiary McCauley Propeller Systems is displaying its new Blackmac Carbon Series constant-speed propeller at this year’s Sun ’n’ Fun fly-in event in Lakeland, Fla. The world’s largest full-line propeller manufacturer expects to receive FAA certification in the first half of the year for the clean-sheet scalable design that features composite materials and uses a patented high-strength, low-weight continuous carbon loop blade retention system to reduce weight and improve product life.

“This new propeller is the lightest in its class,” said Scott Howell, McCauley business leader. “No other certified propeller rated at 350 hp, wood or composite, weighs less.”

The new design retains McCauley’s single-piece oil-filled hub and has 25 percent fewer parts than a comparable aluminum propeller, Howell added. The scimitar-shaped blades constructed from seamless carbon fiber and fiberglass feature electro-formed nickel leading edges for durability and impact resistance. Indeed, the new propellers are certified for unlimited life and an overhaul interval of 2,400 hours or 72 months and include the company’s parts and labor warranty of three years or the first overhaul.


Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014: General Plastics to Debut New Fire/Smoke/Toxicity-Compliant Polyurethane Foam Cores

Published on April 4, 2014 at 2:19 AM

General Plastics Manufacturing Company will debut its new fire/smoke/toxicity (FST)-compliant polyurethane foam cores attheAircraft Interiors Expo 2014in Hamburg, Germany. This is the company’s first appearance at this event, which attracted 1,000 airline buyers from 75 countries in 2013.
General Plastics will present its LAST-A-FOAM® rigid and flexible polyurethane foam aerospace products,as well as its production and testing capabilities, at Stand 1D46.

General Plastics’LAST-A-FOAM®FST-3800Performance Series offersa lightweight, rigid foam core material that satisfies fire, smoke,toxicity (FST), and heat release requirements for commercial aircraft interiors. Used in conjunction with other materials, it can contribute to improve aesthetics and reduce costs while maintaining fire safety requirements.

“We are very excited to introduce our FST-approved performance foams to the industry at the largest global event devoted to aircraft interior design and cabin management systems,” said President Bruce Lind. “Our LAST-A-FOAM® FST-3800 seriesrepresentsour next generation of composite cores, developed in conjunction with our OEM customers to satisfy their imperatives.”

At the Hamburg show, General Plastics will also showcase its high-temperature tooling boards, molded parts capabilities, and testing services:

LAST-A-FOAM® FR-4700 High-Temperature Tooling Board Series – These high-density Epoxy-Urethane tooling boards withstand peak temperatures up to 400° F (200°C) and continuous-use temperatures up to 350° F (177°C). Affordable and dimensionally stable, this rigid foam board is ideal for prototype machining, high-temperature curing prepregs, vacuum forming, pattern making, master model making and monolithic or large-mass tools where traditional metal dies are cost-prohibitive.

Molded partsprogram– General Plastics’ unique flexible and semi-rigid foam formulations, proven pattern-to-print capabilities and high-capacity production facilities enable it to scale production from small runs of specialty parts to ongoing, high-volume OEM parts programs.It fabricates and machines custom-molded parts to customer specifications from its flame-retardant, self-skinning flexible and semi-rigid polyurethane foam materials.

Testing services – A dedicated Testing Services Group offers a wide range of flammability, physical and developmental tests in General Plastics’ on-site testing laboratories.These include an FAA-approved burn-testfacilityand local access to FAA Designated Engineering Representatives. All tests are conducted using calibrated equipment that is traceable to NIST.

“Beyond depending on our consistent foam formulations and scalable production services, our aerospace partners know they can trust General Plastics for innovative flyaway solutions to their evolving needs,” Lind said. “We look forward to demonstrating our capabilities and discussing project needs at the industry’s premier global event.”


BASF Supplies Versatile Plastics for BMW i3 Electric Vehicle

Published on April 4, 2014 at 2:38 AM

For several innovative components in the BMW i3, the electric vehicle from the BMW Group, the chemical company BASF supplies versatile plastics and supported part development with extensive construction know-how. These include the backrests of the front seats, key reinforcement parts in the carbon fiber body, and the rear seat shell.

For several innovative components in the BMW i3, the electric vehicle from the BMW Group, the chemical company BASF supplies versatile plastics and supported the component development with comprehensive construction know-how. These include the new back-rests of the front seats with visible polyamide surface (right), key reinforcement parts made of Ultradur® in the carbon fiber body (left) and the self-supporting rear seat shell made of the polyurethane Elastolit® (front). Photo: BASF – The Chemical Company, 2014
“By bringing together all our plastics expertise in the division Performance Materials, we can offer customized solutions to innovative customers such as the BMW Group and their suppliers worldwide as well as support them during component construction”, says Raimar Jahn, Head of BASF’s Performance Materials division. “With the BMW i3, the BMW Group has taken a ground-breaking step into the future of the automotive industry, and BASF’s intelligent solutions are making a key contribution here.”

Seat backrest made of polyamide

The seat backrest in the driver’s and passenger seats is the first injection molded and uncoated structural component made from polyamide to have a visible surface and to be used in the vehicle interior. This lightweight hybrid component, weighing only 2 kg, embodies all the know-how of BASF’s Global Seat Competence Team. The backrest, which integrates multiple functions, is made from a highly UV-stable polyamide 6 compound developed by BASF especially for such applications (Ultramid® B3ZG8 UV). As well as providing sufficient rigidity, this material also ensures adequate elongation and toughness to meet the mechanical requirements of the BMW Group, and this within a temperature range of -30°C to +80°C.

The seat backrest owes its final, complex and above all very slim shape to the early use of BASF’s universal simulation tool Ultrasim®. Thanks to the precise numerical simulation of the materials used for the backrest, release lever and belt guide, the calculated behavior in the crash simulation matched the subsequent tests very accurately. Optimization could thus take place on the computer in the early stages, avoiding modifications later on in component development. The BASF simulation method Ultrasim® effectively accompanied all the certificates required by law at different seat positions, temperatures and loads.

Furthermore, the particular Ultramid® grade is especially low-emission. Its very high scratch resistance and remarkable surface quality allow a visible use of the seat structure, which thus becomes an important element. Regarding the seat release lever, its material must not fail in a crash. Therefore, a special long glass fiber reinforced Ultramid® grade is employed in this application: Ultramid® Structure B3WG8 LF.

Multifunctional structural body parts made of PBT

The BMW i3’s carbon body contains PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) structural parts between the inner and outer shell. The largest component and the first of its kind is a so-called integral component located in the rear side area between the carbon fiber body shells. Apart from its load-bearing function in the event of a crash, it also serves to keep the two body shells apart and forms the rear opening for the side window. The PBT Ultradur® B4040 G6 from BASF is ideal for this since it is dimensionally stable irrespective of surrounding climate conditions and offers the necessary buckling resistance. The simulation provided by BASF’s engineers has made a major contribution here to low-warpage production and the glass fiber orientation suitable for the occurring loads. The injection-molded component comprises several smaller components planned in the past thus reducing complexity and costs. More than two dozen smaller Ultradur® components with a combined weight of around nine kilograms are integrated in other areas of the vehicle’s body where they provide reinforcement and achieve the desired acoustics.

Rear seat shell made of carbon fibers and a PU matrix

The self-supporting rear seat shell is made from BASF’s Elastolit® polyurethane system. For the first time in a serial production vehicle, carbon fibers are combined with a polyurethane matrix. The component integrates a variety of functions such as the cupholder attachment and storage tray, saving on both assembly work and weight. A key feature of BASF’s Elastolit® is its wide process window together with its high fatigue strength and damage tolerance. Because of the material’s special properties the crash-relevant part meets the stringent safety requirements by the BMW Group despite its wall thickness of just 1.4 millimeters.

Structural foam for reinforcing the roof frame

The PU structural foam Elastolit® D is used as a reinforcing material in the whole roof frame, including the A-pillar. The highly pressure-resistant foam is manufactured to a carbon sandwich composite, thus supporting the structural rigidity of the vehicle.

Other components made of BASF plastics in the vehicle interior and exterior

The BMW i3 incorporates many other parts made of BASF plastics which have already been established in a number of vehicles:

These include different electrical and electronic applications made of Ultramid®, Ultradur® or polyurethane; e.g. the fuse box made of Ultramid® B3ZG3, which meets the stringent demands on rigidity and tensile strength, as well as a high-voltage connector made of Ultramid® A3EG6; apart from that also cable sheathings and cable glands made of the polyurethanes Elastollan® and Elastoflex®.
In the vehicle interior, the PU semi-rigid foam Elastoflex® E is utilized for back foaming the instrument panel, while the C-pillar cover is made of Ultramid® B3ZG3.
Two different Elastoflex® E polyurethane foams are employed in the roof construction for improved interior acoustics: in the roof liner, forming the core material of a sandwich composite which has excellent thermoformability and high rigidity; an extremely low-density, open-cell Elastoflex® E foam is used as the basis for acoustically effective parts.
In the module production of the optional sliding roof, the UV- and weather-resistant glass encapsulation system Elastolit® R 8919 is applied. The frame of the sliding roof is made of Ultradur® B 4040 G6, a low-warpage PBT/PET-blend.
Lightweight spring aids made of Cellasto®, the micro-cellular special elastomer, can be found in the front and back axle suspension of the BMW i3 as well.
Finally, BASF’s Coatings operating division contributes to the extraordinary design of the BMW i3. It supplies the new production line for the BMW i3 at the Leipzig factory with basecoats in four colors which meet the requirements of the coating of add-on components and of the painting processes involved.


Jinchuan and Jiuding signed an annual 10000 tons composites project

Recently, Jinchuan Group Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd (Jinchuan) and Jiangsu Jiuding New Material Co., Ltd (Jiuding) signed an annual 10000 tons production capacity composite materials project joint venture agreement.

The composite materials project signed this time has a total investment of about US$ 6 million (35 million Yuan). It will construct 4 CNC winding production lines, 6 pultruded profiles production lines, and 1 sets of molding process line. All of those production lines have reached the international production line advanced technology level.

The project will complete an annual production capacity of 10000 tons of large glass fiber reinforced plastic composite material products. These products will not only meet Jinchuan production and construction requirements, but also form the competitive advantage in the surrounding market.

Since September 2012, Jinchuan has especially focused on the new building materials, coating materials, construction waste utilization, and real estate development. The company has actively discussed the cooperation with external companies. Finally, Jinchuan has selected Jiuding as the partner for the composite materials project.

Both sides have decided to form a jointventure in Gansu. The JV has been name as Jinchuan Jiuding Composite Materials Co., Ltd. The new company’s main business includes design and development, production, and sales installation of composite materials new products.