Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
The 1,700-ton-capacity Line 4 was completed in August 2009, but as a result of
declining demand for carbon fiber due to the economic downturn since the fall of 2008,
the line’s originally scheduled startup was postponed as part of adjustments to the
Toho Tenax group’s global production in Japan, Germany and the United States.
With demand increasing this year, particularly for aircraft, sports, leisure and industrial
applications such as wind power generation, Toho Tenax decided to begin operating the
new line to optimize global production.
Toho Tenax expects the carbon fiber sales, which had decreased to about 23,000 tons
in 2009, to increase about 15% annually from this year. Looking ahead, Toho Tenax
intends to further optimize production in Japan, Germany and the United States to meet
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The world’s first full scale production facility making breakthrough composite power distribution poles has opened by Dulhunty Power Ltd., in Australia. The composite poles are the first to provide strength, durability and fire resistance by combining the three technologies of filament-winding, high-performance concrete and alkali-resistant (AR) glass reinforcements.
Developed by CMT Worldwide and Langdale Industries, the Eco-Titan™ composite pole is made with lightweight concrete, Owens Corning Cem FIL® AR glass fibers and a vertical winding process that maximizes the performance of the raw materials and includes no metal. The result is:
• Glass fiber reinforcement percentage by weight of 15 percent, which is three times the 5 percent typically achieved in a glass reinforced concrete application
• Total weight that is less than half the weight of a comparable wooden pole while achieving break and deflection test results that are well within current standards
• Non-flammable and impervious to the ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunshine
• Non-corrosive, nonconductive and no electromagnetic interference
A study comparing the carbon footprint of the composite concrete pole with other poles typically used found the composite concrete pole to have the smallest carbon footprint of any of the manufactured poles. It was second only to treated wood at the 50-year expected lifespan of the wooden pole. At the projected 70-year lifespan for the composite concrete pole, the carbon footprint of the composite pole was clearly superior.
According to CMT Worldwide, the global distribution pole market is moving to engineered products for safety, cost and ease of use. The share of market for alternative materials is now approaching 40 percent and expected to continue growing rapidly in the next five to 10 years.
“Eco-Titan™ composite poles are the first truly new product for the power distribution market in 15 years,” says Allen Sells, president of CMT Worldwide. “Our combination of materials and process technology results in an incredibly strong high-performance pole with excellent strength-to-weight qualities and the lowest carbon footprint of any manufactured pole product.”
Owens Corning supported development of the composite concrete pole with technology for the reinforcements and fabrics. The company’s Cem-FIL® AR glass reinforcements provide strength and durability in a wide variety of cement- and mortar-based composite applications including new and restored building facades, industrial flooring and tunnel lining.
“Glass fiber-reinforced concrete poles combine the benefits of composites and concrete,” said Benoît Lorre, business development leader, Cem-FIL® glass fibers. “The result is a strong, lightweight and fire-safe pole that gives the market another way to move to composites and away from wood.”
Dulhunty Power was the first licensee outside North America. Poles from the company’s plant in Moolap, Victoria provide a needed option for utilities facing the threat of bushfire events each summer. Huge fires in the state of Victoria in February 2009 burned poles and downed power lines.
Fire testing was carried out earlier this year at Western Fire Center, Inc., in Kelso, Wash., USA. The two step process subjected poles to accelerated weathering and direct flame. The test report from Western Fire said the composite concrete poles demonstrated performance they deem “Excellent.”
The Eco-Titan™ composite pole was a finalist in the JEC Innovation Awards program for 2010 and was displayed at the JEC show in Paris in April. The technology is now being licensed globally. For more information, visit www.titanpoles.net.
- Enhanced performance (heat-resistance, durability performance, shrink resistance) compared to conventional bio-plastics and performance parity with petroleum-based PET,
- The potential to approach the cost-per-part performance of petroleum-based plastics through volume production, and
- Usability in seats and carpeting and other interior components that require a high level of performance unattainable by hitherto Ecological Plastic.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Advanced Vertebral Solutions (AVS), a supplier of minimally invasive spinal implants and delivery systems, has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its new Steerable TLIF spinal fusion implant made of Zeniva® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resin from Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC. Zeniva® PEEK - part of Solvay's Solviva® line of biomaterials - has a modulus very close to that of bone plus excellent toughness and fatigue resistance.
The EXPRESS IBFD™ TLIF implant, made from 30- and 40-mm-diameter Zeniva® PEEK rod stock, is an implant for interbody fusion of the anterior column of the spine. These implants are hollow so that bone can grow through the device, fusing the adjacent bony surfaces of the vertebrae. AVS has developed a unique "active steering" technology that minimizes instrument exchanges and simplifies the minimally invasive surgical technique, thereby enabling its rapid adoption among spine surgeons.
"Zeniva® PEEK provides the exceptional properties that are required of a high-precision implant in this critical application." said Mike Dugery, President of Advanced Vertebral Solutions.
Zeniva® PEEK is a comparable or better-performing alternative to metals such as titanium for these intervertebral implantable devices. The material offers many important benefits including biocompatibility, chemical inertness, and a modulus of elasticity that is close to that of bone. Based on biocompatibility testing, Zeniva® PEEK demonstrates no evidence of cytotoxicity, sensitization, irritation, or acute systemic toxicity. It also boasts high strength and stiffness and has radiolucent properties which permit x-ray procedures. Advanced Vertebral Solutions uses Zeniva® PEEK rod stock and performs high-precision machining to produce a full range of sizes and configurations.
"We're excited about the commercial adoption of Zeniva® PEEK for this unique spinal fusion implant," said Shawn Shorrock, Global Healthcare Market Manager for Solvay Advanced Polymers. "We've made significant investments and performed all applicable required testing to ensure that our Zeniva® PEEK meets or exceeds the critical regulatory performance standards set by the FDA for this application."
Zeniva® PEEK and the entire line of Solviva® Biomaterials are manufactured in compliance with the relevant aspects of ISO 13485 and under the relevant aspects of current Good Manufacturing Practices. Solvay's biomaterial manufacturing processes are carefully validated and enhanced controls provide product traceability. In addition, all materials are tested in an accredited lab that is ISO 17025 compliant.
Solvay is currently in active product trials with several medical device manufacturers, not only with Zeniva® PEEK, but using the broad range of Solviva® Biomaterials.
In addition to Zeniva® PEEK, Solvay's Solviva® Biomaterials line includes Proniva® self-reinforced polyphenylene (SRP); Veriva® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU); and Eviva® polysulfone (PSU). These sterilizable products are available in resin for injection molding or extrusion.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has welcomed the European Food Standards Agency's (EFSA) confirmation of the safety of Bisphenol A.
The EFSA research, spearheaded by the European Commission, based on 'a detailed and comprehensive review of recent scientific literature and studies on the toxicity of bisphenol A at low doses' concludes that 'they could not identify any new evidence which would lead them to revise the current Tolerable Daily Intake for BPA of 0.05 mg/kg body weight set by EFSA in its 2006 opinion and re-confirmed in its 2008 opinion.' The review also highlighted that 'data currently available does not provide convincing evidence of neurobehavioural toxicity of BPA.'
Philip Law, Director of Public & Industrial Affairs at the BPF said, "The Bisphenol A issue has become highly politicised in recent years and in some countries has become divorced from the reality and nature of its use. The EFSA's ruling on the safety of BPA provides a solid endorsement which should set consumers minds at ease. Plastics based on Bispehnol A are perfectly safe and not only are they endorsed by the European Food Standards Agency but also by a raft of other independent bodies including the NHS."
The BPF fully supports the findings of the EFSA review and its conclusions which provide an authoritative approval of the continued safe use of products produced using Bisphenol A.