Sunday, April 22, 2012

Carbon fiber used in china's famous bridge construction

After four years of construction, China famous Aizhai suspension bridge has been officially opened the 31th March 2012. Its large rock anchor sling and rock anchor base are made of carbon fiber material.

Aizhai Bridge is a super large bridge connecting Hunan Jishou to Cha Dong highway across the Aizhai Grand Canyon. It is constructed by Hunan Road Bridge Group. The bridge is a single crossing suspension bridge with steel truss plus stiffening girder. The main cross is 1176 meters. And the width of bridge deck is 24.5 meters. The deck height is 350 meters above the bottom of the canyon.

 In the process of construction, the bridge creates four world firsts:
    1) The building height of Canyon crossing is 335 meters, and the length of crossing is 1176 meters.
    2) A new structure of tower beam separation has been applied.
    3) The rail cable shifting beam technology has been applied in erecting the main truss beam.
    4) Large rock anchor sling and rock anchor base are made of carbon fiber material.

Main beam is consisted of steel truss and stiffening girder. And the main cable is prefabricated parallel wire strands by root erection construction method, Jishou Bank used gravity anchor, while Cha Dong Bank used tunnel anchor.

Cable tower used double column gantry frame structure, suspension bridge connected with tunnels at both ends.

Large amount of construction material has been used. The construction of gravity anchor alone needed more than 72000 cubic meters. Jishou bank tower foundation pit excavation volume reached more than 300000 cubic meters.

All steel parts such as main cable, cable saddle, cable clip, suspension cable, steel truss girder, steel beams and expansion joints require high processing precision.

The upper structure nearly 40000 tons component needed to be set up to more than 350meters high.

The design of the bridge span is 100 years. In December 26th, 2011, a total of 68 35 tons vehicles drove through the bridge at the same time. All the bridge force performance indicators have fully met the design requirements.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Roquette Company-Sorbito (Interview)

In fact Roquette started to work on sorbitol and to produce it in small quantities in the early fifties. Thanks to our application laboratories, we quickly discovered a huge number of possible applications for this product, some of them were really unexpected.
One of the big outcomes of sorbitol is its use as humectants in toothpastes and chewing gums. It is also an efficient alternative to sugar, which makes it popular in sugar-free pharmaceutical syrups. It is also widely used in sugar-free candies. We therefore developed numerous grades of sorbitols and derived polyols, with a wide range of purity and final properties. Sorbitol is also a raw material for the vitamin C, which production volumes have been significantly moved to China these past years. Because Roquette started very early to work on sorbitol and its derived products it is now a leading producer of other polyols (maltitol, xylitol, and so on).

But sorbitol is also well known in the chemical industry: it is used as an initiator to make polyether polyols, which make rigid polyurethane foams when reacted with isocyanates. This is a rather big market with strong growth perspectives as rigid PU foams are used in insulation systems. The insulation performances allow for reduced energy consumption and at the end reduced carbon dioxide emissions. In Asia rigid PU foams growth rate is between 15% and 20% nowadays. This made the Roquette portfolio very rich. Now Roquette has a very strong market share of sorbitol in the world. Roquette has sorbitol manufacturing plants in the three main regions of the world: Europe, Americas and more recently in China, in Lianyungang, where it built in 2004 a new factory to include the production of polyols.
We started to work on isosorbide very early. But at that time we did not find relevant applications, except its use as a raw material of an active ingredient of a heart medicine, which is still produced today but in very small quantities.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

3M Unveils Weight Reducing 3M™ Glass Bubbles iM16K Grades Applicable for PP & PA Systems

3M is introducing the newest member of its high-strength hollow glass bubbles product line that will change the way the industry uses lightweight fillers. This new product will enable customers to do more with their resin systems. 3M™ Glass Bubbles iM16K are a high-strength injection molding grade for polypropylene and polyamide systems. They enable manufacturers to produce optimized resin formulations for lower-density filled plastics - without compromising strength or other physical properties.

Now, manufacturers can do more beyond reducing weight. With a density of just 0.46 g/cc, resin systems optimized with iM16K can reduce weight by 15 percent or more in polypropylene-filled systems, and 18 percent or more in nylon glass fiber systems, while maintaining optimized physical properties. Manufacturers can see productivity gains when using resin systems filled with high strength glass bubbles, such as iM16K. Because iM16K is hollow, like all 3M glass bubbles, there is less finished part mass to cool, which may reduce cycle times by 15 to 25 percent, depending on the resin system. iM16K is specially engineered to survive injection molding and compounding processes and features crush strength of >16,000 psi. Incorporating glass bubbles into processes improves dimensional stability, which translates to less shrinkage and warpage - thereby reducing reject parts and reprocessing.

Today, businesses in every industrial sector understand the need to "do more" to reduce their carbon footprint and improve the sustainability of their products throughout their life cycles. For industrial consumers of plastic parts - particularly those in the transportation market - the benefits of lightweighting have an obvious impact.
Case in point: REHAU, a global polymer processing firm, has been developing a low density PPSU material called "RAU-Flight," made with 3M glass bubbles for use in a variety of interior aircraft cabin components. According to Bernd Kupferer, business unit manager, Industrial Solutions at REHAU, this new material could contribute to significant fuel savings for aircraft operators.
"We have determined that a single handrail system for an Airbus A320, made with these new RAU-Flight materials, would reduce weight by more than 5kg per aircraft, resulting in a savings of about 1000 liters of fuel per year," states Kupferer. "If you extend this to a fleet of 150 aircraft, over a 15-year operating life, the total fuel savings would be about 2.25 million liters of jet fuel. That not only saves money for the airline, but is also a significant reduction in carbon emissions."

3M glass bubbles build on 3M's legacy of innovation and are based on 3M's Ceramics, Coatings and Advanced Materials Technology Platforms.

SABIC Premiers State of the Art Higher Performance & Lighter Weight Materials at JEC 2012

At JEC Europe, Booth #U17, SABIC's Innovative Plastics business is spotlighting a variety of lightweight, high-performance composites and other advanced materials that are making important contributions to its customers' sustainability initiatives across major global industries. In particular, the outstanding weight-out and non-halogenated flame retardance provided by SABIC's high-performance Ultem™ polyetherimide (PEI) materials are increasing their appeal as environmentally responsible solutions. Customers are choosing Ultem materials for a broad range of applications - not just in aerospace, where they have achieved notable successes, but also in automotive, rail, oil & gas and building & construction.

Ultem carbon-fiber-filled resin, structural foam, and textile fiber can slash part weight by up to 50 percent to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. These innovative materials also provide exceptional, inherent flame-smoke-toxicity (FST) performance for which Ultem PEI technology is famous. The company is also displaying Ultem powders that enhance FST performance of thermoset composite systems and polyphenylene ether(PPO™) resin additives that increase heat and toughness of epoxy systems. SABIC's global technology resources and deep industry expertise enable the company to deliver sustainable solutions for the evolving needs of their customers in a variety of market segments worldwide.
"SABIC's advanced materials and additives can resolve a dilemma facing a number of industries - how to achieve greater sustainability without sacrificing performance," said Ilknur Gur, general manager Europe, engineering resins, Innovative Plastics. "Our Ultem technologies - already widely used for demanding interior aircraft components - also provide an outstanding combination of light weight and high performance properties for many other critical applications as a replacement for metals and thermosets. The success of Ultem resin is just one example of how SABIC's engineering thermoplastics and composites are helping customers pursue successful environmental strategies and competitive differentiation."

Carbon-fiber-filled Ultem Resin

Offering high modulus and mechanical strength, this unique compound is based on Ultem resin and aerospace carbon fiber technology. When used to replace heavier airline-grade aluminum in interior components, carbon-fiber-filled Ultem resin can cut weight by up to 50 percent while improving strength by 40 percent vs. die-cast aluminum. The compound complies with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 25.853 requirements for flammability, Ohio State University (OSU) 55/55 heat release standard and smoke density and key OEM specifications for FST. Potential injection molding applications include tray table arms, armrests, footrests and galley items. Components can be powder coated, painted or plated.
In rail applications, carbon-fiber-filled Ultem resin is an excellent choice for replacing aluminum in seating and other semi-structural components. Further, its high heat performance makes it a great alternative for under-hood automotive parts. Finally, it can be used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) applications that demand high-temperature resistance and flame retardance.

Ultem Structural Foam

Ultem foam enables aircraft designers to leverage the best-in-class FST performance of PEI resin in a form that is 10 to 20 times lighter than traditional plastic components. It is an outstanding thermoformable core material choice for aircraft interior composite structures such as luggage bins, galleys and lower wall panels (dado panels). Ultem foam meets OSU heat release levels below 50/50, and offers low moisture absorption, excellent energy absorption and low dielectric loss. It is also transparent to radar making it a prime material for insulation of radomes. The Ultem foam product family comprises grades with three different densities.
Similarly, Ultem foam is an excellent candidate material for railcar side walls, ceiling panels and partitions. Its insulating properties make it a good choice for insulation of HVAC systems in high-end structures such as hospitals.

Ultem Fiber

Featuring the signature FST performance of Ultem resin, Ultem fiber provides light weight and excellent aesthetics for many applications in aerospace and rail - including carpets, kick panels, seating and wall coverings and safety and protective apparel. Woven fabrics incorporating Ultem fiber can be colored using conventional exhaust dyeing techniques, resulting in exceptional colorfastness and resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light.

Ultem Powders for Thermoset Composites

To extend the benefits of Ultem resin's exceptional FST performance, good metal adhesion and high heat resistance into thermoset composite systems, SABIC developed two powder technologies that efficiently disperse into thermosets and dissolve into solutions faster than coarse powders or pellets.
  • Type I PEI powders, which are produced via processing chemistry, achieve particle sizes less than 45 microns. The powder is uniformly spherical to enable more-efficient dispersion and dissolution compared to mechanically ground powders. Applications include tougheners for epoxy resins and direct impregnation of fabrics or unidirectional tapes to create thermoplastic shape-able composites for use in industries like aerospace, automotive and oil & gas.
  • Type II PEI powders, created by using patented process technology, have a particle structure that is fluffy and porous with a high surface area. Although particle size is greater than 100 microns, this structure enables the powder to disperse and dissolve very quickly into organic solutions and epoxies. Applications include solvent-based industrial coatings and adhesives, and thermoset resins for composites which can be used in aerospace, automotive, chemical process and oil & gas industries.

PPO Oligomer Resin Additives

PPO resin has a low dielectric constant and loss factor (Dk/Df) that enables better signal integrity at high frequencies when used in printed circuit board (PCB) laminates. SABIC has developed two oligomer additives that easily fit with common PCB fabrication methods. Noryl™ SA90 resin provides enhanced electrical properties, increased glass transition temperature (Tg) and toughness, and improvements in non-halogenated flame retardance for epoxy-based PCB applications. Noryl SA9000 resin provides many of these benefits for non-epoxy PCB applications. Applications include industrial and aerospace composites, adhesives and elastomers.

Sustainmetrics Carries out LCA on Cereplast Hybrid 101 Bioplastic to Assess its Environmental Effects

Cereplast, Inc. ,a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable bioplastics, completed a third party Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report that assessed the environmental impacts of a number of conventional and renewable plastics from cradle to factory gate (from raw material extraction to the production of the plastic product), and determined that Cereplast Hybrid 101 is superior to all conventional plastics evaluated in terms of overall environmental impact.

The study was performed by Sustainmetrics and compared Cereplast Hybrid 101 bioplastic to four different conventional plastics includingLow Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) and Polypropylene (PP). The LCA is currently undergoing third party peer review, which will be completed within the next two weeks.
The goal of the study was to assess the environmental impacts from cradle to factory gate through an LCA method that quantifies the environmental impact of the energy and materials used, wastes generated, and emissions released. The LCA provided a rating for each product's cumulative environmental impact including climate change, ozone layer depletion, and ecotoxicity, all of which were turned into a single ReCiPe eco-points score.
Impact assessments were conducted for Carbon Footprint (Global Warming Potential) using the official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodology, Abiotic Resource Depletion using the widely used CML methodology regarding the use of non-renewable materials such as oil and metals, and Overall Environmental Impact using the most recent ReCiPe single score methodology, which is the standard for creating an overall score.
The reduction in Global Warming Potential for Hybrid 101 compared to conventional PP is 32% when you factor in biogenic carbon. When you replace 1,000,000 pounds of conventional PP with Hybrid 101, the environmental impact reduction is 800,000 pounds of CO2 eq., which is equivalent to driving 732,800 miles in an average passenger vehicle, or driving around the world more than twenty-nine times. If 0.1% of the global demand for PP was replaced with Hybrid 101, that's the same as removing 5,100 cars from America's roads or planting 1,200,000 trees, which would save millions of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
"This is a very significant step forward in our quest for a safer planet," said Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Mr. Frederic Scheer. "Cereplast created the concept of hybrid resins a few years ago, believing in the advantages of and seeing the need for this type of resin. This third party LCA report confirms the environmental benefits of the Cereplast Hybrid 101," added Scheer. "Companies that use the Cereplast Hybrid Resins® product line for consumer products, household goods, furniture and even automotive applications, will contribute to a cleaner planet without compromising the quality of their products. With Hybrid 101 at a similar price to standard polypropylene, we are expecting a surge in demand."