DEC 2018


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DECEMBER 2018 10 CompositesWorld TRENDS Highlights from CW senior editor Ginger Gardiner's visit to IBEX 2018, growing use of graphene-enhanced parts in the automotive industry, steps forward on all-composite cryogenic tanks and more. In its seventh year of growth, the marine industry is surging in boat production and new models. This could be seen in the 28th International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX, Oct. 2-4, Tampa, FL, US), which posted a 23% increase in attendees to 4,300 and a 14% increase in exhibitors, representing 700 companies. Four International Pavilions — Australia, France, Italy and South Korea — were part of a growing global presence, with 55 countries repre- sented in show attendees this year. The heart of IBEX, its Education Conference, also saw growth this year, with seminar sales up 27%. Notable topics were 3D-printed composite production tooling and thermo- plastic composites. Composites-focused o–erings included resin infusion fundamentals, labor e—ciency with infusion, making and breaking test panels, composite cosmetics, avoiding common repair mistakes and making structural parts with thermoplastics. CompositesWorld produced the featured seminar "Future Materials" with co-presenters CW senior editor Ginger Gardiner, Gougeon Brothers Inc. (Bay City, MI, US) techni- cal director Je– Wright and Lingrove (San Francisco, CA, US) president Joe Luttwak. Wright explained how life cycle analysis (LCA) and sustainability are serious consider- ations as new resin formulations are explored for its West System, PRO-SET and Entropy brands of epoxy. This must be balanced, however, with composites structural perfor- mance, processing and supply chain needs. Regarding IBEX 2018: 3D printing, thermoplastic composites and recycling move forward as marine industry continues strong growth processing, Wright noted developments designed to achieve higher glass transition temperature (T g ) with lower tempera- ture post-cures. Luttwak o–ered the second look at thermo- plastic composites within the 2018 seminars, discussing Ekoa thermoplastic composites for wood replacement, o–ering the look, feel and lightweight structural performance of old- growth wood, but via more sustainable flax fiber-reinforced bio-thermoplastic sheets and tapes. Attendees responded with interest for both interiors and structural applications. Another seminar of note was "3D Printed Production Tooling," which reviewed how Alliance MG worked with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN, US) to directly 3D-print a composite hull mold for a 34-ft produc- tion, resin-infused catamaran. Professional BoatBuilder maga- zine covered this project in the article "Just Print it!" by Dieter Loibner, who also penned an update on the Livrea Yacht 3D-printed boat in "Print Yourself a Boat." Though still in its early days, 3D printing is obviously moving forward in marine. IBEX 2018 welcomed 4,300 attendees and 700 exhibitors, an increase from the previous year of 23% and 14%, respectively. The show featured the first-ever Vacuum Bag Challenge (above right photo), with four teams bagging a balloon to 15 inches of mercury, without popping it, in the fastest time. The team of Accredited Marine Technologies and Schooner Creek Boat Works won with a time of 6 minutes, 22 seconds. Supplies and technical expertise were provided by PRO-VAC. Source | IBEX

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