DEC 2018


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NEWS 31 Composite Resources, Rock Hill, SC, US and equipment," Brady notes. "Several clients have been around since Jon was in his garage." In the rst room, two Gerber Technology (Tolland, CT, US) DCS -€‚‚ ply cutters, ƒ by -- ft, are creating ply patterns from carbon ber/epoxy prepreg. Between prepreg and the towpreg used on the lament winders, carbon ber/epoxy materials make up about ˆ€% of Composite Resources' products. OŽ to one side of the cutters is a small product inventory area. On the day of our tour the shelves hold several lavatory sinks for commercial airliners, which CR manufactures from glass ber/ polyester, then gel coats the surface and post-forms the metal bowl in place. On the 'oor nearby sits a forming xture for LEAP (CFM International, Cincinnati, OH, US) engine blades with a rather complex geometry. "še LEAP blades are really thick on one end and go down to a razor edge on the other," Clauson explains, "so the xture helps form the part's preform before it is placed into an RTM mold." CR manufactures the xtures from scratch, including the aluminum master. še second room is dedicated to roll-wrapping of tubes. šrough its history, CR has manufactured more than œ‚‚,‚‚‚ seat tubes for commercial aircraft seating. Equipment in this room includes two CDi (San Diego, CA, US) Mžž‚ FB roll wrappers with œ‚-ft platens, three CDi Mˆ‚‚C tape wrappers with œ--ft tape carriage travel; a CDi M¡¡‚‚ Mandrel Extractor with œ€-ft travel; and several Grieve Corp. (Round Lake, IL, US) and DK Ovens (Rialto, CA, US) programmable ovens with Watlow (St. Louis, MO, US) controllers. From these rooms, we return past a conference room and back to the lobby, where our tour ends. To the future and beyond While strategic planning for the next several years for Composite Resources occupies most of his time, Brady also entertains more visionary aspirations when possible. "Beyond ve years, we expect commercial aerospace to be the bread and butter of our business," he says. "But I'm really interested in the category of 'future 'ight' — the Uber 'ying taxi program, commercial and interplanetary space 'ight, for example. šat word, 'aerospace,' is going to grow to encompass a much broader eld going forward, and that's what we're really excited about." For today, though, Brady is happy to reap the fruits of CR's thriving niche. He points out that the company's experience seems to counter the prevailing view of the current market. "še narrative in a lot of aerospace today is cost pressures and squeezing of suppliers," he says. "If you read a lot of the press, it doesn't sound like a great place to be. But we're a great success story." CW contributing writer Karen Mason focused academically on materials science and has been researching and writing about composites technology for more than 25 years.

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