Two Canadian companies have been honoured for innovations in the area of composite materials for industry. The JEC Americas Innovation Awards were given at the recent JEC Americas Composites Show & Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Magna International’s Polycon Industries won the innovation award in the automotive category for a molding process it developed for making carbon-fibre hoods for Cadillac’s 2016 ATS-V and CTS-V high-performance models. Magna said in a statement that the innovation is the result of years of development that has put the company “at the forefront” of R&D efforts in carbon-fibre manufacturing for the auto industry. The hoods are 27 per cent lighter than aluminum, and 72 per cent lighter than steel hoods.
The other Canadian winner in Atlanta was Genome Prairie, a Manitoba non-profit organization, which took the award in the Biocomposites category. The award is in recognition of Genome Prairie’s work on two projects that led to improvements in flax. One project, the Total Utilization Flax GENomics (TUFGEN) project, increased the “benefits and versatility” of flax by developing genomics-based tools for crop breeding. The other, known as the Fibre Composite and Biomatrix Genomics (FiCoGEN) project, will utilize improved flax fibres to create an innovative composite material for commercial use, a statement from Genome Prairie says.
The new composites, which are fully renewable, can “revolutionize” the automotive industry, it says. The FiCoGEN project is a partnership with between the University of Manitoba, SCION (New Zealand) and the University of British Columbia. It uses semi-structural components of a prototype “bio-vehicle” as proof of concept of renewable biocomposites.
10 winners of JEC Innovation Awards for composite materials
- Design Category: FlexSys Inc. (USA) Compliant design technology and software for product designers of the future
- Testing Category: CETIM (France) “Continuous Peel Test Equipment”: optimizing the tape winding process of thermoplastic composites
- Biocomposites Category: Genome Prairie (Canada) Next-generation biocomposite materials: How the science of genomics can revolutionize the automotive sector
- Aeronautics Category: ThermoPlastic Composites Research Center (The Netherlands) Green PPS leading edge cover made from recycled thermoplastic composite materials
- Testing Category: Textechno Herbert Stein GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) New testing system to assess the properties of the fiber-matrix interface
- Transportation Category: Omni Tanker Pty Ltd. (Australia) Composite tanks combining lightweight properties with very high chemical resistance
- Automotive Category: Polycon Industries, a division of Magna Exteriors Corp. (Canada) Molding process making use of two sided steel compression
- Process Category: Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) (Germany) Manufacturing and processing of tailored thermoplastic composite blanks
- E-Mobility Category: Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology, TU Dresden (Germany) Innovative design for thermoplastic support frame structures: Implementation of function-integrative hollow structures
- Sports & Leisure Category: Cross Composite AG (Switzerland) & C8 Sports (Switzerland) Automated production system for 3D complex, fully recyclable bicycle components