2012 SPE® ACCE Best Paper Award Winners Announced

The organizing committee for the SPE® Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) today announced Best Paper Award winners for the group’s twelfth-annual show, September 11-13, 2012 at the MSU Management Education Center. Three winners – two from industry and one from academia – who received the highest average ratings by conference peer reviewers out of a field over 70 contenders will be honored for excellence in technical writing during opening ceremonies. Honorees are Duane Emerson, senior applications engineer – Composites Strategic Programs Group with Ticona Engineering Polymers and Christoph Greb, deputy head of Composites, Institut für Textiltechnik (Institute for Textile Technology) at RWTH Aachen University who both tied for first place in this year’s competition, and Dr. Jan Seyfarth, DIGIMAT product manager at e-Xstream engineering came in second place.

Duane Emerson of Ticona Engineering Polymers will present a paper entitled Using Unidirectional Glass Tapes to Improve Impact Performance of Thermoplastic Composites in Automotive Applications in the Advances in Thermoplastic Composites session on September 13 from 8:30-9:00 a.m. The paper describes a study conducted by organizations in Europe and North America last year that looked at methods to increase stiffness/strength and impact resistance of thermoplastic composites by using continuous strand, unidirectional-glass (UD) tapes to produce woven fabrics as well as tailored blank laminates. Combinations of the tape fabrics and the tape laminates in various layup patterns were then used in conjunction with charges produced in the direct-long-fiber thermoplastic (D-LFT) inline compounding (ILC) process to compression mold both test plaques and later an actual automotive underbody-shield part to determine the extent to which impact performance could be improved and to ensure cycle times were consistent with automotive production requirements.

Christoph Greb of the Institut für Textiltechnik (Institute for Textile Technology) at RWTH Aachen University in Germany will present a paper entitled Economic Potential of Single- & Multi-Step Preforming for Large-Scale Production of Automotive Composite Structure in the Preforming Technologies session on September 12 from 9:00-9:30 a.m. The paper discusses the economic potential of single-step and multi-step preforming processes. Three different process chains for an automotive composite structure were designed and evaluated with regard to cycle times and costs per unit. Validation was carried out using a modified multi-axial weft insertion machine and the university’s own ITA-Preformcenter. In the described case study, piece costs were reduced by 11% and cycle time was decreased by 77% vs. conventional processing of standard reinforcement textiles.

Jan Seyfarth of e-Xstream engineering was lead author on a paper entitled Stiffness, Failure & Fatigue of Fiber Reinforced Plastics that will be presented by co-author, Roger Assaker in the Virtual Prototyping & Testing of Composites session on September 13 from 8:30-9:00 a.m. The paper provides an overview of recent micromechanical approaches to predict stiffness, failure, and fatigue for short-, long-, and continuous-fiber reinforced polymer composites more accurately. Each type of composite provides its own challenge and needs individual treatment to predict performance and this is made all the more complex owing to the influence of reinforcements on composites as it causes anisotropic and locally different material behavior depending on processing conditions, strain rates, temperature, static or dynamic loading, and other end-use conditions. The goal is to provide material models in an efficient manner so they can be used in an industrial simulation environment.

Held annually in suburban Detroit, the ACCE draws over 500 speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees and provides an environment dedicated solely to discussion and networking about advances in the transportation composites. Its global appeal is evident in the diversity of exhibitors, speakers, and attendees who come to the conference from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia / Pacific as well as North America. Fully one-third of attendees indicate they work for automotive and light truck, agriculture, truck & bus, heavy truck, or aviation OEM, and another 25% representing tier suppliers. Attendees also represent composite materials, processing equipment, additives, or reinforcement suppliers; trade associations, consultants, university and government labs; media; and investment bankers. The show has been jointly sponsored by the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions since 2001.

For more information, visit: www.speautomotive.com/comp

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