Composites Cluster Promotions
The Composites Innovation Centre has had a very busy month in June attending several local, national and international events to promote Manitoba’s Composites Cluster, making new network connections and upgrading our knowledge on the latest in composite materials and technologies.
With our keen interest in biomaterials it was only fitting that we participated in the Green Kitchen event sharing the podium with Minister Wowchuk and Minister Rondeau of the Province of Manitoba at the Red River Exhibition in Winnipeg. Its purpose was to promote the development of environmentally friendly consumer products from an annually renewable resource.
One of our goals is to develop closer working relationships with the National Research Council Canada and, as such, we were honored this month by visits from Dr. Daniel Wayner, Director General of the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, Dr. Jerzy Komorowski, Director General of the Institute of Aerospace Research and Dr. Sherif Barakat, Vice-President Engineering. Discussions included potential for collaboration on developing graphite nanotube technologies and sharing resources to support automated manufacturing of composite aircraft structure.
Earlier in the month a contingent from the CIC attended the Society of American Manufacturing and Process Engineers (SAMPE) exhibition and conference. Manning a booth at the exhibition aided in meeting over 50 new contacts. Many of these contacts were Canadian companies and researchers; typical of the fact that we have to go outside of the country to be able to meet fellow Canadians!
Filament Winding Capability Established with Industrial Partner
When Dr. Dimos Polyzois from the University of Manitoba came knocking on our door for support to produce a fully composite lattice structure, we were more than pleased to lend a hand. Strengthening collaborative ties with our university partners is always a top priority as well as this is a neat project. Dr. Polyzois, together with Dr. Burachynsky from Comorant Composites, a local composite design and manufacturing company, have been working on the concept of an integral composite lattice tower for some time. ‘Elimination of numerous parts and fasteners required by conventional lattice towers is a distinct advantage over existing structures’, stated Mike Hudek, senior project engineer with the CIC, “and being much lighter and easier to assemble are other key attributes’. To initially prove the concept, a project with Manitoba Hydro evolved, consisting of developing an 80 m tower for wind speed measurements in wind farms. With the CIC being responsible for supporting tool development and manufacturing, filament winding equipment was installed and design and fabrication of a collapsible mandrel is under way. One of the unique aspects of this project is development of a material lay down path (winding pattern) to fabricate one piece sections of the tower. The numerically controlled filament winding equipment is being pushed to the limit in order to be able to produce this complex structure. Manufacture of prototype parts is expected soon with tower completion estimated for the latter part of this year.
Canada’s bi-annual composites conference, CANCOM 2007, co-hosted by the Composites Innovation Centre and Boeing Canada Technology Winnipeg Division, is fast approaching – 14 to 17 August, 2007. It focuses on the development and commercialization of composite materials and technologies that stem from an ever increasing number of industrial applications. One of the intentions is to provide a showcase for local industry. If you are interested in participating please visit the website at www.cancom2007.ca to find out more about the program and for registration.
Upcoming events include the start of another Special Interest Group, a series of activities that include presentations, hands on work shops and tours. Its focus will be defined in the next news letter. We are also in the very early stages of planning trade missions to the American Composites Manufacturers Association exhibition and conference in Florida in October, 2007 and to the JEC Composites exhibition and conference in Paris, France in April, 2008. Information on all these events will be provided shortly.
Launching of a members only section of the website is anticipated for early July.