JEC World events are well-positioned as the major meeting place for composite professionals from various industries and countries.
For three days two halls of the Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center in Paris were put at the disposal of exhibitors from more than 100 countries and participants from over 1200 companies. The event was prepared thoroughly and carefully, that was felt by excellent arrangements.
Last year’s experimental format of arranging exhibition sections according to the composites application fields (the hosts called them “planets”) proved to be a success. This year in Paris, apart from AERO Planet and AUTO Planet, the attendees could also see two more planets: BETTER LIVING Planet and BUILDING Planet, completely dedicated to the composite materials for construction.
In addition, one of six conferences held as part of the exhibition was focused on the end users of composites in the construction complex – “Composites as a Worthy Alternative to Traditional Materials in the Construction Industry.”
Composites application range and the latest solutions to produce both components and finished composite products reveal the virtually unlimited potential for this industry in the future.
Unfortunately, basalt composites were not displayed much on the exhibition stands, giving way to glass and carbon fibers, although a number of suggested composite production technologies are applicable for the use of basalt fiber and some companies view it as a perfectly worthy alternative to these materials.
Roth Composite Machinery showcased a new laboratory plant for prepregs to have been invested about € 1 million, and also machines for filament winding, here you can learn more about them.
INCOTELOGY GmbH, specializing in basalt fiber products and technologies, has defined the automotive industry as its focal point.
In addition to the product line, the stand displayed a ready-made roof for a truck cab, made of thermoplastic basalt composite based on basalt fabric. The company stresses the basalt fiber has advantages of possessing excellent physical and dielectric properties, resistance to corrosion and ease of processing.
Mafic was also among exhibitors, promoting basalt composites and demonstrating their properties in practice (the trials of basalt fabric and basalt plastics rebar for catfish spawning units are well known). The company’s products are supplied to the automotive, aerospace, and alternative energy plants. Mafic confirmed the growth in demand for basalt fiber, starting a new production facility in the US with investments of over $ 15 million.
KraussMaffei has introduced iPul, a pultrusion machine, which process among others basalt fiber as a reinforcing material. It is a novelty in pultrusion technologies able to reduce production time by almost twice.
Belgium located ISOMATEX produces high-end aerospace grade enriched basalt fiber FILAVA™ to have also been showcased at the exhibition. The company focuses on the sustainability of basalt composites by conducting a series of trials on basalt fiber recycling in collaboration with the Italian start-up GS4C srl. To demonstrate the technology, a sailing yacht made of FILAVA basalt composite, a project of GS4C, will take part in the race across the Atlantic Ocean.
The delegates of Aachen University (Germany) demonstrated composite yarns, basalt fiber fabrics, and hybrid materials. Every two year Aachen University hosts International Glass Fibers Symposium where basalt fiber is devoted a separate section. The university conducts regular research to study and improve basalt fiber properties.
Several other well-known manufacturers presented hybrid fibers with basalt fiber in the composition. Innegra Technologies and Depestele Group showcased these materials on their stands. Innegra Technologies produces single and multicomponent fibers under the brand name Innegra ™ and France-based Depestele Group specializes in the production of natural fibers, especially flax fiber.
The Chinese delegates felt confident at JEC World exhibition, e.g. Sichuan Aerospace Tuoxin Basalt Industrial Co. The company supplies basalt fiber and composites to the consumers working in the aerospace and defense industries, it has a package of national certificates and patents, actively participates in the foundation of research centers, and pays much attention to the development of industrial standards for the use of basalt fiber in construction.
Additive technologies developers also pay much attention to basalt fiber – the winner of the JEC Innovation Award 2017 in the nomination “3D-printing”, the Italian company + LAB, presented the robotic system Atropos for 3D printing with continuous fibers, including basalt fibers.
A robotic arm with a six-axis movable head lays out a thermosetting composite material under the control of the software installed in its computer brain.
Maxim Chernykh, General Director of Basalt Projects GC, commented:
Based on the results of JEC World 2017, we can make a conclusion that the companies engaged in production of basalt fiber face just about the same problems in different countries: an imperfect regulatory framework, and gaps in standardization.
All these significantly hinder continuous basalt fiber production, this fact is reflected in the manufacturing volumes of basalt composite products and, consequently, their application on the scale, the products with so versatile set of properties deserve.