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Winners of 2013 ICERP-JEC Innovation Awards Programme

News International-French

5 Apr 2013

2013 Programme Highlights Innovation is the key to industrial progress and to encourage the innovations carried in the field of composites in India an innovation award program was initiated in the year 2008. FRP Institute and JEC group, jointly introduced the “ICERP-JEC Innovation Award Program” during ICERP 2008.

The Innovation Award Program encourages the Indian composite professionals and companies to focus their application of information, imagination, skill and initiative through which new ideas and processes are generated and converted into useful composite products or processes. This Innovation Award Program gives the Indian composites professionals and companies great scope to create value for their customers and also brings recognition, not only in India but also internationally. FRP Institute (India) and the JEC Group (France) decided to further widen the scope of the program with special emphasis on India. This program has been created to achieve the following:

  • Discover, promote, and reward the most innovative composite products and solutions made in India,
  • Encourage and enhance the visibility of Indian composites companies and their partners involved in innovative composites developments
  • Contribute to composite industry advancement.



The product is a ud carbon fabric, uni-directional carbon fabric made of carbon fibre and fibreglass yarn.
The carbon fibres are taken in the warp direction and fibreglass yarn is inserted in the weft direction. Yarn in weft direction is set by application of heat at a certain temperature. There is no other process involved.
Rather than having strength in both the directions and thereby compromising with the weight of laminate, designers have designed laminates having ud fabric whereby strength is obtained only in one direction and the weft is used just to hold the fibres in longitundinal direction. In this manner, both the objectives are sub served.
a) desired strength is obtained in longitudinal direction
b) weight is almost brought down to half as there is only nominal weft for namesake.
The value created by the use of composite materials is a reduction in weight without sacrificing other properties such as tensile strength, flexural strength, and interlaminar shear strength etc.

This problem was put forward by those who wanted strength in one direction. This was the basis of launching. Innovation work was carried on in a very simple manner.
The market potential is huge. According to estimates, such ud fabrics are being imported in the country to the tune of 3.5 crores per annum. UD fabrics are of two types. (1) weftless (2) with nominal weft. It is very expensive to manufacture ud fabrics without weft. And it is difficult to hold this fabric without resin impregnation. However, in the case of ud fabric with nominal weft, the fabric can be kept in dry condition on account of nominal weft in the latitudinal direction which holds the fabric. Therefore, resin impregnation evening up to ‘b’ stage is not required. Fabric can be transported at atmospheric temperature and cold storage facilities are not required.




For an Epoxy Rebar with or without sand coating, SVS HPL invented the epoxy rebar machine with multiple winding heads. The innovation in the machine is the high speed Epoxy Rebar production from 2mm to 25mm @3000 meters per hour.
The machines currently available in the world can produce 1,5 to 2 meters/minute max. Whereas ours can produce 5 meters/min with 10heads i.e. 50 meters/min. Due to the increasing demand of Rebar civil engineering, the demand can be met only with help of these high speed machines.

The development of Rebar plants started in august of the year of 2012 and completed the trails and was accepted by end user by February 2013. The machines are now launched and have yet to be published and marketed.
The company is expecting a global market for machines. The first one is going to be set up in Russia and some of them are in pipe line from the same country. This is the only machine which gives such a fast production in the composite production sector.

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Moldex Composites was approached to complete the structural and manufacturing design of a medical boom used in operation rooms to hold up lights and other equipment during surgery. The current metallic booms available worldwide are very heavy and do not have adequate levels of stiffness. Being made in Composites makes the unit portable and transportable.
The use of composites allowed the boom to be lighter in weight, free of corrosion and any other accompanying maintenance issues at stiffness levels that could not be achieved by conventional metallic booms. The part is manufactured from aerospace grade composites using high strength carbon fibre and E-glass in both woven and unidirectional material types allowing us to tune the laminate to the load cases.

The design process centers on the requirement for the part to be simple and hence cost effective. Whilst respecting these aims the part obviously had to satisfy the structural target outlined by the customer: CompView. These targets were based upon the stiffness of the part rather than the strength. By this we mean that the displacement of the boom under the max loading conditions is set to a very tight value. It was clear very early in the process that to achieve the stiffness requirement we would be designing a part that would have huge safety margins when looking at the strength of the part. The stiffness criteria set by Compview was that with a full set of lights and the boom fully extended the deflection was not to exceed 1deg. This was the design load case. As a full set of lights is 36kgs thus design load is: 36 x 9,81 = 353,2 N. With the lighting units fully extended the maximum reach of the arms creates an extension of 1560 mm left/right and 1590 mm out directly in front of the boom. The maximum load stipulated by Compview Medical is 4 times the design load. The safety factor is the maximum design load divided by the material strength limit.

The boom is manufactured from a hybrid combination of composite materials. These are T300 carbon fibre and E-Glass fibre. Both are pre impregnated materials in an epoxy resin system.
The boom is currently undergoing approvals for use in the operation theaters around the USA and the customer envisages that it being a revolutionary product has a huge potential to replace conventional booms globally. It was recently displayed at a Medical Conference in the USA and received rave reviews.  

The medical Boom designed and manufactured by Moldex achieves very high stiffness requirements at a reduced weight. The lighter weight allows the component to be easily transportable and portable within a facility and eliminates all corrosion and maintenance issues associated with metallic booms. The additional stiffness and strengths achieved will allow sufficient equipment and lights will be available to the operating team in the theaters

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The composite item is sewerage FRP/GRP manhole covers. Up to 2007, the municipal corporation of greater Mumbai and other municipalities used only steel/cement covers. Steel was costly and subject to theft whereas cement was easily broken by vehicular traffic due to corrosion in rebars inside. As a result sewage manholes remained open with danger to human traffic and overflowing of sewer. Knowing that composites would be a good replacement for steel and cement without fear of theft, breakage and not liable to strength failure, the company investigated the properties of steel and cement manhole covers, and the capability of FRP composites against these conventional materials.

Rawji then commenced R&D in their premises in Mumbai, India. The company also established contact with MCGM department to establish their technical and commercial requirements and the shortcomings in the steel and cement covers being used. The company presented them with studies on the feasibility of FRP composite manhole covers. Being convinced on paper mcgm consented to place a pilot order for evaluations and observation in an identified place in mumbai which would give a proper assessment of the product when in use. Rawji industries establised the formulation as polyester resin with fiberglass reinforcents of special type and specific fillers. The manufacturing process was worked out to be a combination of hand-lay-up, compression and casting.

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Partner : DC Design Pvt. Ltd ; TATA Motors Ltd

The body panels or BIWs are sheet metal pressed components which require extensive tooling in steel and processing development time which runs during 14-18 weeks. Also, the cost of metal tools/dies is about 2-3 crores for prototype parts. The innovation targets these BIW prototypes during the development of the vehicle and seeks to replace them with carbon fiber body panels. Typical examples being the bonnet, door outer panels, tail gate and roof, etc.

To make these panels Sthenos Composites used the following steps:
1. Mold: CNC machined female molds in PU machining boards. Polished and released using chemtrend mold sealer and mold release.
2. Reinforcement: Woven carbon fiber 3K, 220 gsm and 12K, 400 gsm. T300 equivalent Zoltek, Panex 35 600 gsm UD (selectively used)
3. Resin: bis phenol A based Epoxy or novolac epoxy based vinyl ester resin
4. Sandwich Material: Divincell H35 PVC foam, 3 mm foam – selectively used when needed.
5. Structural Adhesive: araldite or parson make epoxy and urethane based.
6. Process: Vacuum bag molding, 1 to 2 mm thick panels. Typical cycle time 5-6 hrs.

By changing to CFRP body panels, the following advantages were observed:
1. Product development time reduced from 14-18 weeks to 2-3 weeks.
2. Product development cost was reduced to 20-25 % of metal parts development cost. The reduced development time and cost enables the customer to try multiple iterations of product design and expedites the time to market.
3. Easy adoptability to existing vehicle by adhesively bonding metal parts to CFRP parts.
4. Strength comparable to sheet metal body panels. Weight 40% lighter than steel, sheet metal panels.
5. Ease of painting using existing equipment thus complete vehicle can be painted.

This innovation provides the customer with the ability to try multiple iterations of the product design in a short span of time and at a very low cost while the performance of the product is retained, offering the customer the liberty to use the same parts for validation and testing. The same can also be extended to short run production vehicles and being studied jointly with some of these customers.

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Smart Aero Technologies have developed an innovative shape for a bicycle disk wheel used for time trial and triathlon events. This shape did not readily lend itself to traditional manufacturing methods for disk wheels, these are generally skins of carbon fibre composites on a core material (honeycomb or rohacell) Moldex Composites was approached to complete the structural and manufacturing design of the wheel.

Moldex Composites conducted detailed finite element analysis of the part and developed the structure using methods associated with Formula 1 car design. The loading conditions for bicycle wheels are as complex as torque/vertical and lateral stiffness and of course impact loads are to be considered. The stress state was modeled and we found some interesting solutions to a structure with curved aerodynamic surfaces. The part is manufactured from aerospace grade composites using High Strength Intermediate Modulus carbon fibre in both woven and unidirectional material types allowing us to tune the laminate to the load cases.

The development involved taking the aerodynamic design concepts of the customer and using that as a base to first optimize the design and carry out finite element analysis in house. Based on the FEA results we came to material selections, laminate designs and construction geometry. Moldex then designed and produced the requisite moulds and assembly jigs to carry out the first trial production. The resultant wheel was tested in the wind tunnel and by actual use on a trial cycle by the customer who rode it over a 1000 kms and based on actual rider feedback the design was further modified and further prototypes were produced. One of the customer requirements was to design everything based on commercially available fibers and resins without the use of exotic materials, with a lower cost version for the enthusiasts and a higher end version for competition riders, all the material selection was based on this criteria and they have arrived at an optimized material selection which allows both ends of the spectrum to use the same disk wheel without it being too expensive for the enthusiasts and delivering the performance required by the competitors.

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Partner : DRDE-Govt. Of India

Bio-digester toilet for mass transport and other sectors.
The mechanical system, equipment and process is developed by Kemrock using Composite as MOC for this purpose. Upon final approval by Govt. of India, Ministry of Railways and RDSO this innovation will result in huge consumption of composite material in the form of complete Bio-toilet system.

This innovation will result in keeping the environment clean, hygienic and healthy, especially the public places like Railway Tracks, Railway Stations etc. This will lead to improved human health environment and make cleanliness which is intangible and cannot be quantified in terms of revenues.

The complete market is virgin and untapped, especially in India and other Asian countries where the problem of disposal of human waste on mass transportation and other public places is posing great threat to the environment & human life. This development will grab the market as soon as it is launched after successful trials which are underway now. The key benefits of this innovation are:
- Neat & clean environment
- Improved hygienic conditions
- Improved human life
- Negligible maintenance
- Easy to clean and maintain

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Partner: NGN Composites ; CNC Technics

This innovation involves the design, development, filament wound fabrication and evaluation of a non-axisymmetric double D shaped all composites road tanker – it is the first in India. The FRP wound road tanker was made using E glass rovings, chopped strand mats and woven roving mats. The tanker can be made of thermosetting resins like isophthalic resins and vinyl ester resins depending upon the end application. There is an inner chemical resistance barrier, which can be made of thermoset composites or of thermoplastics. All these give considerable flexibility in the selection and use of fibres, resins and additives.

Composites are resistant to water and many chemicals and the required resistance to chemicals can be created in the composite tanker by selecting the right fibre and resins. The high strength to weight ratio and stiffness to weight ratio make tankers light and long lasting. Composites offer the capability to make the tanker in one piece without joints in main shell which helps to speed up production.

Road tankers are used for the transportation of acids, alkalies, milk, petroleum products, edible oils, drinking water etc. At present steel tankers with rubber linings have to be redone for these applications and the rubber lining has to be removed every three to four years. India needs more than 6000 tankers all over the country for the transportation of chemicals. Water has to be transported in tankers from the water source to the consumers. A city such as Chennai uses more than 2000 tankers for transportation of water. All cities and even villages require tankers for transportation. About 60,000 new tankers are required every year in India alone. Such tankers are required in all countries. The potential market is huge. A machine can wind about 300 tankers only in a year which means a large number of production units are required.

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