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RECENT ARTICLES

Felco’s truck and semi-trailer mounted bulk liquid haulage tankers
Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Advanced Composite Bulk Liquid Road Tankers – Felco Manufacturing (QLD)

Felco Manufacturing based in Toowoomba, Queensland, stands as one of the most experienced and respected manufacturers of composite bulk liquid transport tankers in Australia. For over 40 years, it has produced and deployed hundreds of tankers for use in road watering and dust suppression operations, as well as for the bulk transport of heavy, dense and corrosive liquids.

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An iconic Mack Titian three-trailer Australian road train.
Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

The evolution towards improved performance – Marky Industries (QLD)

The core of Marky’s business focus has been on serving the transport industry with quality and efficiency for many decades. From bonnets and sleeper boxes to dash assemblies and engine covers for a range of transport manufacturers including Mack, Volvo, Iveco, Ford, Western Star, Navistar, and Cat Trucks, Marky produces products that marry materials, form and durable function.

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Maxitrans - The MaxiTRANS portfolio of trailer brands is united by their origins in the pioneering efforts of their founders who had a collective dedication to manufacturing in Australia.
Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Composites transforming refrigerated transport – MAXITRANS (VIC)

MaxiTRANS, renowned for its extensive portfolio of trailer brands including Freighter, Hamelex White, Maxi-CUBE, Lusty EMS, Trout River and AZMEB, stands as a foundational mainstay within Australia’s road transport history. These brands, each with its unique heritage tracing back to various decades last century, are united by their origins in the pioneering efforts of their founders who had a collective dedication to manufacturing in Australia.

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2023 Australasian Truck of the Year, the Kenworth K220
Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Transforming heavy transport component manufacturing – Bolwell Corporation (VIC)

With a design and manufacturing legacy spanning over six decades, the Bolwell Corporation continues to shape the future of the automotive and transport industries, reinforcing its position as an icon of Australian entrepreneurial spirit and engineering excellence. The company’s workforce is justifiably proud of their involvement with the 2023 Australasian Truck of the Year award.

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Aerotrans
Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Composites – the great enabler for transport aerodynamics – Aerotrans Australia (VIC)

Fuel price fluctuations pose a significant challenge for the trucking industry to overcome. Improving a truck’s aerodynamics directly enhances its efficiency and fuel savings by mitigating aerodynamic resistance, a force that escalates exponentially with speed. This resistance is a primary consumer of energy, notably affecting the fuel economy of heavy-duty trucks on motorways

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Bitumen Boeing
Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Nosecone Australia/Ryman Composites (NSW)

Prior to the widespread implementation of automated speed camera systems in the late 1980s the trucking landscape was dramatically different. Described by Chris Ryman as the “Wild West,” trucks, colloquially known as ‘Bitumen Boeings,’ often reached speeds up to 180 miles per hour (289.68 kilometres per hour), navigating the vast and often lawless highways of Australia.

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Marine
Kerryn Caulfield

Hart Marine – At the heart of sovereign boat building

From its boat building hubs in Mornington and Yaringa Boat Harbour, southeast of Melbourne, Hart Marine builds mighty boats designed for the speed, agility and stability required to navigate both Australian and international waters with industrial purpose.

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Recreational Vehicles
Kerryn Caulfield

Zone RV – In the ZONE

Dave Biggar and his team have funnelled their comprehensive experience in composite manufacturing across the marine, aeronautical and civil construction sectors to design and manufacture must-have adventure caravans.

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

Wheel Evolution

Wheel evolution spans over five to six millennia, with its humble inception in the 4th millennium BC.

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Fabricating Processes
Kerryn Caulfield

The Evolution of Caravan Construction

Since the creation of the touring caravan, construction has undergone significant developments over time. In the early days, caravans were constructed with a mix of wood paneled sides and treated canvas made by Australian mills.

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

LSM Advanced Composites – facilitating ocean exploration

First published June 2012:The dictionary defines an opportunity as an “advantageous combination of circumstances”, and that’s exactly what evolved for LSM Advanced Composites when the project design and management teams for James Cameron’s submersible DEEPSEA CHALLENGER approached the Toowoomba based company to manufacture the carbon fibre internal lining of the Pilot Sphere.

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Events
Kerryn Caulfield

2023 Composites Australia conference – its a wrap!

It’s a wrap. The Composites Australia conference held in Adelaide in early June at Morphettville was a great success. Thank you to everyone who attended, presented, sponsored and exhibited. You made the event. Australian sovereign manufacturing was palpable during our tour of the mighty RPC Pipe Systems Pty Ltd.

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Saving the Futuro House – a pioneer of fibreglass

A Futuro house is a round, prefabricated house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, of which fewer than 100 were built during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The shape, reminiscent of a flying saucer, and the structure’s airplane hatch entrance has made the houses sought after by collectors. Importantly, it was an early use of fibreglass technology. Photo Credit: Mona/Jesse Hunniford

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Dulhunty Poles – Fibreglass reinforced cement poles

Operating from its factory in Moolap, just two hours south west of Melbourne, Dulhunty Poles is a manufacturer and distributor of a unique range of innovative engineered geopolymer cement poles for a raft of applications, but particularly for utility power.

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Fibreglass – Continuing to reinforce Australian composites

Fibreglass, or glass fibre reinforcement, is possibly the ultimate reinforcement material ever developed. Now, ninety years after its invention in 1932, I doubt whether its creators would have imagined the breadth of materials and applications in which fibreglass would be used.

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Terra Firma Industries – collaborating to build new markets for composites in civil infrastructure

A prosaic and mundane necessity, access covers have played an important role in civil works projects for centuries, protecting a world of pipes, wires, conduits and drainage systems below our walkways, driveways, roads, freeways, docks, wharfs and runways, while providing convenient access for maintenance workers. As technology and community expectations and needs have grown, the humble access cover has until recently struggled to evolve.

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Wagners CFT – Transforming community infrastructure

Australia’s electricity networks extend about 918,000 km with more than seven million power poles – most of which are above ground and extend deep into the bush. These sections can be hard to access, expensive to maintain and are easily severed from the main grid by natural disasters.

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

Enabling the clean energy revolution – GRP Tank Solutions

The Kwinana Nickel Refinery located south of Perth, Western Australia (WA), is the ‘first of its kind in Australia producing premium nickel sulphate used to make electric vehicle batteries. Its industrial equipment required to process the mineral ore is performance and material intensive – built to exacting engineering specifications.

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Automotive
Kerryn Caulfield

The Purvis Eureka – (1974 – 1991)

The Purvis Eureka is a sports car that was produced by Purvis Cars at Dandenong in Victoria from 1974 until 1991 after Allan Purvis had negotiated the rights to license building the Volkswagen Beetle-based sports kit car from its UK designer.

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Automotive
Kerryn Caulfield

The Perentti – (1978 – 1988)

Marketed as ‘A little American influence with a lot of Australian ingenuity’, the ‘Perentti’ sportscar was designed and built by Revolution Fibreglass in the outer Melbourne suburb of Bayswater.

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Automotive
Kerryn Caulfield

The Bolwell Nagari – (1962 – Present)

Campbell Bolwell’s pioneering work moulding fibreglass components was first forged on making replacement panels for a 1937 Ford V8 sedan he’d bought for £50, after his brother had taken it for a serious burn one afternoon.

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Automotive
Kerryn Caulfield

The Goggomobil Dart – (1958 – 1961)

Considered by many as the most successful attempt to design, manufacture and market a minicar in Australia, the Goggomobil Dart was an Australian-designed fibreglass two-seater open sports car that went on sale in 1959.

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Automotive
Kerryn Caulfield

The Zeta – (1963-65)

The Zeta is a marque of automobile that was produced in Australia from 1963 to 1965 by South Australian manufacturing company Lightburn & Company Limited. It was a large industrial company employing over 500 people, that manufactured a raft of products from the “Lightning” brand concrete mixers, washing machines and spin driers, wheelbarrows and boats.

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News
Kerryn Caulfield

Women in Composites – Lorraine Duckworth, Director, ATL Composites

ATL Composites (ATL) was founded on the transformative use of liquid epoxy formulations for timber boats and, subsequently, for a wide range of liquid and filled systems used in multiple industries including high performance marine applications. And at the tiller of this remarkable Australian company is the remarkable Lorraine Duckworth.

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News
Kerryn Caulfield

Women in Composites – Genelle Coghlan, Managing Director, Colan Australia

Genelle Coghlan is a materials geek. She loves the art of engineering purpose and performance into roll goods, tapes and braids, and pushing the limits of fibre compositions for enabling end-use applications in diverse manufacturing markets, be they composites, ballistic, filtration, industrial, hygiene, transport, infrastructure, motorsports and leisure.

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News
Kerryn Caulfield

Women in Composites – Sharon Swan, Director, LSM Advanced Composites

Sharon Swan is competitive, in business as in life. She’s a champion rally co-driver and had a career in the timber industry before founding Toowoomba-based LSM Advanced Composites with her husband and co-Director, Liam Mahoney. Twenty five years later, the adventure of making lightweight high-performance carbon fibre composites clearly hasn’t waned.

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Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

XTEK Ltd – Advanced composite design & fabrication

XTEK has a single purpose, which is to protect our frontline protectors. The company was founded – and is still managed today – by former Defence Force and Homeland Security personnel to develop and deliver the lightest, thinnest and highest performing protective and surveillance products to serve and sustain our service personnel and assets.

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Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

Acoustic properties of composite materials in defence

With the focus of future warfare planning, Australia, through the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is procuring new submarines and anti-submarine warfare frigates. Both programmes require vessels to be able to operate with high levels of stealth, part of which relies on a low acoustic signature.

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News
Kerryn Caulfield

Instructional video – Carbon Fibre Weight, Weave and ‘K’ Explained

With so many different types of carbon fibre reinforcement available, it can be difficult for new unskilled recruits to understand the differences between them and how to choose the right one for a particular project. This instructional video for in-house training cogently describes how properties such as fabric weight, weave, tow-size (k-count) and fabric format affect the handling and performance of the reinforcement.

Click here for the Youtube link

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Marine
Kerryn Caulfield

MoorPower™ Wave Energy Converter Project Launch

The $3.4 million MoorPower™ Scaled Demonstrator Project was recently launched, with Carnegie Clean Energy, the Blue Economy CRC and composites tech-demonstrator specialists, ACS Australia with prototyping of composite components and material processes being developed.

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Campbell Bolwell recognised in Australia Day Honours
Automotive
Kerryn Caulfield

Compliance of the new Bolwell Nagari500 is now complete

Campbell Bolwell built his first fibreglass sports car in his parents’ garage when he was 16 years old and subsequently transformed his hobby of building special sports cars into a business. The following 60+ years is a compelling story of entrepreneurial spirit and raw Aussie initiative, innovation and adaptability.

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News
Kerryn Caulfield

The Global Composites Sustainability Coalition

Composites Australia is a founding member of the Global Composites Sustainability Coalition which is a forum for international collaboration in areas related to (but not limited to) cost-effective collection and reprocessing of waste to enable circularity; the development of new chemistries that will contribute to more sustainable materials; the development of standards relating to environmental footprint of composites; the development of toolsets and data for design of composites.

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2020/21 – a good year for composites manufacturing

For 2020/21 financial year ABS data on the volumes of fibreglass imports show an increase of 10 per cent on the previous year across the three relevant tariff codes. This equates to an additional 2,500 (20 ft) containers. It must be noted that, given shipping times, these orders are likely to have been placed at the height of the pandemic.

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Carbonix UAV
Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

Carbonix successfully closes a $6.3 million funding round – and more 

Carbonix, a Sydney-based start-up run by an America’s Cup veteran that manufactures fully integrated RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones for commercial use, recently closed a $6.3 million funding round as well as securing a contract to monitor Ausgrid’s power networks.

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Aquatic
Kerryn Caulfield

Croker Oars also win gold in Tokyo

Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic, won the men’s pairs title in the Olympic rowing event with their boat driven by carbon fibre composite Croker Oars. While keen to get back to the Croker factories on the banks of the Manning River, three and a half hours drive from Sydney; Darren Croker who travelled to Tokyo to support the rowing events had to endure two weeks of quarantine on his return.

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Marine
Kerryn Caulfield

CST wins six Olympic medals

Australian carbon fibre composites featured in the rowing and sailing categories at the recent Olympics by winning seven medals. CST Composites, or ‘Composite Spars and Tubes’ as it was originally known, supplied over 80 carbon fibre filament wound mast tops to the women’s’ and men’s’ lasers across all nations.

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News
Kerryn Caulfield

WEIR Minerals Artarmon Foundry upgrade

WEIR Minerals released a beaut video showing the results of a recently completed “massive upgrade” at the company’s Artarmon foundry. WEIR Minerals specialises in servicing the mining sector of Australia. The

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

The Whiskey Project Group

The Whiskey Project Group Ltd is a young Australian-owned tactical watercraft design and manufacturing company, founded by former Defence Force officers to build the boats they’d always wished for.

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The “Veitch 27” - a fully trailerable, resin infused, composite game fishing boat diving into big Bass Strait swells.
Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Veitch Boats – Bairnsdale, VIC

‘Get real – get rural’ is the advice from Roger Veitch, founder and Managing Director of startup Veitch Boats based in Bairnsdale, southeast Victoria.

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Kinetic NRG – Southport, QLD

Written by Kerryn Caulfield, Executive Director, Composites Australia Inc.. Founded in 2016 by the late Paul Camilleri, Kinetic NRG is a startup with a mission to provide communities across the

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

JUC Surf – Surf Coast, VIC

Concerns over wastage of carbon fibre spurred fellow surfers – all Deakin University graduates – to combine their knowledge of composites, electrochemistry and material interfaces to develop a surf board made from recycled carbon fibre.

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Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

Carbonix Artarmon, NSW

Carbonix is a company that specialises in high quality, fully integrated RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – commercial drones – which are manufactured from its purpose built site in Artarmon on the lower North Shore of Sydney.

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The Fibreglass Factory Bedford A Team Bonnet
Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

The Fibreglass Factory – Yarram, VIC

Operating from a rural location outside the Victorian township of Yarram, The Fibreglass Factory (TFF) is owned and operated by husband and wife, Ben and Bek Muir along with a growing team of traditional fabrication workers.

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

RPC brings breakthrough FRP testing to Australia & SE Asia

The UltraAnalytix™, a non-destructive Pulse Echo Ultrasonic system enables inservice condition assessments on fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) assets such as tanks, pipes and other glass-reinforced polymer (GRP) structures while they are still operating.

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Feature
Kerryn Caulfield

The Composites Industry of Western Australia – Skills Scoping Study

Earlier this year, Composites Australia commenced a scoping study on skills in the composites sector in Western Australia. The objectives were to obtain an understanding of the value and contribution of the composites industry in Western Australia to the state’s economic base by mapping the key features of the industry, its existing labour force, skills and training provision, and future predicted needs.

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Dave Rasta
Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

Colan – The beauty of advanced materials

Carbon fibre is strong, predictable and extremely lightweight and has a strength to weight ratio almost twice that of E Glass fibres and when used on the rails or tails can alter the flex pattern of a board.

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

The House that Rudi built

Rudi’s love and respect for advanced materials can be seen throughout the house in spectacular one-off composite features. The internal stairs are made from wafer-thin prepreg carbon fibre. An overhanging window box is made from carbon fibre and bonded in place with AEC Polymer’s SAF methacrylate adhesive. The kitchen benchtop is a precision CNC machined slab of titanium, featuring a subtle radius and hand-shaped bevel which he had sand-blasted to a luminous satin surface.

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Automotive
Kerryn Caulfield

Bolwell Corporation – 55 years on

The Bolwell marque is an acknowledged legend in the Australian automobile industry as much for the advanced composites used in its construction, as for its unique design features.

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

A composite solution for Melbourne sewers

The diversion of 600 metres of the North Yarra Main sewer pipe featured filament wound composite maintenance shafts designed, engineered and made by Victorian based firm, Corrosion Technology Australia Group (CTA).

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Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

Di-Design – Ensuring Diver Safety

From its facility in Nunawading, Victoria, DIDesign specialises in the design and development of purpose-built subsea tooling including mini ROVs that provide solutions for challenging underwater problems in deep water frontiers off the West Coast of Africa, the North Sea and Australia at depths of over 2,000 metres.

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

Marky Industries – 40 years in business

Employing a number of composite processes, Marky Industries manufactures a diverse range of components, many for the transport sector, including an award winning fully fitted sleeper cab for client truck production lines.

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Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

Defence contracts boost Steber International

The highly innovative Bluebottle unmanned surface vessel project is a collaboration between Ocius Technology and Steber with the drones featuring rigid FRP opening sails and hybrid marine power technology.

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Infrastructure
Kerryn Caulfield

Innovative composite materials repair ageing pipes

In its Botany, NSW laboratory, allnex has developed a resin specifically designed for CIPP applications. Polyplex 916 has been formulated to facilitate high cross link density in the cured composite liner. This improves overall chemical and hydrolysis resistance and can result in faster cure rates and shorter curing cycles, dependent on sufficient heat input during the CIPP fabrication process.

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

FRP reinforced concrete solves construction dilemma

“Corrosion damage costs Australia more than $13 billion per year. Thus, FRP reinforced concrete structures for use in infrastructure applications are an emerging technology that can play a significant role in the Australian construction and civil infrastructure.” Dr Manalo, USQ

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Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

Penguin Composites wins defence contract

ia signed a $1.3 billion contract with Defence to supply 1100 Hawkei vehicles and more than 1000 trailers, and is now ramping up for low-rate production. Penguin Composites, on the North Coast of Tasmania has won the defining contract to make the Hawkei bonnets.

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Carbon fibre
Kerryn Caulfield

We can be competitive, says Tricomposite’s Frank Cristiano

“From my perspective, Australian manufacturing has a strong future. We can mass produce high quality, cost efficient products and back our products with excellent customer service. We just need to step up and do what we do well, better.” Frank Cristiano, General Manager Tricomposites

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Connection magazine
Kerryn Caulfield

2016 Rio Olympic cauldron by Newell Composites

Few people realise the gleaming cauldron that was centre stage at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and Paralympics was made in Murray Bridge, South Australia, not from steel, but from FRP (Fibre Reinforced Polymer).

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Aerospace & Defence
Kerryn Caulfield

NASA’s new composites technology

NASA, has devised an enormous 10 metre wide moulded cryotank from ultra-light weight, strong and non-corrosive ‘composite’ materials as a revolutionary new hydrogen fuel tank with the potential to be used for NASA’s heavy-lift launch vehicles.

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