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Reinforced Plastics and the environment

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EDITORIAL
3 REINFORCEDplastics JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014
www.reinforcedplastics.com
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Greater use
of composites
New and exciting applications for composites
emerge all the time. Sometimes these are
completely new areas for the use of reinforced
plastics, while on other occasions they can be
more extensive ways in which the materials can
be employed in existing applications. This is the
case in our cover feature article in this issue.
Composites have been playing a major role in
wind turbine blades for some time. However, as
George Marsh reports on pages 20-24 the
versatility and properties of composites are encouraging the wind energy sector to look
at new ways of using reinforced plastics. This includes increased use of composites in
traditional wind turbines in areas where they have not yet been fully utilised, such as
towers, foundations and transition pieces that hold the turbines in place. In addition, as
turbines are getting taller and located in ever more inaccessible places and ever deeper
oshore waters, it is getting necessary to look at the materials used for the supporting
infrastructure that is becoming too bulky and heavy to transport and erect.
Construction is another area where composites continue to make major inroads.
Starting on page 34, we highlight another interesting bridge project where the use of
bre reinforced composites has assisted the designers meet some specic local needs
for a harbour bridge. Manhole and trench covers have traditionally been made out of
steel, cast iron or concrete in the construction industry. However, composites are now
replacing them because of the need to control corrosion and reduce weight for safer
handling. Turn to page 30 for this feature.
The vacuum infusion process is becoming increasingly employed in the composites
industry, in particular the wind energy and marine markets. Starting on page 25, we
feature An introduction to resin infusion in which Trevor Osborne explains the basics. We
also highlight how glass reinforced epoxy composite liners are solving the di cult and
expensive problem of pipeline corrosion in the oil and gas industry. Finally, we have our
annual round-up of some of the major mergers and acquisitions to take place in the
global composites industry in 2013.
Volume 58 Issue 1
Mark Holmes
Managing Editor