“Products and technologies are constantly changing in the composites industry,” notes Abaris Training Chief Instructor Dave Castellar. “We wanted to make sure that we, as composites training instructors, were up to speed on the latest developments in the industry.” To do this, Abaris turned to CompositesWorld magazine and Senior Editor Ginger Gardiner, who worked with Abaris intermittently as a consultant before joining the CW staff. “There were so many areas we wanted to cover, from nanomaterials to ceramic matrix composites,” says Castellar. “Our first thought on how to access all of that, in one person was CW and Ginger.”
The training took place from Jan. 2-5 at the Abaris facility in Reno, Nevada and covered a wide range of topics:
- 3D printing with composites
- Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs)
- Thermoplastics (aerospace and automotive)
- High-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM)
- Wet compression molding
- Molding compounds
- Composites recycling
- Natural fibers
There were also discussions about digital design, manufacturing and inline inspection, automated preforming and automated work cells, overmolding and recent programs to develop out of autoclave (OOA) wings and wingboxes.
“As editors at CompositesWorld, we are in a unique position to see the wide expanse of new products, materials and processes,” says Gardiner. “Our job, in fact, is to stay on top of this and present insightful information to our readers. What Abaris wanted was a quick but in-depth summary. It was challenging, but supporting the composites industry is something that we as a publication are committed to. Abaris trains thousands of students around the world every year, and also acts as a valuable resource, answering questions and connecting people with questions to knowledgeable resources. That kind of openness and collaboration is really important for composites to grow.”
Abaris plans to continue this in-house training initiative, including plans to draw on its already established relationships with material and equipment suppliers, as well as forming new one, in order to access experts in developing area like OOA processing, thermoplastic composites and automated manufacturing.