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Meet Parabeam® at CAMX 2017 Exhibition in Orlando, Florida (USA)

We are pleased to announce that Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics will be participating at CAMX 2017 Exhibition. 

CAMX is a North-American composites and advanced materials exhibition which takes place in Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida. From September 12th to September 14th.

We would be more than happy to invite you to visit our booth #B64 and experience our latest developments. If you would like to schedule an appointment please contact us at sales@parabeam.nl.

Meet Parabeam® at JEC World 2017 Exhibition in Paris (FR)   

We are pleased to announce that Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics will beparticipating at JEC World 2017 Exhibition.

JEC World is a largest composites show in the world that covers the whole composites value chain from raw material to processors and final products. This exhibition takes place from March 14-16 in Villepinte Exhibition Centre in Paris Nord.

Our booth number is D13 to be found in HALL 5A.

We would be more than happy to invite you to visit our booth and see our latest developments. If you would like to schedule an appointment please contact us at sales@parabeam.nl.

Meet Parabeam® at COMPOSITES EUROPE Exhibition in Düsseldorf (DE)  

We are pleased to announce that Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics will be participating at COMPOSITES EUROPE 2016 Exhibition.  

COMPOSITES EUROPE is an European trade fair that is an international business platform for the composite industry which takes place from 29 November to 1 December in Messe Düsseldorf, Germany.

We see it as a nice opportunity to meet our partners, clients, show our latest developments and applications, and make new contacts.

We would be more than happy to meet you at our booth # C20 in Hall 8B. Interested in a meeting, please let us know your planning at sales@parabeam.nl.

Parabeam® 3DGlass Fabrics successfully tested in fire testing of materials and components for trains - EN 45545-2

EN 45545-2 defines a classification system that specifies requirements for fire behavior of materials and products used in trains. In March 2016 all conflicting national standards had to be withdrawn by EN45545-2.

For a rail project in the middle east, the Parabeam® product is selected for reinforcing interior parts. In combination with a phenolic resin a sub-contractor successfully tested Parabeam® for fire behavior. Within the next months the production of composite parts will start and early next year first delivery have to take place.

Meet Parabeam® at CAMX 2016 Exhibition in Anaheim (USA) 

We are pleased to announce that Parabeam® We are pleased to announce that Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics will be participating at CAMX 2016 Exhibition.

Our booth number is R72 to be found in the Composites Europe Pavilion.

CAMX is a North-American composites and advanced materials exhibition which takes place from September 27-29 in Anaheim Convention Centre in California.

We would be more than happy to invite you to visit our booth and see our latest developments. If you would like to schedule an appointment please contact us at sales@parabeam.nl.

Resume JEC World 2016 in Paris

After a very productive and interesting time at the JEC World  in Paris, France, we can conclude that it was an important decision not to miss out and organize our own event in the city of Paris parallel to the JEC World. During our stay we 

· had various appointments with prospective business clients and partners

· organized a well-attended interactive meeting/ presentation with our partners

· participate the SUMMIT Conference of SAMPE Europe with a table top display and had an attendance of about 180-200 high ranked people from Industry & Institutes in the fields of Aerospace, Automotive and Architecture/Infrastructure.

It was certainly a good way to discuss new ideas and ongoing business, and to learn about recent developments in the industry.

http://www.jeccomposites.com/sites/default/files/content/images/2017_World/JEC_World2017_logo.jpgThe JEC World was well set up and as a result, we decided to take part to this event next year in march 2017.

We are very excited and it was nice meeting you all there!

Parabeam march meeting in Paris

Parallel to the JEC 2016, Parabeam decided to organize its own event in the city of Paris.

In the same hotel where the SUMMIT Conference of SAMPE Europe will take place with an attendance expected of about 180-200 high ranked people from Industry & Institutes in the fields of Aerospace, Automotive and Architecture/Infrastructure. A perfect reason to organize an event in this area!

Successful technical Parabeam® meeting in Spain

During a full day program, Parabeams’ Spanish distributor explained and demonstrated the unique features of Parabeam® 3D glass fabrics in their facility.

Existing and potential customers of Parabeam were invited to demonstrate why they should use this fantastic and unique material in their application and the benefits.

Parabeam was pleased to see the positive outcome of this successful meeting with credits to the Spanish distributor and his team.

Glass Fabrics Expand to new Sectors and Applications

We have already explained why the composites industry holds promise for a bright future. Sectors such as aerospace and wind energy are facing immense technology leaps and investments, while the Asian composites market is expected to amount to 20 billion euros in 2014. It is therefore not surprising that other recent reports predict a similar development for the fiberglass sector.

Fiberglass was developed for commercial purposes after World War II. Since then its use has grown rapidly, as fiberglass makers set out to find many non-military applications where their new material was better than many traditional materials. This would have probably never been possible without the successful implementation of boric oxide in their manufacturing processes. Now fiberglass is in industrial and everyday use all around the world. As a consequence, the global fiberglass market was estimated to reach a value of 24 billion euros in 2014, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5% to 2018.

One of the main reasons for this particular boom is the increasing demand from the automotive and construction industries in Asia, as glass fabrics have become one of the most cost effective types of composites. These cost-sensitive industries at the same time have specific requirements such as low weight, impact resistance, and weatherproof structures, which could only be met through the combination of latest engineering advancements and applied fiberglass expertise.

Good examples are applications from the wind energy sector, where market players continuously strive for better performance through reduced weight, high operational life spans, and innovative designs to get the most out of their facilities. The ever-growing market of sustainable energy management is still volatile and thus needs to be as stable and efficient as possible. Wind turbines for instance will require solutions for optimal wind energy design, particularly poles and blades. 

Behind all these innovative application fields there have been various technological advancements in the glass fiberizing process, such as

-          moulding for the mass production of complex parts,

-          easy adhesion of the glass fabrics through chemical with resins,

-          refractories and furnaces with high corrosion resistance and ever longer life,

-          direct-melt furnaces with outputs of nearly 200 tonnes per day,

-          rotary fiberizing,

-          filament winding for shapes such as cylinders and pipes,

-          impregnation of fiberglass composites,

-          application of pultrusion-processes with resin-impregnated fiberglass,

-          and advancements in sizing to protect fresh fiberglass materials during processing stages.

Furthermore many of these achievements also have led to environmental improvements, which include the reduction of emissions, electric melting, use of oxygen instead of air (to avoid the formation of acidic gases), as well as waste reduction and effective recycling.


Compared to fiberglass composites, competing materials such as carbon or aramid fibre are still relatively expensive. For this reason fiberglass is likely to remain one of the dominant composite materials in the nearer future, especially for low and mid-range quality applications. Eventually the performance to cost ratio of these solutions will find an even higher penetration in various end-user industries, as the rapid technological development in the fiberglass sector continuously paves the way for exploring new markets.


If you want to share your experiences or exchange ideas for further business developments, please don’t hesitate to contact Jurgen Koot, CEO of Parabeam. As he has been working in the composites sector for more than 25 years, he unsurprisingly is credited as being an expert with valuabe knowledge about the industry and its market players. He is regularly cited in relevant industry publications, such as Reinforced Plastics Magazine, Mass Transit Magazine, and the Arab Construction World. Furthermore he helped with the nomination of Parabeam as one of the Netherlands most successful composites companies in 2013.

6 Examples of Amazing Lightweight Car Body Designs

Cars. Every man loves them, right? And all men share a dream of once being either the proud owner of a fancy oldtimer or a classic sportster - or both.
But it’s not just about owning 

them as most people would think, it’s about keeping the spirit alive, to live up the child in you. It’s the pleasure of tweaking and screwing around, getting oily hands and eventually having a ride with your (new) buddy.  
But often restoration of antiquated cars is not that easy and costs a lot of money. Reconditioning an old Mustang might exceed 30.000€, particularly when the body is too rusty to save.

But today there are many fiberglass body kits available on the market. Not only do they ease the pain of high restoration costs, but they also give you the opportunity to customize the car, adjust it to your needs, or come up with completely new designs. Check out these examples:


1)      Promax started its Vennom series in 1999 with the Chevy ’66 Novas. Nowadays they’re offering models such as the ‘70 Mustang (with slight modifications, see image below). And as the car bodies are made of fiberglass, they’re lightweight and reasonable in price compared to usual materials such as sheet steel or aluminium.




2)      US manufacturer Delahaya built the Pacific fiberglas body kit based on the infamous 1937 Bugatti Type57S Atlantic. It is for sale for only $275,000. Only? Yes, if you consider that in 2010 a collector paid up to $40 million for one of only three original Atlantic. Furthermore around the same time, another collector bought an Atlantic aluminium replica for $1 million. Now see that there a few thousand advantages to fiberglass car bodies?





3)      The AR-1 by Alessi Fiberglass started as a concept three decades ago. At this time the company wanted to show the automotive industry what can be achieved by use of fiberglass. Just a year ago Alessi Fiberglass presented a fully functional exemplar with the following associated key-data:

-          Engine: Type V-8 Ls 3 6.2 Liters, 700 hp @ 6200rpm

-          Bore & Stoke: 103.6mm / 92mm

                                                  -          Compression Ratio: 10.7-1

The AR-1's steel frame is covered with, of course, fiberglass bodywork. There is going to be a limited number of 50 specimen available for sale. Therefor expect them to be price intensive due to their exclusivity.

4)     This custom body kit by ZR1 lets the Chevrolet Corvette shine in in new splendor. The new design is based on the “C6.R Corvette racing cars, featuring an aggressive stance and exterior styling“. It’s available in two versions, the Extreme Style ZR1 ($7,599) and the OEM-style ZR1 body kit ($6,999). There are additional options available, such as side skirts and diffusers.




5)      More into oldtimers but can’t really afford one? Then maybe you should consider the  Smoothster.  Okay, to be honest, it’s not really a car. Rather it’s a luxury golf cart by Pennwick. Their carts and electric vehicles are built on Club Car Chassis with light fiberglass bodies, OEM paint, marine grade upholstery, working headlights, tail lights, turn signals and hazards. Looks like fun, doesn’t it?



6) Our last presented model is actually a study realized by students at Belfort-Montbéliard University of Technology, which took more than 2,000 hours in total to construct. This working prototype of an efficient all-electric sports car is called the E-Sphyra. The car features a fiberglass body and an electric motor in the rear. Due to the smart application of fiberglass, the weight of the vehicle is just around 800kg. The zero-emission engine itself delivers 135hp.  Unfortunately this technological masterpiece (in concerns of sustainable automotive design) is not for sale. Nevertheless we hope that it inspires some manufacturers (and potential buyers) to put more focus sustainable automotive design. 


Car History: The € 94,500 Fiberglass Model

Dutch classic car trader Classicpark.nl currently lists the Volvo P1900 on their website, the predecessor of the renowned P1800. When Volvo started to produce this cabriolet, the company at the same time had to face some economical challenges. Early on they had to cut costs. And as the demand for the P1900 was low, the production of the new model had to be stopped. Eventually only 68 units were produced. It is not surprising that this production never really became a big success like it‘s successor the P1800, even though the model enjoyed some positive reception.

However, what makes the P1900 more interesting is the fact that the Swedish sports car from 1956 is entirely bodied in fiberglass. In fact Volvo was one of the first makers that experimented with new composite structures, making the P1900 an important part of car history. Due to the use of fiberglass, the cabriolet (!) was very light, weighing only about 900kg. In combination with a 1,414 cubic centimetre engine (52kW), both top speed (around 175 km/h, or 109 mph) and acceleration (0 – 100 kmh, 0 – 62.1 mph in 7.5s) reached some impressive values. After a test drive, Volvo president Engellau famously stated “I thought it would fall apart“.

But we are not really worried. Of course the P1900 is safe, and the one that Classicpark.nl currently offers is pretty "new" and ready to drive with only 18,809 recorded kilometers on the odometer. The chassis in classic light blue, with red wheels wrapped in wide whites makes it look even more authentic. It is not surprising that this extremely rare model in such a good shape is that pricy. But eventually you get what you pay for: hands-on car history. 

Considering these factors, you can imagine that this model is extremely rare nowadays, and some collectors might be willing to pay a lot to be the new proud owner of it. But it’s not just about owning them as most people would think, it’s about keeping the spirit alive, to live up the techie in you. It’s the pleasure of tweaking and screwing around if necessary, getting oily hands and of course having a ride during a nice sunny day. Good times.


The Key to Success in the Composites Industry

In times of financial bottlenecks and cyclical economic crises it has become more difficult to gain a stable position in industrial sectors. Furthermore many markets (e.g. sportswear industry) appear to be mature so that entrepreneurs struggle to find ways to make profitable business. But there are two factors that fundamentally influence success: product excellence (quality, purpose, benefit) and customer intimacy.

While the former in general is recognized as the basis for making business, the latter often still sits on the substitute’s bench waiting for its appearance.
You may wonder if customer intimacy equals customer support, and whether this is just another one of these articles that spread common sense. The answer is no. We’re not talking about a support hotline or feedback systems. It is about being actively involved in your clients production processes. Specifically when you’re selling semi-finished products such as glass fabrics.

To give you an example, Parabeam managing director Jurgen Koot explains why it was and still is essential for his company to engage in customer intimacy. While 75% of product launches fail worldwide, Parabeam nevertheless has managed to successfully bring their product to the market and reach a point where business became profitable. The company‘s unique way of interacting with their clients (interview excerpt Customer Intimacy http://bit.ly/19PGU4e), and the active consultation of prospects and customers significantly lowers the threshold to consider and invest in their fiberglass fabrics. In psychology, this is a proven persuasion technique usually referred to as 'the principle of reciprocity', or in other words: I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine (read more about it in Robert Cialdini's Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion). Furthermore helping their customers find new solutions and show them how to implement your product facilitates trust and increases the chance for long-term cooperations. Eventually the Dutch fiberglass manufacturer wasn’t nominated for the National Success Award 2013 for no reason. 

According to Jurgen Koot, Customer Intimacy can particularly be established through the following two principles: 

  • Principle 1: Empathize with the customer

o   Identify and understand the problem/goal

o   Recognize the working environment

  • Principle 2: Support customers in production processes

o   Find solutions that match the working environment

o   Support the client in applying the new solutions

However these processes are often accompanied by an increase in cost. Once you’ve invested in a new project, the chances are high that you will stick to your previous commitment - a psychological phenomenon termed the sunk cost effect. To keep track of your expenses and obviate irrational choices Koot furthermore suggests that you should  constantly monitor costs, eventually considering whether the project will deliver profits.

Additional interview excerpts
1. Practicing Customer Intimacy 
2. Tracking your expanses 
3. Acknowledging your customer 

To sum it up: don’t just stick to old-fashioned customer relationship management or customer support. Make it intimate, emphathize with your clients and be part of their development and production processes.

If you want to share your thoughts or discuss new ideas for further business developments, please don’t hesitate to contact Jurgen Koot, CEO of Parabeam. Since he is a strong supporter of Customer Intimacy, he unsurprisingly is credited as bringing significant changes to the composites industry and its market players. He is regularly cited in relevant industry publications, such as Reinforced Plastics Magazine, Mass Transit Magazine, Construction & Architecture Magazine and the Arab Construction World. Furthermore he helped with the nomination of Parabeam as one of the Netherlands most successful composites companies in 2013.



Why the Composites Industry Holds Promise for a Bright Future

The composites industry has made a big leap forward in the recent years. With a compound annual growth rate of 5%, the industry faces a time of many opportunities. Especially in North America, sectors such as aerospace, wind energy, construction, and transportation have performed increasingly well1. And of course there is the still emerging market in Asia. With a growth rate of around 8%, the market amounted to around 18 billion euros in 20132.

But what drives the composites market? What can we expect from the current momentum?

Based on recent experiences with our clients and partners, we can condense a number of observations that seem to be relevant to almost all industry sectors. This has led to three trends that we at Parabeam often sense:

  1. Manufacturing has become less competitive in the Western market, as market players are more open to cooperation than compared to 30 years ago
  2. However the Asian market brings new challenges, such as high volume demands, accompanying logistical obstacles, and competition in prices
  3. There is a stronger need for innovative solutions to make products more sustainable, increase performance as well as price efficiency

The impact of the Asian market is not surprising, and likewise is the need for innovations. Still we’re convinced that the willingness to cooperate with market competitors is something that not everyone has experienced yet or would agree on. This is what we perceive as a new way of thinking out of the box. So if you’re facing a new challenge, why don’t you consider to not only approach your partners, but also your competitors? Trade fairs and congresses provide promising opportunities and therefore should always be part of your agenda.

But what will the different industries require in the future? Let’s have a brief look.

As already mentioned, sustainability has become an important factor for most producers. The wind power sectorstrives for more efficiency through reduced weight, high operational life spans, and innovative designs. As THE energy supplier of the future, wind turbines will therefore require new solutions for optimal wind energy design, particularly poles and blades. The same counts for the aerospace sector, where material weight reduction and automation of manufacturing processes are one of the most important goals. A good example is the Thermoplastic Affordable Primary Aircraft Structure (TAPAS) consortium, which was founded in 2004. Airbus, the Dutch government, and several other national companies are working together to develop new materials for future aircraft programs, with the goal to improve the automation of thermoplastics manufacturing processes, such as fibre placement, press-forming and welding. Also most composite materials have usually been used for secondary structures in airframes, but are now being increasingly applied in primary structures, such as fuselages and aft fuselage mounted parts.

Developments in the automotive market go in line with the aerospace sector. Mainly technologies to allow significant enhancements in fuel economy, emissions and sustainability are on the rise. For this reason natural fibers, pre-impregnated carbon and fiberglass composites, and competitive manufacturing options are topics of high interest. Especially the latter is very important, as many of today’s automated processes are not optimized for working with composite materials.  Not for no reason does our team at Parabeam not only provide fiberglass composites, but also the required knowledge to create fully functioning production cycles. 

In general we can conclude that despite the past economic crises, most engineering-driven industries not only have recovered, but are making a big leap forward. Hence keeping an eye on close partnerships and the needs of the different industries, success won’t be a result of chance, but of initiative. Things look pretty good for the composites industry, so don’t miss out on the many new opportunities!

If you want to discuss your impressions or exchange ideas for further business developments, please don’t hesitate to contact Jurgen Koot, CEO of Parabeam. Since he is a strong supporter of Customer Intimacy, he unsurprisingly is credited as bringing significant changes to the composites industry and its market players. He is regularly cited in relevant industry publications, such as Reinforced Plastics Magazine, Mass Transit Magazine, and the Arab Construction World. Furthermore he helped with the nomination of Parabeam as one of the Netherlands most successful composites companies in 2013.

1 www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/2521845/growth_opportunities_in_global_composites




Marble Facades And Fabric Cores – A Case Study

Façade cladding with marble stone is a difficult case. However stone specialist Kunovar & Kamni adopted a 3-D glass fabric to reinforce thin stone fronts and curved column cladding. A solution that brings many advantages.

The popularity of marble and it‘s aesthetically pleasing attribute hardly have changed over the past Centuries. Yet, its application in buildings has evolved from heavy walls of solid stone to thin stone façades affixed to the building’s surface structure during the 20th Century. For instance the Aon Center in Chicago remarkably shows how marble façade panels can be applied even on such a large scale. Not surprisingly, the skyscraper was the tallest and most cost-effective marble-clad skyscraper in the world when it was built in 1974. However soon after its completion, half of the building’s surface cracked, expanded, and some parts even completely detached under the exposure of the Windy City’s severe freeze-thaw cycles, wind and moisture conditions. Eventually, the building had to be completely renovated and façade panels were replaced.

These problems often arise due to the relatively porous nature of marble. For this reason, a variety of composite materials have been employed as a backside reinforcement for thin-cut stone cladding, such as glass fabrics, foam, and even plywood. Recently, Kunovar & Kamni, a company from Slovenia with decades of experience in the field of natural stone fabrication, adopted 3-D glass fabrics by Dutch company Parabeam to reinforce marble façades and curved column cladding of the new government building of Grozny, Chechenia.

3-D glass fabrics consist of woven E-glass yarn which builds two deck layers joined by vertical ‘piles‘ (z-axis threads). These piles are intertwined with the deck layers to form an integral sandwich structure. Unlike common flat ‘sandwich‘ materials and plywood, fiberglass sandwich reinforcement naturally conforms to curved column cladding and requires no heat or pressing equipment during application or installation due to its inherent drapability. Also, as glass fabrics adhere easily to the porous marble surface, solely epoxy resin needs to be manually applied with a roller. The fabric then absorbs the resin, and capillary forces within the piles cause the fabric to rise to a preset height and even out any thickness variations in the marble. The thickness of the sandwich structure of course depends on the application, but usually ranges between 0.12“ to 0.4“, and can further be reinforced through additional sandwich layers.


Kunovar & Kamni reported that the use of Parabeam glass fabrics has reduced marble waste from 30 percent to only 5 percent. “With Parabeam reinforcement, the marble cracks less easily, and even if it does, the facade doesn’t need a complete restoration,” says the company. Moreover, Parabeam reinforcement permits the use of thinner stone panels, resulting in significant weight reductions. For example, a column measuring 2m by 25m (6.5 ft by 81.25 ft) with a 30-mm/1.2-inch marble cover and a 1-mm/0.4-inch traditional reinforcement, such as plywood, weighs 50 metric tonnes/110,000 lb. Using Parabeam, Kunovar & Kamni was able to shave 1 mm/0.04 inch off the marble thickness, eliminate the plywood and, thus, reduce final column weight by 50 percent. Additionally, the lighter façade requires less robust attachment systems (bottom photo on left), which equates to more cost and weight savings. Tests show an overall increase in strength of more than 50 percent with Parabeam, compared to unreinforced marble cladding.

If you have never considered this option and want to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact Jurgen Koot, CEO of Parabeam. Since he is a strong supporter of Customer Intimacy, he unsurprisingly is credited with bringing significant changes to the composites market and its players. He is regularly cited in relevant industry publications, such as Reinforced Plastics, Mass Transit Magazine, or the Arab Construction World. Furthermore he helped with the nomination of Parabeam as one of the Netherlands most successful composites companies in 2013.


There is More to a Composite Than Just its Production

"Investing in what the market wants"


Parabeam is a fiberglass composites manufacturer specialized in 3D-weaving techniques.

As a result, one of our core products, the woven fiberglass structure (3D fiberglass), is unique in the market. As 3D fiberglass can also be intertwined with other materials, the resulting sandwich structures provide customers with a material that is light in weight, flexible, and ductile. 


“But there is more than just our fiberglass composites”, explains Jurgen Koot.

Eventually it is Jurgen Koot, Managing Director of Parabeam, who provides what the market often needs: Expertise in the composites industry, but also in related fields, such as transportation technology, process engineering, or construction. During his career, he worked with decision-makers of companies from many different markets, such as Bombardier or Boeing. Not only did Parabeam for this reason gain many satisfied customers, but the company was also able to broaden their operating area and become a strong multi-faceted composites producer. 


You can’t buy applied experience of the shelf.

To date Jurgen Koot has consulted a vast number of customers and partners. Of course this was also of benefit to him. “During the past 20 years as Managing Director of Parabeam, it became more and more important to provide customers and prospects not only with our products, but also with necessary technology expertise and a broad understanding of relevant markets”, Koot states.


Full integration in customers’ production cycles.

“For instance, a couple of clients quickly decided to make use of our products, but then realized that they didn’t really know how to best implement the composite in their production cycles”, he adds. It has therefore become one of his main goals to supervise and consult clients as well. For instance Koot and his team give advice on how to best implement sandwich structured composites in automated production processes, help to calculate profitability of new solutions, or analyze market opportunities and possible problems.


We invest in what the market wants.

This way Jurgen Koot and his colleagues can make sure that their clients are satisfied, and at the same time gain insights into what the current development of the market requires. Eventually, they developed an integrated, tailor-made product portfolio for customers that require more than standard solutions - without any exceptions in Parabeam’s selected target markets. Because, as Koot says, “this is the way how we jointly achieve product excellence”.


Knowing your markets and customers best.

As he is among other also a strong supporter of Customer Intimacy, Jurgen Koot not surprisingly is credited with bringing significant changes to the composites market and his clients.  He is regularly cited in relevant industry publications, such as Reinforced Plastics, Mass Transit Magazine, or the Arab Construction World. Furthermore he helped with the nomination of Parabeam as one of the Netherlands most successful composites companies in 2013.


Contact Jurgen Koot (CEO Parabeam) via LinkedIn

Public Transportation in Sao Paulo to Increase Wealth

In the past decade, megacities in emerging countries such as China, India, or Brazil have recorded an immense increase in population density. Economic wealth and job opportunities are attracting people from the countryside and promise a life of many perspectives. However the consequences for the cities are precarious. Scarce living and parking spaces, traffic gridlock, as well as air and noise pollution. One of the affected cities, Sao Paulo, decided to take action.


With a population of more than 11 million Sao Paulo is one of the largest cities in the world. The domestic migration grew so enormously since the 1950s, the city was barely able to keep up with providing proper housing spaces. As a result less wealthy parts of the city appeared, so-called favelas (slums), which are to date inhabited by the poor. Sao Paulo now has to face shocking criminality in these areas.

But how can a city of this size actually approach this problem? Of course initiatives that support both education and local economy are of high importance. Still these measures take a while until they truly lead to results. Around 10 years ago Sao Paulo came up with a smart solution: The building of a new metro line that connects one of the poorest parts of the city with an industrial area.   
Until 2015 a new line, known as Expresso Tiradentes, will be added to the Sao Paulo Metro Line 2. It will serve as an extension allowing the transport of 48.000 passengers per hour per direction between the Vila Prudente and Cidade Tiradentes urbanizations. Currently it takes nearly two hours to travel this distance. With the new Monorail line it is expected to take approximately 50 minutes. A massive improvement for the people living in Cidade Tiradentes, where almost no one owns a car or even a scooter. Through the new connection the labor market based in Vila Prudente will finally be accessible for habitants of Tiradentes.
Jurgen Koot, CEO of Parabeam, was one of the first to be involved in the project. “We were approached by our colleagues from Bombardier. They told us about the idea and asked for technical support”, Koot remembers. Not only is the new line supposed to improve the infrastructure for Sao Paulo’s residents, but problems such as scarce parking spaces, traffic gridlock, as well as air and noise pollution will also be overcome. For this reason the monorail has to bring several features. Modern trains, for instance, focus on aerodynamics to reduce air drag and, as a result, energy consumption. It can be difficult to make aerodynamic railcars due to their complex shapes. However the close cooperation between Bombardier and Parabeam quickly led to a satisfying solution. The application of 3D woven fiberglass fabrics not only guarantees aerodynamic railcar shapes, but also brings advantages like lightweight train bodies and fire resistance that even meets criteria for the international Fire, Smoke, Toxidity (FST) standards.
Eventually the new Metro line in Sao Paulo is the paragon of megacities’ infrastructure approach. Koot explains it as follows: “The new metro line in Sao Paulo shows how close cooperation between all involved parties create synergies, as each brings different experiences and perspectives”. Instead of wasting money on new city highways or parking lots, public transportation proves to be the key to a sustainable future. And what seems to be of even higher importance is the willingness to work as a whole unit. In particular both municipality and industrial contractors need to take all available aspects into account to get the best out of the undertaking. By thoroughly planning public transport projects many further advantages like energy efficiency or emission neutrality can be gained as well.


Bio-based Composites

The rapidly evolving biotechnology sector is introducing genetically optimized designer materials offering new opportunities for advanced, ultra-light-weight biocomposites for automotive and aerospace applications as well as new high-tech twists on millennia-old building construction materials. This session will offer compelling testimony on how a strong, industrial biocomposites development strategy can offer bottom-line benefits in terms of economics, environmental and social benefits.Leaders in the field of biocomposites will address the key questions from top end-markets about how biocomposites are enabling previously unimaginable solutions.


DIY Automotive Tuning – F(iberglass)-150

Who doesn’t know the F-150, every man’s dream car? Ford’s legendary pickup stands for freedom, manhood, dirt, and power. It is said to be one of the most reliable cars heavily used in the US. Not for no reason is it one of the best-selling cars worldwide since the 1950s and already reached the twelfth generation. Just in 2015, the thirteenth generation will be launched. But some people can’t wait for (or afford) the new F-150 and therefore refine the car body of their current model by themselves.

Furthermore it’s the perfect opportunity to reduce some weight and therewith tickle out some performance increases. And what could best serve to reduce the weight? Right, fiberglass!
So recently the Four Wheeler magazine published an awesome chassis how-to for the Ford F-150. Not only is it well written and clearly guides the reader through the process of replacing front fenders and bedsides, but it also shows how well fiberglass is suited for automotive purposes.

For instance, when the Four Wheeler team ordered the new chassis parts at a fiberglass manufacturer, they already knew what they were looking for – custom enlarged fender arches. They simply had to tell the manufacturer the precise measurements and already a few days later their ordered fender arches arrived according to the team’s needs.
Even the attachment of the new body parts seemed to be pretty easy. While the new fenders only required some hole drilling for the bolts, the bedsides involved slightly more work. Only an additional box tubing to increase the mounting rigidity was highly recommended by both Four Wheeler and JD Fabrication. But except for this little extra effort, the attachment of the new fiberglass parts seemed to be much easier than it would be with most metal parts due to easy handling and processing.

Our conclusion: If you’re a DIYer – it doesn’t matter whether you’re working on models or actual cars – then always try to consider whether fiberglass could make the processing easier. In some aspects, e.g. flexibility or weight, fiberglass might not just surpass other composites, but also deliver new advantages to create added value. For the whole step-by-step instruction, visit fourwheeler.com/f150


Five Inspiring Fiberglass Pools

This time we present you five of the most inspiring fiberglass outdoor pools.Why fiberglass pools? The advantage of fiberglass pools is that they are ready-made, and in consequence easy to install in the ground. Furthermore it is hard for algaes to attach to the pool surface. Hence keeping the basin clean requires less effort and less chemicals! But let’s get to the aesthetic part.The Monaco rectangle swimming pool by Barrier Reef Pools is the perfect example of a sober and and at the same time elegant pool design. Particularly through the clever installation of light coloured tile surroundings, the clear functional lines become more appreciable.Also the „Easy Step“ feature allows safe exit from the fiberglass pool without interfering with the swimming area. In the category classic shaped pools the Moroccan by Leisure Pools is one of the most outstanding ones. Not only does the pool have a safety ledge and entries on almost all sides, but you can also order the Moroccan with four additional spa jets attached to the spa nook seats. The Gemini by Trilogy Pools is a kidney shaped pool that unlike most “standard” kidney designs has an extra curve that allows for a very unique and functional tanning ledge with spillways and bubblers—a feature that many swimming pool owners seek. The accompanying spa that can be seen on the picture is optional – but recommended! The last pool we want to show you is the perfect example of how fiberglass is particularly suited for customer requests. Size limitation didn’t deter Bostock Pools from implementing their latest innovation, the 7m Vogue pool. In addition, three LED color-changing lights illuminate the new multi-layer colour system called Nova Jade, which creates a unique 3D effect. Only through the close collaboration between the owners and the Bostock salesperson the pool has become a spectacular success, eventually winning the MBA Pool Awards in 2012. As you might already know by now, there are different types of pools, like rectangle pools, free-form pools, kidney-shaped pools, and classic shaped pools, often offered either as a diving or non-diving version. This free-form diving pool (Genesis by Trilogy Pools) is one of the deepest in the market. This unique design offers little corners that serve as seatings, while the steps allow a smooth entrance without interfering with the swimming area.


DIY'er Builds Fiberglass Iron Man Suit Replica

Chances are good that you heard of the very successful Iron Man franchise, which is based on the comics by Stan Lee. Just recently, the latest Iron Man sequel hit cinemas worldwide, with more than 1 billion dollars in box-office gross. A remarkable accomplishment, almost as impressive as the work of Mr Pearson, who built an Iron Man suite fiberglass replica by himself. The 45 year old Mark Pearson really did it. After spending more than a year on building the perfect Iron Man fiberglass replica, he finally finished his personal project. The costume is made of sheets of cardboard and a layer of fiberglass, and can definitely be seen as the most realistic copy to date. If you would ask him for the reason of this endeavor, you shouldn't expect a clear explanation. “I guess it was just a moment of madness. I decided on making the helmet, but after a while I told to wife partner that I’m going to make the full suit.” To the question why he chose Iron Man, he simply replied that Iron Man isn't the typical superhero, as instead he only wears the Ferrari of superhero suits. Based on blueprints he found online, he started to cut the basic forms for the helmet out of cardboard. And so he continued with the rest of the armor. The Iron Man suit began as a set of 400 sheets of cardboard. Once all sections were created, he turned them into a 3D structure, by which he was able to produce the light-weight fiberglass hull. And of course it has some nice extras, such as flashlights for eyes, as well as an implemented ordinary ashtray which represents the reactor on his chest. What is remarkable about the whole costume is it's heavy appearing look, while it is in fact pretty lightweight. This is due to the application of a fiberglass layer on cardboard, which is not only very lightweight, but also very flexible. And if Mark Pearson had added epoxy raisin, the “armor“ would even be fire-resistant. Oddly enough, Mark Pearson doesn't even fit in his self-made fiberglass suit, as he is just too small. And it's not surprising that Mark still finds that the suit is not yet finished: “All it’s missing is the ability to fly – but that would have been a bit tricky. I really would have needed superpowers myself to have made that possible”. And after he watched the last Avengers movie, he gave a clear statement about the new iron Man suit: „It looked almost as good as mine".


Wooden Bridge Reinforced With Fiberglass

Ever considered that fiberglass and wood could form a clever combination of style and durability? They definitely do!We all know the feeling when we cross an old, wooden bridge that appears to be built by ancestors who have never heard of statics. The same unpleasant feeling aroused when people were stepping on the small wooden Kings Road bridge which crosses Hopkins Creek in Florida, USA. However repairing it seemed not to make sense anymore.Residents of the surrounding area were discussing whether to repair the bridge or not. Several issues seemed to hinder the progress such as controversial opinions, fundings and delays. But after almost a decade of discussion workers have begun fixing the one-lane bridge by applying a fiber reinforced composite. It seemed like a rehab of the bridge using fiberglass to reinforce rotten and unstable parts of the bridge. And like a rehab, it was a slow and intense project which kept the workers active for several months. But the most important breakthrough came with wrapping the pilings in fiberglass and epoxy, a combination which is often used for similar supportive functions. In this case the fiberglass epoxy combination saves the wooden piles – still being the core material - from debris and parasites such as worms and barnacles. The enduring and flexible composite combination often serves as one of the best solutions for reinforcing instabile or volatile material. Hence if you come across similar problems, always consider the use of fiberglass which will make things much easier.


Fiber-reinforced Plastics More Frequently To Replace Coated Steel

Besides its high compressive strength, good durability and low cost concrete also encompasses disadvantages such as unsoundness and limited tensile strength. Therefor it is often reinforced with coated steel to ensure safety and functionality. However steel sometimes is not the best solution as the metal still corrodes and may influence electrical and magnetic fields. A widely accepted solution by engineers considers fiber glass as the perfect reinforcement composite. This polymer is appropriate for long-term deployment because it doesn't corrode. Hence this composite combination can be used in retaining walls, quays, pilings, canals, offshore platforms, swimming pools etc.  A further advantage is that the tensile strength of fiber glass is up to 2 times higher than steel. Unnecessary to mention its lightweight and flexibility characteristics. Hence in case you need to deploy steel reinforced concrete beams in a demanding environment, consider whether the concrete might also be reinforced by fiber-glass as a core material.

The various applications of fiberglass

Already ancient people such as Egyptians and Greeks knew how to melt glass and stretch it into thin fibers. However only since the 1930s the production of fiberglass evolved into a commercial manufacturing business, with fiberglass getting more often applied as structural reinforcements. At this time the fiberglass industry developed from producing discontinuous-fiber glass wool to making continuous glass filaments with diameters as small as 4 microns and thousands of feet long. With further industrial innovations more applications for fiberglass were found leading to a key-role as a composite in concerns of fulfilling requirements such as lightweight, flexibility, corrosion and impact resistance, and – in combination with epoxy resin – fire retardancy. Furthermore due to latest technical developments fiberglass only requires a low technology fabrication, in consequence being relatively low in costs. To date approximately 2 million tons a year of the unsaturated polyester resin component are produced worldwide, which accounts for the production of fiberglass composites. So where exactly did fiberglass find its applications? As already mentioned Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP) offer the advantage of being extremely lightweight and at the same time are corrosion and impact resistant. Therefore fiberglass found its use in the aviation and aerospace industry where it is applied to engine cowlings, luggage racks, instrument enclosures, bulkheads, ducting, storage bins and antenna enclosures. As one would expect, fiberglass might also be applicable to the body construction in the automobile industry. But there are alternative materials which better suit the applications, e.g. sheet steel. However fiberglass in the automobile industry is often used for replacement body parts, as well as custom kits. Another common field of application is the marine and boat sector. GRP provide the perfect attributes for boat constructions (weight, corrosion resistancy etc.) and at the same time significantly contributed to more affordable prices. Further use of fiberglass lies in the electronics and medical industry, where low porosity, non-staining and hard wearing finish play an important role. As you recognize GRP finds its application nearly everywhere and is still on the upgrade. If you are an engineer or work in the R&D department consider whether fiberglass might be a useful composite for your products.  


Fiberglass used for Dome Observatories

You might have wondered whether fiberglass fabrics are also applied to the construction of dome observatories. This is indeed the case. Certain manufacturers offer dome observatories as stand-alone or on-structure variations. The most common color as you might have guessed is white for the exterior and dark blue for the inside. As the surface of the dome consists of Parabeam glass composites fire retardancy can be ensured by the application of epoxy. This is often used for fiberglass applications where extra protection in fireplace danger areas is required.The various available models can take up to a complete twenty feet diameter fiberglass observatory intended for on-structure use. On-structure use in this case means that the dome isformounted to an existing or to be built structure.It often consits of four quadrants, the raise cover, shutters, dome assistance ring, and base ring. A lot of manufacturers often provide the necessary soft- and hardware for robotic operations, that is computer centered automation systems which allow to open and shut the shutter, and control the particular dome azimuth in order that it matches the telescope position. While the basic software often is made for situations where the locations of the control room and the observatory are located no greater than 400 feet apart, some manufacturers provide options which allow to operate an observatory a lot of miles away or across the Internet. Advanced dome observatory constructers recognize the necessity of fiberglass composites and focus on new ways of combining the advantages of fiber glass with the requirements of star-gazing activites. The results are weatherproof state-of-the-art dome observatories based on the easy processability of glass fabrics and various types of coating.


Passenger ships with fiberglass as core material

Fiberglass is a popular material in for boats and the marine sector. This composite material is lightweight and is suited for every weather condition.  For example, the marine industry uses 3D glass fabrics for its strength and because it eliminates the risk that the deck layers come apart once in touch with moisture. Despite the innovative features of fiberglass, this composite material is lacking in application for passenger transportation ships. Recently, a passenger ship with fiberglass has been delivered by Jianglong shipbuilding. The ship is a 32 meter long high-speed passenger ship which sailed in self-navigation from the South China Sea to its deliver destination Shanghai Chongming Island. It consists of a 32 meter monohull from fiberglass and double engines. The high weight efficiency of fiberglass makes it possible keep the weight of the ship low. Due to its powerful engines and the low weight the ship still has a sailing speeds of 25 kn when housed with 147 passengers. The fiberglass hull is not only lightweight, it is also very durable and provides stability. The ship is designed for passenger transportation between for the islands Chongming Island, Chanxing Island and Hengsha Island.  Source: Jeccomposites Tradeholding  


UPS uses trucks from composite materials

Composite materials, like fiberglass, are growing in popularity. The international company UPS, well-known for its brown trucks, decided to use composite materials in their trucks. The main reason for the shift towards composite trucks is the lighter load and the resulting fuel savings. Next to this, the composite trucks work well in all climates, are easily repaired and are durable. Before this decision, UPS had a pilot program for one year. Except for the floor, the entire truck is made from composite materials. The new trucks are 900 pounds lighter than their normal truck and, consequently, are 40% more fuel efficient. The composite trucks also showed to work well in rainy climates and their modularity makes them easy to repair. Another advantage over the metal trucks is their resistance against corrosion from road salt. UPS is not alone in the usage of composite materials, especially car manufacturers and the U.S. Department of Energy are also commercializing composites. For sure, the number of companies using composite materials will grow in the near future. Source: Jeccomposites.com


The most expensive composites material yacht

With a price of 15 million USD, the ‘Adastra’ is the most expensive composites material yacht of the world. It is not only the most expensive yacht but also the largest three-body yacht. The Adastra has a length of 42.5 meters and is 16 meters wide. Extraordinary is that the yacht hull almost entirely exists out of carbon fiber and composite materials such as fiberglass.  The building process started four years ago, in 2008. During these years more than 150 skilled workers have been working on the completion of the yacht. Now it is finished the yacht only weights 52 tons, which is mainly due to the use of composite materials. The carbon fiber and fiberglass materials give it a high power to weight ratio. With its 1150 horsepower and a top speed of 22.5 knots it is twice as fast as a similar yacht made from ordinary material. Furthermore, the used carbon fiber make the hull bulletproof and applicable for every ocean environment. The difference between fiberglass and carbon fiber are the costs. Fiberglass is produced more efficient and has therefore lower costs than carbon fiber. Although carbon fiber is stronger, both materials are strong and flexible. Yachts and boats with high amounts of composite materials, such as Parabeam 3D Glass Fabrics, are more durable and weight efficient. Source: Jeccomposites , in2eastafrica


High-volume production of composite materials

Engineering has undergone many developments in the past years. At the moment more attention is paid to the environment. For engineering this means that everything becomes more lightweight. Cars and airplanes are manufactured with new materials, making them lighter than ever before. Consequently, they are more environment-friendly since they consume less fuel. Even wind turbine rotor blades and sports equipment, for example mountainbikes and windsurfing gear, are composed of lightweight composite materials such as fiberglass. Manual labour Despite the increased application of lightweight composite materials there is still a lot of manual work involved, leading to small-scale application of these materials. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT therefore took up the challenge to develop technologies which should make lightweight composite materials applicable for mass production. One should think of technologies for “processes, plant, machine tools and software for primary forming and reforming, joining, handling, functionalizing, finish machining and quality assurance geared to lightweight engineering materials” (Jeccomposites).These new, innovative, technologies should make composite materials like fiberglass affordable for the automotive and aerospace industry as well as for the renewable energies sector, process technology, and oil and gas exploration. Together with the university of Aachen, a special business unit has been set up to have all the necessary expertise that is necessary for the challenges associated with processing lightweight materials such as fiberglass and other high performance fabrics. The development of these innovative technologies is very promising for the use of composite materials in the future. Source: Jeccomposites , Parabeam


Composite materials as solution after a catastrophe

Over the past years, natural catastrophes frequently occurred and each time the impact seems to be more severe. The consequences are awful and many people become ill or die because of the lacking emergency solutions. Now, a solution exists for the terrible sanitary facilities after a natural disaster. It is a transportable shower, composed of composite materials. The shower unit is made of sheet molding compound (SMC) with fiberglass panels for the doors and walls. The usage of these composite materials ensures the shower unit meeting logistic requirements since the unit is lightweight and easy to construct. The fiberglass panels, which are produced with Parabeam 3D Glass Fabrics, overcome possible problems with corrosion and water absorption. This makes it possible to store the units in almost every region, whatever the climatic influences. Each unit contains two showers and its kit form ensures a construction time of less than an hour. The shower unit proves that composite materials are the perfect materials to use in a hostile environment, struck by catastrophe. Their low-weight (for mobility), strength (harsh conditions) and processability (fast action required) make them appropriate in special situations. Source: JEC Composites Magazine, March 2012 (no. 71, pp 19 – 21) www.shower.co.jp


Fire safety in public transportation with fiberglass

Public transportation is growing and is becoming faster and more advanced. This is not without a risk. These improvements require more composites and electronics being used in the transportation vehicles. In turn, this decreases the fire safety. It is important to make public transportation as safe as possible. Fiberglass comes in here since it plays an important role in increasing fire safety.  Trains, busses, metros, and trams all increasingly use glass-fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP). Its lightness, rigidity, and flexibility make it the perfect material for public transportation. To ensure fire safety, Parabeam 3D Glass Fabrics, a woven fabric out of fiberglass, can be combined with phenolic resin. The combination of the fiberglass with the resin provides an enormous improvement in fire safety. It even meets the criteria for the international Fire, Smoke, Toxidity (FST) standards. Public transportation all around the world is already equipped with fiberglass and phenolic resin, to contribute to the safety of transportation.   Source: busworld.orgparabeam Image source: picturesforcoloring.com


Fiberglass supercar makes a come back

The fiberglass supercar from Alessi is back after 33 years. The car was first introduced 33 years ago but there were no high expectations about the car going into production. These expectations were right since the car never got on the market. Until now.. More than 30 years later the car is back. It was displayed at the New York Auto Show, where it was showcased as the Alessi AR-1. The most obvious feature of the car is its fiberglass core material. The car’s body is entirely composed of fiberglass. This results in the car weighting only 1,450 kilograms. Furthermore, the authentic AR-1 has a Buick V6 mid-engine, and a 6.2-liter V8 engine which can produce up to 600 hp. If this is not enough, Alessi provides also a twin-turbo version which can produce up to 750 hp. The car is a limited edition as only 50 cars are produced. Further details and the pricing of the car will be announced closer to the production stage.   Source: www.rushlane.com  Image source: styleguru 


Ancient reconstruction with fiberglass composite

Wagner College’s Main Hall was designed by architect George W. Conable in the early 1900’s but is up for a renovation. After 20 months of construction, the Main Hall is in use since 1930 and first served the purpose as administration building. On the more than 100-acre campus area, the gothic style building is the centerpiece of the campus. For the renovation, fiberglass composites are being used. The Main Hall’s concrete tower dome and window assembly are removed and replaced by a fiberglass reconstruction. The dome and window assembly look almost similar to the original ones. Every detail from the original components is also in the fiberglass components. The placement went relatively easy since only a few trucks and a crane were needed. Fiberglass composites are lightweight, making this placement easier than the placement of the concrete components 82 years ago. Source: silive.com


Your Own Fiberglass Materials Batmobile!

In 1966, the original Batman TV series hit the television screens. Who doesn’t remember the Batmobile with the long batfins, the double bubble windshields, a polished five door roll-top dash, the flashing red beacon light, that funky striping and those crazy labels on the dash.  And let’s not forget the chrome triple rocket tubes, the gold Batbeamantenna grid that raises automatically, and even a working propaneflamethrower out the rocket tube! Batmobile replicas are now for sale. These are not model kits or radio controlled cars but full-scale, drivable cars made out of fiberglass materials.The cars are equipped with steel wheel well tubs to protect the fiberglass material body from rocks. Heavy-walled square tubing is used throughout the car for added strength. The cars also have working headlamps, turn signals, parking lamps and braking lights. This makes them drivable and functional cars. The car is used for all kinds of purposes. Some want a Batmobile to show off while picking up their kids from school. Some use it for charity events, or private museums , and others just want to drive it. Source: Fiberglassfreaks.com   Image:Fiberglassfreaks.com 


Fiberglass Now Starring in Movies!

The BeisHamikdash was one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They formed the center of ancient Israelites and later Jewish worship. Although it is prohibited for Jews to build a replica of the BeisHamikdash, a full-size replica has been built for a movie set in the Saharan desert city of Ouarzata (Warzazat). This is Morocco’s film capital where Hollywood films like ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Gladiator’ were shot. The replica is a massive structure, built on a square kilometer of desert, fully composed out of fiberglass composite materials, without a single stone. The enormous pillars look like they weigh a ton but in fact only weigh about 1.5 gram, thereby highlighting one of the main features of fiberglass composite materials: reduction in weight. And the nominees for the Oscar are....Source: Chabad.info 


The White House Made Out of Fiberglass Materials?

One of the advantages of fiberglass is that it can be molded into different finishes to mimic wood, stone, terra cotta, concrete, steel, marble, granite, copper, and other popular building materials allowing designers the freedom to recreate historic shapes and finishes without sacrificing the authentic look. So, when decorative elements on the rear fa?ade of The White House needed to be restored, there was only one way to go: fiberglass materials. More and more, fiberglass materials are being chosen over other materials to preserve historical buildings. The composite material is lightweight, cost-effective, corrosion resistant and virtually maintenance free. Fiberglass materials can also be painted or the color can be molded in the surface. It’s among the strongest commercial materials available - stronger than concrete, steel or aluminum. Finally restoration of buildings by using fiberglass materials can often reduce maintenance cost when compared to many other traditional building materials. Source: Fiberglassafi.com  Source photo: Blog.chron.com 


Use of Fiberglass Materials in Automotive Industry

Fiberglass materials are used throughout the automotive industry. Here we see a fiberglass materials race car body, but the same material is also used for motorcycle fairings and even fiberglass seats for CART racing. The application of fiberglass materials is, however, not restricted to high-tech racing components. Because fiberglass materials offer many advantages over other materials, such as strength & durability, affordability & cost-effectiveness, versatility & freedom of design as well as special physical properties, they are ideal for designing a wide array of automotive parts and accessories. Some examples include: fiberglass hoods, fiberglass spoilers, fiberglass gauges, fiberglass doors, fiberglass speaker boxes, fiberglass fenders and much more! Source: Fiberglass Sales 


Fiberglass Cow to enter ‘Lucerne Art of Dairy’ Contest

The theme of the 7th Lucerne Art of Dairy contest: “Red, White & Moo: Celebrating American Ingenuity”. Over 9,000 students entered the annual contest and the judges chose nine finalists based on their drawings. Life-size fiberglass materials cows were delivered to each school to be painted by the nine finalists. The art students will have up to mid-April to complete their works of art when voting will begin to select the best fiberglass materials cow! Source: AZCentral 


Colville High School Student Builds Fiberglass Skis

To fulfill her required senior project at Colville High School, Elise Loggers teamed with a Spokane ski maker to build custom skis using fiberglass materials.Elise learned to apply the fiberglass materials in order to produce the ideal ski to match her size and style. According to Elise, “Making skis is like making a cake with layers”.Instead of adding plastic sidewalls that give skis a “finished”look, this technique extends the core to the edge of the ski and seals it with urethane, a composite material.  This keeps the ski more torsionally stiff through the center with no weak spots. The fiberglass company operated the machinery that compressed the layers they had prepared into a mold that formed the camber and upturned tips. The result: a fat ski that incorporates the latest design and technology. The skis are stable and have total wood cores without the metal that we find in mass-manufactured skis. “I feel more stable and don't catch random edges. They're really fun to ski.” Source article: Tri City Herald Source photo: Spokesman.com  


Fiberglass, the number one surfboard material

Surfing originated in Hawaii in the 18th century. The first surfboards were made of wood and weighted around 45 kilos. Nowadays, the worldwide preferred material for surfboards is lightweight fiberglass composite material.  From the 1940’s onwards, fiberglass composite material has became the most popular material for surfboards, thereby replacing wood. The transition to fiberglass materials as a principal material for surfboards, has brought some important improvements. Among the most prominent advantages are the reduction in weight, waterproofing and strength.Source: AllaboutSurfboards.com Image: Wikipedia


Composite material guitars for charity

The initiative is part of the GuitarTown Project. This project placed numerous composite material guitar sculptures in other cities already, like Los Angeles Nashville and London. Each time the fiberglass instruments were painted by artists, signed by celebrities and auctioned off for charity. The guitars are 3 meters high and due to the lightweight characteristics of the fiberglass materials, they only weigh 23 kilos. Source: JsOnline.com Source Image: JsOnline.com


Traumatized turtle given new fiberglass shell

Why did the turtle cross the road? It was a roadside accident from a children`s comic book but with near deadly consequences. “Scorch” a young box turtle, had been crossing the road when he was hit by an oncoming car. When discovered the turtle was badly injured in the incident and had been attacked by dogs. However, the turtle has been given a new lease on life thanks to a local police officer, a clever vet and a new fiberglass shell. The vet fashioned a new fiberglass shell for Scorch which, he says, will eventually be pushed off after he develops his own new shell. Scorch has been given a new home with a local teenage and the vet says he will live for another 40 years thanks in no small part his fiberglass shell. Get well soon Scorch from everyone at Parabeam!! Source:  USA Today Picture:  Fine Art America


Fiberglass composite material used in Violins

Building any musical instrument by hand is a difficult process. Therefore the achievement of Ken Brown is all the more impressive because as a novice, he made this amazing carbon fiber violin on his own. Taking him over 10 months, each Sunday Ken made detailed drawings of the violin. His plans were translated into plaster and fiberglass molds. It took him many hours of painstaking work to produce the best sounding violin plates. When he started fabricating the carbon fiber violin plates, Ken tested each revision’s “tap tones” until he go the right sound. Now we can enjoy Ken`s work and the sound of fiberglass composite material! 


Fiberglass News Racks in Manhattan

Fiberglass news racks are becoming part of the street view in Manhattan. The Madison Avenue Business Improvement District ordered fiberglass racks 74" wide, 40" tall and 24" deep. This award winning design by Karim Rashid, industrial designer known for his innovative and elegant concepts, adds a touch of elegance to New York`s streets. These new fiberglass newsracks mean that the structural steel framework, normally required for street-side mounting, can be removed. Clutter along the sidewalk will be reduced and replaced by multiple, existing newspaper and magazine racks. Thanks to the fiberglass composite material these racks have a contemporary, elegant, yet functional design. Source: Arrowheadincpicture: Arrowheadinc


Lightweight solutions: take a flight with Parabeam®

Slovenia - The Sinus ultralight motorglider combines a true sense of a motorglider with unprecedented efficiency during powered and long-range cruise flights. With the Sinus you can take-off and land on very short runways, fly long distance cross-country and have fun gliding with a 27:1 gliding ratio... all in the same aircraft!Pipistrel’s products are all known for being virtually maintenance free. The highest of technologies; composites like Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics and quality metal alloys, including Titanium and Magnesium, which are used on parts of the aircraft, ensure that the aircraft will last a lifetime in a like-new condition. And if you do not intend to fly for a while, you can disassemble the Sinus in only 15 minutes - all the controls are self-fitting, making this task as easy and care-free as possible.Best fuel efficiency and best rangeDue to the use of high-end lightweight materials like Parabeam® Sinus is simply the most efficient and economical light aircraft on the market! Given its super-low fuel consumption of less than 10 liters per hour (2.6 gph) at a high cruise speed of 200 km/h (110 kts), you can easily fly over 1000 kilometers (540 NM) already with standard 60 liter (16 gal.) fuel tanks. With optional long range (100 liters; 26 gal) fuel tanks your range with reserve goes beyond 1650 km (890 NM)! 


Fiberglass in architectural masterpieces: La Sagrada Familia

The idea for the La Sagrada Fam?lia Cathedral in Barcelona was conceived in the late 1800s but today it is still under construction. Thanks to technological evolution, cathedral builders are using more advanced material than they did 100 years ago, now they are using fiberglass materials.  In recent years, many elements of the cathedral have been constructed with the aid of glass fiber-reinforced composite molds and concrete. The molded structures include some of Gaud?’s most complex shapes and design concepts, such as the windows and skylights that draw natural light into this magnificent structure.Faul? Jordim, assistant architectural director, gives three main reasons for the use of fiberglass materials:

  1. Versatility: the molds can be shaped as exact replicas of the most intricate shapes of Gaud?’s vision
  2. Durability: the composite materials can be reused several times and still keep the shape of the model, maintaining dimensional stability and surface smoothness.
  3. Weight: Some parts are made by precasting concrete in a factory or on the construction site, removing the fiberglass mold, then placing the part into position. However, lightweight fiberglass sheets also enable workers to form many parts on site.

Soure: Compositesworld Image: Placesonline


Santa Claus drives a remote controlled fiberglass truck

This fiberglass truck is known as ‘Santa’s sleigh’.  The 1:4 scale RC fiberglass custom truck can perform any number of crazy tasks. Luca Bordin’s is the modelmaker of this  ¼ scale Peterbilt 359. He was inspired by a video of a man driving a model truck. He started off with the construction of the fiberglass material cabin with a wooden frame and attached it via springs to a twin-rail frame made of iron.Bordin has also fabricated a fiberglass trailer that goes behind the tractor. The truck model is 2.10 meters in length and weighs 180 kg (397 pounds.) The project took him nine-months to complete. Soure: Nitrobahn Image: Nitrobahn


Fiberglass pools benefits

Since the 1950’s manufacturers started to produce pools made of fiberglass. In the decades that followed the composite material became one of the most popular materials for swimming pools. The advantages of fiberglass pools over traditional pool materials, such as concrete, gunite or vinyl-lined pools, are numerous. Although pools made of fiberglass materials have high initial installation costs, over time this type of pool is the cheapest permanent option. Composite materials are very durable and low in maintenance. Besides, the fiber reinforced composites come in a wide variety of finishes, to adapt your pool to your preferences. Source:PoolandSpa.com Image: Fiberglass Pools Augusta


Fiberglass and modern art: a perfect combination

You may have seen a lot of fiberglass artworks already, without knowing you were looking at one. Today, a lot of modern artworks is made of fiberglass materials. Recently a giant composite material artwork mysteriously emerged on a Florida beach. In November a huge Lego man statue appeared on a Florida Beach. The almost 2,5 meters high statue only weights 45 kilos and is made of fiberglass materials. Nobody knew where it came from, but as it appears the Lego man is part of a Dutch art project, called Ego Leonard. Fiberglass materials are a popular material in modern works of art, as the material can be made to resemble many other materials, such as wood, stone, glass and even human skin. At the same time, the material weights less than traditional materials, is very strong and durable. Source:Ehow.com / TheStar.com Source Image: Thederringdos


The first fiberglass ultrabooks

Computer technology doesn’t stand still: every year manufacturers release faster, lighter and smaller laptops. The thinnest and lightest notebooks are called ‘ultrabooks’. Traditionally, ultrabooks used a lightweight metal case. However, this is going to change, as Acer and Asus announced to switch to fiberglass materials.Ultrabooks present a challenge to computer manufacturers, as these computers are less than 20 mm thick and weigh less than 1.4 kg. The traditional material for these computer cases, thin metal panels, has two big disadvantages: it is expensive to process and difficult to produce for mass production. Acer and Asus came with a solution for this problem: fiber reinforced composites. Composite materials make it possible to maintain the same weight and strength that is common for the thin metal panels. At the same time, the production costs for the fiberglass materials are significantly lower. Acer and Asus will release fiberglass ultrabooks in 2012. Source: Hardware Info Image source:Dvice.com


Fiberglass materials in museums

Natural history museums face the fact that dinosaur fossils can be either too expensive or unavailable.  However, these museums can still exhibit dinosaur skeletons by turning to fiberglass materials replicas. Most of the dinosaur skeletons in museums are not genuine fossils, but replicas of the originals. One of the preferred materials for these replicas are fiberglass materials. Fiber reinforced composites are often used in skeleton fossil replicas, because of the material’s flexibility and lightweight characteristics. Composite materials can be molded in every kind of shape, which makes it perfect for dinosaur skeleton replicas. Read more on Prehistoric Planet StoreImage source: i03.i.aliimg.com


Fiberglass materials in fashion

Designer Hussein Chalayan’s unique “Airplane” Dress shows that fiberglass materials applications can even work for fashion. The dress is inspired by the use of fiberglass panels in airplanes. The designer of the fiberglass dress, Hussein Chalayan,  is known to experiment with unconventional and innovative clothes materials. Although fiber reinforced panels are not a common material in fashion, this dress proves how fiberglass materials are even an excellent material for modern art works, due to its versatility and flexibility. Read more on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.Source photo: Met Museum


School made of composite materials

India inaugurated its first school made out of composites materials. The lightweight and modular design makes it possible to install the school in only six days.The school is situated in Kusgaon (India) and was an initiative of DSM. The advantages of using composites as a core material for this building go further than only lightweight properties. The material also makes the building a safe, easy to construct and well-insulated learning environment. Source: DSM


Visit Parabeam at Materialica 2011 in Expo Munich! booth A6-118

Lightweight Design for new Mobility! MATERIALICA is Europe’s top event for material-driven and supplier-oriented product innovations. The promising industry of lightweight design will pave the way for a new era in e-mobility, aerospace, new energy, automotive and sports, and consumer goods. This is why MATERIALICA have decided to focus on lightweight design at this year's specialist trade fair. Special emphasis is placed on pioneering lightweight design concepts for new mobility. Lightweight design is of course Parabeam’s natural habitat. Our standard Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics, as well as our Engineered Fabrics are indispensable for the composite industry, now and in the future. You can find our booth in Hall A6, booth 118, Please come by for a visit!


Fiberglass: core material for ice hockey sticks

Did you know fiberglass composites materials are an important material in the ice hockey sport? Ice hockey sticks combine fiberglass with other materials in order to get the strongest and lightest stick. Fiber reinforced composites are used as a layer for hockey stick shafts and as reinforcement on the outside of the sticks. Often fiberglass is combined with wood or other composite materials. Manufacturers use fiberglass layers or reinforcements for its strength, stiffness and lightweight characteristics. Image source: Kemp's Hockey


Speed up with Parabeam®

Yacht owners are looking for a fast and agile boat. Using Parabeam® core material allows yacht companies to produce lighter boats. Fiberglass interiors with a wooden finish can be installed without the composite materials making the boat heavier. Lightweight advantages Using lightweight materials as fiberglass for boats has several advantages. The reduction in weight makes the boat faster and use less fuel.High-end solutions An example of lightweight applications of Parabeam® core material in luxury boats, are the oats of yachts from brands as SealineAzimut or Venice Yachts.  Through constantly testing fiberglass applications, luxury yacht brands achieve the best lightweight solutions. Parabeam stands for top core material solutions, that help our clients to offer innovative products.


Going strong with fiber reinforced composites

Boat interiors are exposed to salt water and intense movements. In order to use the space as efficiently as possible, flexibility is a must. That’s why many yacht builders choose Parabeam fiberglass as core material for their boat’s interiors. The material is extremely strong, durable and flexible.Many luxury boat brands as Sealine and Azimutrely on Parabeam composite material because of its strength and durability. The material is highly suitable for boat interiors, as it can be applied in various shapes. The smart design of Parabeam 3D Glass Fabrics eliminates the risk of delamination and rotting.


Glass fabrics: the sky is the limit

Parabeam B.V. 's customer, DeWind, installed the highest windmill in the world in the middle of the Argentine Andes Mountains. The DeWind D8.2 is located on 4100 meters above sea level. The altitude at which the windmill was built has high wind speeds, which makes it a perfect location to generate wind energy. The ArgentineDeWind windmill generates two megawatts of energy per hour and has been providing the nearby Veladero gold mine with energy since 2007. Wind Turbines are exposed to extreme forces and require high levels of material strength and durability. DeWind uses Parabeam® composite to build nacelles (cover housing for the turbine). With itslightweight and strength characteristics Parabeam composite is the optimal material for the job.


Another 400 MATV trucks to be built using Parabeam® 3D glass fabrics and delivered for military operations in Afghanistan.

Within the last two weeks a substantial order of over 400 MATVs (Military All-Terrain Vehicle) has been placed by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC). A team of manufacturers and suppliers (of which Parabeam B.V. is one) will take part in providing and assembling the parts. Image: Mine resistant ambush protected ATV (MRAP) The MATVs will be built using Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics, elected for its strength and lightweight properties (a direct result from the 3D glass fabric sandwich structure which is a unique character of Parabeam®). Fiberdrome, the company building the hoods of the MATVs using the Parabeam® product, also chose the fiberglass material for its drapeability (a consequence of the processes anticipated and required by the product). This order is due to be delivered in February 2013.


Parabeam®: tough yet elegant

Parabeam® is extremely flexible in terms of application. The material can be shaped into almost any form required. In terms of interiors there are many possible applications from wood laminated wall paneling to shower flooring, the material is very versatile.   Prestigious yacht companies as SealineAzimut work with Parabeam® fiber reinforced composites. Interiors of boats need the design and shape flexibility this core material offers. Parabeam® is used in yacht bathrooms, steering columns and spoilers.


Parabeam® made molds by Fiberdome Inc

Lake Mills, Wisconsin -Fiberdome Inc, supplier to Oshkosh Defense, has recently completed making five molds employing Parabeam® 5 mm 3D glass fabric. Their previous experiences applying Parabeam® in various complex projects convinced them of the significant insulation and weight saving advantages it offers. Something they were looking for in their mold design too. Fiberdome have high expectations for realizing better cost, better mold life, reduction of repair, and quicker (50%!) mold preparation time.


Another Happy Customer

" I am really impressed with the product, it suppersedes honeycomb in my opinion. It is easier to use. One application, no bagging, and one layer (5mm) is stronger, cheaper and lighter per square foot than carbon fiber. This is a brilliant material, I've used it on race car bodies and love the stuff! I wish I had more time to experiment." - Mike McQueen, McQueen Prototype Design –


with Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics

With its body fully built with Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics, Weez is a innovative lightweight vehicle. It is a 4 wheel-drive in-wheel motors for max power and max torque pleasure, with regenerative breaking feature for battery saving and comfort. With an innovative two wall abs body / floor-frame technology, its weight contained to less than 250 kg, Weez is very fun to drive. Weez is very fun to drive. For more information on the Weez, please visit www.eon-motors.com (source: )


"The first prototype came in at 220 pounds. That was reduced to 48 pounds using Parabeam®."

The company Fiberdome, located in Lake Mills, was awarded the contract to build hoods for the new M-ATV, with the materials and expertise provided by Parabeam. Initially, they were told the order was for 3,500 units. Later it grew to more than 10,000.the M-ATVs designed by Oshkosh provide off-road mobility in harsh mountainous terrain and in areas like Afghanistan with unimproved road networks. The M-ATV is a support vehicle, similar to a Humvee, designed to carry troops. Unlike the cab of the vehicle, built with heavy-duty material to protect troops, the hoods made from Parabeam® 3D Glass Fabrics weigh just 48 pounds and can support the weight of 10 people but are not intended to deflect explosives or bullets.The hood project was an accelerated program because the Defense Department classified it as highest priority.The first prototype came in at 220 pounds. That was reduced to 122 and ultimately 48 pounds using Parabeam®, an engineered fabric mixed with a resin, that is strong but not as expensive as Kevlar or carbon fiber.


Definitive EU import duties of 13.8% on glass fibre originating in China

In March 2011, a new directive was put in place under the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 248/2011 of 9 March 2011 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty and collecting definitively the provisional duty imposed on imports of certain continuous filament glass fibre products originating in China. More specific, the directive is applicable to chopped glass fibre strands of a length of not more than 50 mm, glass fibre rovings, slivers and yarns of glass fibre filaments and mats made of glass fibre filaments excluding mats of glass wool.Have a look at the European Journal.


Parabeam's Marine & Leisure industry 2011/2012


Of course the high weight efficiency makes Parabeam 3D Glass Fabrics an attractive material. However, compared to traditional sandwich materials, especially honeycomb, Parabeam’s sandwich structure makes it impossible for the decklayers to come apart when exposed to moisture. The ingenious design of Parabeam 3D Glass Fabrics eliminates the risk of delamination. This greatly enhances the durability of the material, and therefore that of your boat as well. The intrinsic all-in-one concept of Parabeam makes it an material for any budget.



In their quest to obtain maximum results in sports, the consumer market has also found its way to the advanced composite industry.

The ever growing consumer demand for innovative products has stimulated manufacturers to widely implement composites in their sports equipment. The added value of Parabeam used in sporting equipment expresses itself through its versatility. Its form freedom, instant thickness, lightness and durability are highly valued in this industry.