... Bringing Value to our Customers

... Bringing Value to our Customers

... Bringing Value to our Customers

Phone: 260-627-0030

Fax:     260-627-0080

Phone: 260-627-0030

Fax: 260-627-0080

News and Events

News

June 12, 2016

Fremont, Ind., U.S.A.Carver Non-Woven Technologies LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of custom compression molder and compounder, R3 Composites, Inc. (Grabill, Ind., http://www.r3composites.com), will begin a rolling startup at its new manufacturing facility here on August 8, 2016, and by August 31, 2016 will be in full commercial production of high-quality, single- and multi-material non-woven products for both R3 and the broader North American composites industry. The new plant is situated on an 18-acre/7.3-hectare site in a building that is 165,000 square feet/15,329 square meters in size, providing plenty of room to expand should demand for the new products grow.

Carver is unique in how it approaches many aspects of the design and production of non-wovens. First, unusual for the non-wovens industry, the company's complete production line is fully automated ― from initial debaling, fiber opening, blending, and carding, all the way through to finished packaging. As a result, Carver is able to produce non-wovens with low-variance weight (density) as well as superior dimensional stability and mechanical properties. This leads to non-wovens that are more consistent and mechanically more efficient (meaning a lower density non-woven can be used in a given composite part without sacrificing tolerances or mass). This, in turn, can have the follow-on benefits of reducing both cost and mass of finished applications in either thermoset or thermoplastic composites. Furthermore, Carver uses up to three different opening processes during initial fiber handling, which leads to better, more open fibers and more consistent fiber length (owing to less fiber damage) as well as a more homogeneous fiber architecture in the finished composite part.

The Carver team also is unique in terms of the broad range of fiber types it works with, including E-glass fiber, bast natural fiber (e.g. tossa jute and others), carbon fiber, basalt fiber, and thermoplastic fiber including virgin and 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyamide (PA, also called nylon), polypropylene (PP), polylactic acid (PLA), as well as high-density and low-density polyethylene (HDPE and LDPE). Carver also is one of the first to offer carbon fiber needled non-wovens in a multitude of blends at considerably lower costs than with conventional wrap-and-resonate processes. During non-wovens production, the fleece mats are typically coated with thermoset binder resins, including an acrylic/latex binder, which itself confers unique properties including specific colorants when the mats are subsequently impregnated with thermoset resins prior to forming. Carver's dual-web configuration enables the company to formulate products using different binder types, including the novel option to combine two different resin formulations in a single-fiber architecture.

High levels of flexibility have been designed into the new facility in order to allow the Carver team to be able to respond to customer needs by offering products with areal weights ranging from 300 to 2,400 grams/square-meter (gsm) using numerous fiber types, blends, and layering. In fact, Carver is able to achieve blend ratios from 80%/20% to 20%/80% for natural fibers and other fibers (such as fiberglass, polymeric fibers, or even carbon fiber). Typically, natural fiber blend ratios above 70% for non-crimp fibers are unusual, but Carver can currently achieve up to 80% thanks to the quality program with which the team selects its natural fibers and the care with which the fibers are subsequently handled, which preserves fiber length and minimizes damage both to the fibers and to the card itself.

The diversity of available fiber types helps Carver offer both single- as well as multi-fiber and layered (hybrid) mats thanks to the company's specially designed production line. That system is capable of simultaneously running up to six different fiber types, all of which can be commingled either in a single layer, or in a structure featuring up to three different fiber types each on top and bottom sides of the non-woven mat. For greater design flexibility, these hybrid fiber combinations may be the same or different areal weight depending on customer requirements. (This also allows for fiber architectures that mix non-melting and melting fibers where the latter become the final part's resin matrix after preheating just prior to forming in a cold tool.) An application in which hybrid mats are increasingly used is automotive underbody shields where high-impact polymeric fibers are used on the road-facing side and a hybrid mixture of more structural and acoustical fibers (including glass, carbon, basalt, polyester, and/or natural fibers) are used on the vehicle-facing side of the non-woven architecture.

Carver's knowhow with respect to commingling and homogenization of hybrid mat technologies led to collaboration with equipment suppliers to customize many piece of equipment being used at the new plant. The new production facility features state-of-the-art technologies, including the latest developments in fiber opening, blending, carding, cross-lapping, and web drafting, web scanning, and needling. For example, Hyperpunch needle loom technology (developed by Dilo Group, Eberbach, Germany) brings a multitude of benefits. Thanks both to the elliptical needle beam movement of the technology as well as sequential movement of the needles, Hyperpunch technology eliminates drag on the fleece in the machine direction during its dwell time in the needles, which in turn can lead to pulling and shrinkage of the fleece in the cross-machine direction, causing unevenness and dimensional changes to the batt. The technology also allows for faster needling (both fine and finish) and higher throughput, hence more economical production of needled fine fleeces. Still other benefits include better fiber entanglement, a more even felt surface with smaller needle holes, significantly lower needle wear and negligible needle breakage (which can contribute to consistency issues with respect to fiber length and outgasing), better retention of the web's strength, and less damage to the carrier fabric. The Carver team believes it is the first non-wovens manufacturer to apply Hyperpunch technology to the production of natural fiber non-wovens and credits it to helping the company's natural fiber non-wovens achieve 90+ values in automotive fogging tests for interior components. (In conventional needling operations, the natural fibers can become damaged as well as heated via friction during needling operations and that releases fatty acids, which contribute to poor fogging values.)

Yet another unique aspect is that the Carver team negotiated supply agreements (covering fiber specifications and quality as well as purchase price) with its entire supply chain for all fiber types, but especially with suppliers of bast (natural) fibers in Southeast Asia. In fact, this exclusive supply-chain management program for bast non-wovens features full quality testing of fibers ― including on-site inspection and analysis at farms throughout India and Bangladesh ―by Carver personnel as well as third party testing by University of Calcutta prior to shipment to Carver's facility in the U.S. Controlling fiber quality at the source ensures Carver receives the best products pre-certified by local institutions prior to shipping, and that, in turn, helps the company maintain very-consistent, high-quality products for its customers, further enhancing lightweighting opportunities.

To ensure the safety and comfort for its workers and maintain a clean, dust-free working environment, the company's air-management system uses dual, triple air scrubbing with dust discharge into an exterior receiving hopper. The system does double duty in cold winter months by heating and humidifying plant air, and by cooling it in hot summer months. In total, the powerful air-management system at Carver's plant moves and cleans 82,400 cubic feet/2,333 cubic meters of air per minute during line operations. Not surprisingly, the new plant was built to be ISO compliant (to specifications set by the International Organization for Standardization) and already has achieved an IP65 rating from the International Protection Marketing organization.

Other production capabilities currently featured in the new plant include:

  • Option of six different fiber types in blend including splitting one to three different fiber types in a layered structure;
  • Two binder resin technologies, including thermal melt and formaldehyde-free thermosetting acrylic/latex (the latter with multiple color options);
  • Fully integrated and continuous liquid resin application line;
  • Randomizing control over fiber direction in both machine direction and across-machine direction (MD and AMD);
  • Continuous inline web scanning and auto web weight control to maintain tight web tolerance;
  • Non-fogging Hyperpunch as well as standard needling with needle-punch densities ranging from 3.1 to 62 square inches/20 to 400 square centimeters via quad wide-board technology;
  • Post-trim finish widths up to 12 feet/3.5 meters;
  • Roll-good widths ranging from 2.3 to 11.5 feet/0.7 to 3.5 meters and roll diameters up to 5.02 feet/1.53 meters, each wrapped in protective plastic and labeled inline;
  • Pre-cut sheets in widths ranging from 1.6 to 11.5 feet/0.5 to 3.5 meters and lengths up to 10 feet/3.05 meters packaged on pallets and labeled inline;
  • Full-function laboratory testing to ASTM International and SAE International® standards (including U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 302 testing and benchmark UL® 94 burn testing;
  • Onsite compression molding capabilities for customer trials with current press sizes ranging from 75 to 4,400 tons/tonnes;
  • A 60-inch/152-centimeter wide film lamination line with latest in air knife and hot-roll heating technologies.

"We're very proud of the amount of flexibility, new technology, and custom-modified equipment this new facility represents," notes Mark Glidden, president, R3 Composites and Carver Non-Woven. "To achieve this level of competence right from the start, our organization has made a substantial $13-million dollar [USD] investment. If our products really take off the way we believe they will, then our five-year plan calls for us to make an additional $20-million dollar investment to expand our operations. Others may say that sounds overly confident, but I can share that for the first time in 35 years of doing business, our company has a letter of intention from an automotive OEM stating that as soon as we're operational, this company will buy three-million square-meters of product per year from us. We have similar letters of intent from tier suppliers for the RV [recreational vehicle] industry. We are well on our way to filling our capacity for the first phase of our line, and we've just opened the doors."

About

As it ramps up production starting in July 2016, Carver Non-Woven Technologies LLC will quickly establish itself as a leader in the manufacture of structural, lightweight, and recyclable non-woven technologies for the automotive, recreational vehicle (RV), building/construction, and office-furniture markets. The company offers a wide variety of rollstock products for both thermoset and thermoplastic composites including single- and multi-fiber and layered mats featuring fiberglass, natural fiber, carbon fiber, and polymer fiber. With product quality as the company's highest priority, Carver has fully automated its entire manufacturing process and created strategic partnerships throughout the non-wovens supply chain that assure world-class product quality and consistency are maintained and that industry-leading service is provided. Additionally, the company is committed to providing competitive pricing and will continue to innovate through investments in technology and know-how. For more information, contact Carver Non-Woven Technologies LLC, 706 East Depot Street, Fremont, IN 46737-2119, USA, information@carvernonwoven.com.

Formed in 2001, R3 Composites, Inc. is a custom compression molder of both thermoset and thermoplastic composites. The company is experienced with forming parts using thermoset bulk-molding compound (BMC), sheet-molding compound (SMC; in unsaturated polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy/vinyl ester blends), as well as polyurethane resin. On the thermoplastic side, R3 Composites molds glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composite and a variety of bio-based resins including polylactic acid (PLA) biodegradable resin. With 19 presses ranging in size from 400 to 4,400 tons/tonnes at the company's Grabill, Ind. plant, and with platen sizes ranging from 42 by 67 inches/107 by 170 centimeters to 144 by 144 inches/366 by 366 centimeters, the company is positioned to produce some of the largest compression-molded parts in North America. R3 Composites also custom compounds its own SMC as well as provides customers with part and tooling design and part-conversion capabilities ranging from prototyping to small-, medium-, and large-volume production runs. Parts the company produces are used in the automotive, recreational vehicle, commercial truck, defense/aerospace, agricultural, bath-ware/pool & spa, building/construction, recreational equipment, industrial, and electrical industries. Lean manufacturing and continuous improvement are used to reduce waste, hold down cost, improve quality, and meet timely delivery schedules. R3 Composites is a third-generation family owned business committed to providing value-added quality products at competitive prices. For more information, contact R3 Composites, Inc., 14123 Rot h Road, Grabill, IN 46741, USA, Phone: +1.260.627.0030, Fax: +1.260.627.0080, info@r3composites.com, or http://www.r3composites.com.



March 22, 2016

R3 Composites Announces Formation of Carver Non-Woven Technologies, Opening of New Plant

Grabill, Ind., U.S.A. ― R3 Composites, Inc. a custom compression molder and compounder of sheet-molding compound (SMC) with design and part-conversion capabilities headquartered here, has announced the formation of a new, wholly owned subsidiary, Carver Non-Woven Technologies LLC, which will supply high-quality, multi-material non-woven products to both R3 and the broader North American composites industry. Carver will be headquartered nearby in Fremont, Ind., and is nearly done with renovating an existing plant at that location where it will produce its non-woven products and offer them for commercial sale starting in July 2016.

The new company will offer cutting edge non-woven reinforcements for a wide variety of thermoset and thermoplastic composites due to Carver's ability to create sheetstock with low-variance weight (density) with superior dimensional stability and mechanical properties. A broad combination of single-fiber and hybrid (multi-fiber) mats will be offered, including E-glass fiberglass, bast-type natural fibers (primarily jute), carbon fiber, and several types of polymer fibers (e.g. nylon and polyester) plus highly homogeneous resonated acrylic/latex binder-resin blends. Carver also plans to be the first to bring carbon fiber non-wovens to market at considerably lower costs than conventional wrap-and-resonate processes. In another departure from conventional non-wovens, Carver has opted to automate its production line completely ― from initial debaling, fiber opening, blending, and carding, all the way through to finished packaging.

"From the start, we strategically positioned Carver's focus on design and technology in order to significantly raise the bar on non-woven product quality," notes Mark Glidden, president, R3 Composites and Carver Non-Woven. "In order to meet the demanding performance requirements of the automotive, recreational vehicle, building/construction, and office-furniture markets, we knew it would be critical to maintain tight tolerances on fiber blending, coarse and fine fiber opening, product weight distribution, and line versatility. These are the key metrics that we kept in mind when custom designing our processes and equipment."

The Carver team understood that quality also meant integration with the whole non-wovens supply chain, so they addressed this important aspect of their quality program with hands-on involvement in fiber quality and specifications prior to purchase ― especially in the area of natural fibers. The company has carefully partnered with suppliers in Southeast Asia to bring together the first comprehensive supply-chain management program for bast fiber non-wovens, including full quality testing of products prior to shipment to the Freemont plant. Starting at farms and distribution points throughout India and Bangladesh, the University of Calcutta is providing inspection and lot testing. Since jute fibers have a single harvest per year and since shipping to the U.S. Midwest takes 6-8 weeks, supply-chain management is really important to assure higher quality, longer fibers with good and consistent strength values are received.

"All told, we've made a very significant investment in the new company," adds Glidden, "but this assures complete control, consistency, and quality in our finished goods. With everything Carver makes, product quality is our first and foremost goal."

About

When it begins commercial production in July 2016, Carver Non-Woven Technologies LLC will quickly establish itself as a leader in the manufacture of structural, lightweight, and recyclable non-woven technologies for the automotive, recreational vehicle (RV), building/construction, and office-furniture markets. The company will offer a wide variety of rollstock products for both thermoset and thermoplastic composites including single- and multi-fiber mats with fiberglass, natural fiber, carbon fiber, and polymer fibers. With product quality as the company's highest priority, Carver has fully automated its entire manufacturing process and created strategic partnerships throughout the non-wovens supply chain that assure world-class product quality and consistency are maintained and that industry-leading service is provided. Additionally, the company is committed to providing competitive pricing and will continue to innovate through investments in technology and know-how. For more information, contact Carver Non-Woven Technologies, 706 East Depot Street, Fremont, IN 46737-2119, USA, info@carvernonwoven.com.

Formed in 2001, R3 Composites, Inc. is a custom compression molder of both thermoset and thermoplastic composites. The company is experienced with forming parts using thermoset bulk-molding compound (BMC), sheet-molding compound (SMC; unsaturated polyester, vinyl ester, and epoxy/vinyl ester blend), as well as polyurethane resin. On the thermoplastic side, R3 Composites molds glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composite and a variety of bio-based resins including polylactic acid (PLA) biodegradable resin. With 19 presses ranging in size from 400 to 4,400 tons/tonnes at the company's Grabill, Ind. plant, and with platen sizes ranging from 42 by 67 inches/107 by 170 centimeters to 144 by 144 inches/366 by 366 centimeters, the company is positioned to produce some of the largest compression-molded parts in North America. R3 Composites also custom compounds its own SMC as well as provides customers with part and tooling design and part-conversion capabilities ranging from prototyping to small-, medium-, and large-volume production runs. Parts the company produces are used in the automotive, recreational vehicle, commercial truck, defense/aerospace, agricultural, bath-ware/pool & spa, building/construction, recreational equipment, industrial, and electrical industries. Lean manufacturing and continuous improvement are used to reduce waste, hold down cost, improve quality, and meet timely delivery schedules. R3 Composites is a third-generation family owned business committed to providing value-added quality products at competitive prices. For more information, contact R3 Composites, 14123 Roth Road, Grabill, IN 46741, USA, Phone: +1.260.627.0030, Fax: +1.260.627.0080, info@r3composites.com, http://www.r3composites.com.



June 1, 2015

R3 Composites has expanded operations to begin manufacturing a new line of entry doors under the brand name of Nicolette Doors.

Nicolette Doors offers custom molded smooth and wood grain fiberglass exterior doors in a multitude of sizes and styles. We offer our customers the ability to design their door to reflect their needs. Nicolette Doors also offers prefinishing in both paint grade and stain grade products. Our customer base ranges from pre hangers to one step distribution. As we are both the manufacturer and distributor, we are able to offer very low minimum purchase requirements as well as expedited lead times. From custom molded fiberglass door skins, to fully assembled and finished door slabs, Nicolette Doors by R3 Composites brings your company one step closer to vertical integration.

Events

Check back for upcoming events


January 5, 2016

See us at the NAHB International Builders' Show as we showcase our line of Nicolette Doors January 19-21 Las Vegas.

Nicolette Doors by R3 Composites offers custom molded smooth and wood grain fiberglass exterior doors in a multitude of sizes and styles. We offer our customers the ability to design their door to reflect their needs. Nicolette Doors also offers prefinishing in both paint grade and stain grade products. Our customer base ranges from pre hangers to one step distribution. As we are both the manufacturer and distributor, we are able to offer very low minimum purchase requirements as well as expedited lead times. From custom molded fiberglass door skins, to fully assembled and finished door slabs, Nicolette Doors by R3 Composites brings your company one step closer to vertical integration.

See us at booth C7508.



January 22, 2015

R3 Composites presented at the NAHB international builders show Jan 20 - 22.

They showcased their new line of entry doors under the brandname of Nicolette Doors.

Check back for upcoming events.

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About

R3 Composites is a family owned business committed to providing quality products at competitive prices.

When you choose R3 Composites, you are getting more than a parts vendor - you are choosing a manufacturing partner. We add value to the relationship by working with you every step of the way to make sure that every part meets or exceeds quality standards. This gives you confidence that your end product will consistently meet your expectations.

R3 has also expanded into manufacturing operations at its wholly owned subsidiary Carver Non-Woven Technologies. Here we make non-wovens with new industry processes creating breakthrough materials with superior engineering qualities, including our own Carver Technilite.

Call our sales team to learn more.

Contact

R3 Composites, Inc:

14123 Roth Rd

Grabill, IN 46741

Phone: 260-627-0030

Fax: 260-627-0080

Carver Non-Woven Technologies:

706 E Depot St

Fremont, IN 46737

Phone: 260-627-0033

Fax: 260-627-0043