gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 53

The Beauty of Technology… Developed in our Backyard A special thanks to Michael Cichon, Director of Marketing and Kendall Oblak, Sales Account Manager for the tour of TenCate and for making it comprehensible to us non-engineer types. Thanks also to Ben Fox, Director of Quality (not pictured), for help understanding the testing procedures. Finally a very special thanks to our friend Addie Bryant-Habit for setting the whole thing up. Written By Larry J. Mickartz T he TenCate manufacturing site in Morgan Hill is an extraordinary company. In very simple terms, they make cool stuff that other people make even cooler stuff out of. Think steel. Steel mills produce the frames for cars, buildings and bridges. TenCate Morgan Hill makes carbon fabric products, called advanced composites, that people use to make airplane bodies, satellite structures, launch vehicle cases, general aviation aircraft support beams, armor, and thousands of light-weight, super- strong components. The Morgan Hill location is only one of TenCate’s sites throughout the world. TenCate’s Advanced Composites has three sites in California, (Morgan Hill, Fairfield and Camarillo), one in Canada, two in Europe (Netherlands and UK), and one site in China. Until the company went private in 2016, TenCate Advanced Composites was part of Royal TenCate, headquartered in the Netherlands. It’s history began with fabric-weaving that dates back to 1704. Since that time, the weaving business became more of a commodity business, so Royal TenCate invested in businesses based upon high technology fabric technologies ranging from armor, military uniforms, fire-proof fabrics, geosynthetics and advanced composites. TenCate Advanced Composites is now a standalone entity and manufactures components that are used in: Aerospace (aerostructures, space and satellites, launch structures, radomes, interiors, high-temperature jet engines, compression molding); Automotive; Motorsport & Formula 1; Energy; Medical; Consumer Electronics; and Sport & Recreation. Did you know that high-end sneakers like the Nike Air Jordan use TenCate composites in the GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MAY/JUNE 2017 inner sole for lightweight and rigidity? In addition to the advanced composites produced in Morgan Hill, the other standalone TenCate companies produce fireproof protective clothing for first responders and the military. They manufacture a variety of synthetic turfs and geotextiles, which are synthetic fabrics with specialized uses. A good example is the TenCate GeoTube a large bag where wastewater is filtered through. It allows water to penetrate, but captures sand and debris. Promotional materials from TenCate note that every satellite from the Western world has some TenCate composite materials in it! Local companies that TenCate provides materials to include Loral Space Systems in Palo Alto, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space in Sunnyvale and Applied Aerospace S Սɕ́ ɅѥM )Mѽѽ)ѽ乍(