Solvay and 3A Composites seal global specialty foams alliance to secure light-weighting in advanced transportation
March 10, 2015
Solvay and 3A Composites are joining forces to make innovative specialty foam materials for advanced transportation, offering for the first time on a large and worldwide scale a tailored, cost-effective substitute to traditional, labor-intense materials used to reduce the weight of applications.
Their world-class manufacturing capability will combine 3A Composites’ unique know-how in industrial process development and high-volume fabrication of foams, with Solvay’s world leadership offering of high- and ultra-performing plastics materials. The partners will first build on Solvay’s Radel® foam and so-called sandwich materials, used on Airbus A350 and Solar Impulse, and will later expand to products that Solvay is developing.
Transports like commercial aircraft or high-speed trains are increasingly seeking to replace heavier plastics and metal structures, which are more time-consuming to process and expensive to maintain, with specialty foams. Light-weighting applications range from the cabin to ducting and trolleys and help to improve energy efficiency.
"Our alliance is a game changer in making high-tech foams available on a large scale. Part makers will benefit from greater flexibility in their designs and from uniting strength and insulation performance at the highest level of fire resistance," said Armin Klesing, Global Business Development Manager Aerospace & Composites at Solvay's Specialty Polymers Global Business Unit.
"Our company has continuously pioneered foam technology and is now at the forefront of establishing high-volume manufacturing solutions for specialty foams. Our teaming up with Solvay creates a technology leader in the high-end segment of light-weighting with foam,” said Roman Thomassin, CEO of 3A Composites.
The alliance secures global logistics and regional support through its manufacturing and workshop capabilities worldwide. 3A Composites expects additional foam extrusion capacity in the United States to come on stream 2016 and will continue to service the market with its existing product lines.
As an international chemical group, Solvay assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. Solvay generates 90% of its net sales in activities where it is among the world's top three players. It serves many markets, varying from energy and the environment to automotive and aerospace or electricity and electronics, with one goal: to raise the performance of its clients and improve society's quality of life. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 26,000 people in 52 countries and generated 10.2 billion euros in net sales in 2014. Solvay SA SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR).
About 3A Composites
3A Composites manufactures composite panels and materials for sandwich solutions and is focused on the architecture, display, marine, transportation and wind power markets. The company is regarded as the market leader in all target markets. Suitable combinations of materials are determined on the basis of the requirements of the relevant applications and are manufactured in large volumes using industrial processes. In all target markets, 3A Composites offers a unique product range for the respective high-end segment and owns the brands that define the category, such as ALUCOBOND®, AIREX®, BALTEK®, DIBOND®, GATOR®, KAPA® etc.