Evonik to Expand in Germany
Evonik Industries AG, Essen, Germany, marked the start of construction of a new stretching and polishing plant at the Weiterstadt site with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 2. The Group is investing a two-digit million euro amount in the plant. Thanks to systematic forward integration, Evonik’s Performance Materials Segment will then become a complete provider of cast and stretched polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) sheets for the aviation industry.
The new plant will be the most advanced of its kind in the world for production of stretched aircraft materials made from Plexiglas. It is being constructed directly next to the existing production facility for the cast PMMA blocks that serve as the primary products for the stretching process. The plant allows production of stretched PMMA sheets that are more than twice as large as the currently available formats, yet satisfy the stringent standards (Mil-P-25690 and EN 4366) of the aviation industry. This is Evonik’s second investment in quick succession at the Weiterstadt site: The construction of a production plant for high-grade PMMA flat film was announced as recently as mid-February, with investment again in the two-digit million range.
Compared with cast PMMA materials, stretched PMMA sheets have higher impact strength and increased chemical resistance. The material is therefore especially well-suited to meet the extremely high requirements of the aviation industry. While registering attractive growth, the market for stretched aircraft materials is characterized by limited capacities on the part of suppliers.The aviation industry is gaining a double benefit from extra-large format stretched PMMA sheets. For one thing, the new formats make production of aircraft and helicopter glazing more efficient. In addition, entirely new designs, such as particularly large cabin windows, are now possible. “With our new plant, we’re supplying the largest sheets available anywhere in the world with the lowest possible thickness tolerances,” says Roland Mickal, head of the Transportation market segment at Acrylic Products.
Evonik Industries AG
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