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10-28-2013

Solvay Makes Strategic Investment in Thermoplastic Composites

Solvay Specialty Polymers has reached an agreement to acquire a financial interest in Aonix Advanced Materials, based in Ottawa, ON, Canada, a leading developer of advanced composite materials and manufacturing systems.

Solvay will partner with Aonix to accelerate the development and commercialization of mass-produced, thermoplastic composites made of Solvay’s high-performance polymers for end-use markets including mobile electronics, automotive, oil and gas, and sporting goods. A final agreement is expected to close in late November. Solvay made the announcement at K 2013.

The partnership will target Solvay’s full range of high-performance polymers. However, the agreement will not affect developments involving KetaSpire PEEK with other companies. The partnership will focus on the use of Solvay’s high-performance thermoplastics as a matrix as well as overmolding polymers which are particularly suited for these advanced composite applications due to their strong mechanical properties, superior damage tolerance, and chemical resistance. A key processing advantage is their faster cycle times compared to thermoset systems such as epoxy, particularly in high-volume fabrication. These composites are reinforced with glass fiber, aramid fiber, or carbon fiber.

Aonix offers a range of proprietary UltraMaterials, a range of thermoplastic formulations that are used to create new classes of composite materials with superior performance, high-volume output, and recyclability versus conventional composites. The company accelerates commercial development by performing all formulation, prepreg, prototyping, testing, and validation for the customer. Aonix’s turnkey solution also includes purpose-built, automated manufacturing systems that are fully optimized for high-volume/low-cost production, eliminating the labor-intensive processes of traditional composites manufacturing.

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