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Foam Materials Solvay and 3A Composites Team Up for Lightweight Foams

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Specialty chemicals company Solvay teams up with composite materials specialist 3A: Together, both companies want to produce and market leightweight foam materials for transportation.

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(Picture: Ernhofer/PROCESS)

Brussels/Belgium – The new cooperative shall combine 3A Composites' know-how in industrial process development and high-volume fabrication of foams, with Solvay's high- 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.

A Gamechanger for Foams? Solvay Has Big Plans

"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 PolymersGlobal 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 segmentof light-weighting with foam," said Roman Thomassin, CEO of 3A Composites. 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.

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