Ashland Performance Materials (Dublin, Ohio, USA), a commercial unit of Ashland Inc., has announced the formation of a strategic alliance with Acell Srl (Milan, Italy) to foster North American market development for Acell’s sheet molding compound (SMC)-based sandwich panel processing technology.
The Acell foam and processing technology offers fabricators an opportunity to compete in new applications requiring panel technology, such as entry doors, exterior sheathing for commercial buildings, or residential roofing. The panels can be tailored any number of ways to meet weathering, strength, insulating properties, and fire resistance requirements.
“We are excited to partner with Acell as part of our ongoing efforts to grow the composites industry in North America,” says Mike Wallenhorst, director of product management for Ashland Performance Materials. “Their technologies have tremendous promise for converting applications from traditional materials to composites, especially in building and construction markets.”
Under terms of the alliance agreement, Acell will partner with Ashland to identify new customers and market opportunities in North America. “We have had good success in Europe and felt it was time to expand in to North America,” says Michael Frieh, Acell commercial director. “Acell won the award for Best Process at the ACMA Composites show in 2011, and this is where we first met the Ashland team. We were impressed by their ability to understand why the process would work and how the technology would fit in the American market. As we looked for a good partner, it became clear that Ashland had the vision, personnel, facilities and overall presence we needed to enter the North American market successfully.”