Ashland acquires SmartTrac technology

The system, bought from Signature Control Systems, helps measure cure of thermoset resins and compounds.

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Ashland Performance Materials (Dublin, Ohio), has acquired the SmartTrac impedance monitoring technology from Denver, Colo.-based Signature Control Systems (SCS), becoming its exclusive provider to the global composite market.

Gary Landsettle, Ashland Performance Materials’ director of sales for the Americas, says production cycle time savings of 15 percent or more have been documented because the system determines the exact moment of cure in a thermoset resin or compound by sending electrical currents through the resin. Sensors mounted directly inside production molds can detect the subtle changes in the electrical currents as the resin crosslinks.

The company also is updating its technical assistance process for customers who use its DERAKANE and HETRON resin technologies, to expedite delivery of written recommendations. “We discovered that customers nearly always preferred that we provide written resin recommendations via e-mail,” said Andy Beer, director, product management – vinyl esters. Customers are now asked to send their inquiries via e-mail to derakane@ashland.com.