Axion to supply resin for composite storage containers

The composite containers are being developed jointly by Innovative Composites International, which is supplying the fiber-reinforced thermoplastic outer panels for the side walls, floor and ceiling.

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Axion International Holdings Inc. (New Providence, N.J., USA), a next-generation technology firm that uses recycled plastic for high-load industrial products, on Jan. 28 announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Innovative Composites International Inc. (ICI, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) to supply Axion’s patented thermoplastic material to ICI and its strategic partner, Universal Storage Containers LLC (USC, New Canaan, Conn., USA), for certain elements in the construction of state-of-the-art composite containers.

These composite containers are being developed jointly by ICI, which is supplying the fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (FRT) outer panels for the side walls, floor and ceiling, and USC, a privately held U.S. company that is the exclusive marketer and distributor of the finished containers, under the Z2-Box name. Axion’s patented thermoplastic material will be specifically used for the structural components of these containers, including flooring substructure, corner posts and interphase connectors.“Axion’s thermoplastic material is a critical component of the Z2-Box design, supplying the high-load support structure of the containers while allowing for their relatively light-weight characteristics compared to steel or aluminum”

“We are pleased to assist both ICI and USC in the development of these cutting-edge containers, which are made from 100 percent recyclable material and are poised to revolutionize the marketplace,” said Axion CEO Jim Kerstein. “By utilizing our high-load thermoplastic technology for the structural components, combined with ICI’s fiber reinforced paneling, USC and ICI have been able to develop a container that is eco-friendly, light-weight, portable and capable of supporting uneven weights of up to 10,000 lb. These relationships provide a significant new validator of our business model and offer an additional source of revenue that complements our railroad tie and bridge construction business.”

Over the last six months, USC has conducted extensive market research into what should be the next generation of containers for various industries and concluded that lightweight, environmentally friendly materials is what is needed in the future. The Z2-Box product line will be targeted for storage, moving and other related industries. The containers will be made of 100 percent recyclable materials that can be stacked three high, and each are engineered to support up to 10,000 lb/4,536 kg of uneven weight. Axion’s thermoplastic technology accounts for approximately 20 percent of the container’s total weight. ICI’s expects to supply projected annual quantities approximating $8 million to USC, which includes both ICI’s fiber reinforced paneling and Axion’s structural components.

"Axion’s thermoplastic material is a critical component of the Z2-Box design, supplying the high-load support structure of the containers while allowing for their relatively light-weight characteristics compared to steel or aluminum,” said Terry Ball, ICI’s CEO. “We are pleased to announce the signing of LOI’s with both Axion and USC this week, and look forward to further collaboration with our partners as the Z2-Box is successfully rolled out into the marketplace over the next six months.”

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