Continental Structural Plastics relocates to new headquarters

CSP's new headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., USA, includes an expanded composite material research lab, a prototype center, design and analysis equipment and manufacturing development capabilities.

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP, Auburn Hills, Mich., USA) announced on Oct. 23 that it has moved into its new 70,000 ft2/6,503m2 world headquarters facility. Located in Auburn Hills, Mich., the new facility expands and enhances CSP’s composite material research, formulation and design capabilities. In addition to an expanded research and development center, the building includes executive, sales and administrative offices; an employee fitness center; several state-of-the-art conference rooms; and a 3,300-ft2/307m2 showroom and visitor center.

“The goal is to better serve our customers domestically and around the world,” says Frank Macher, chairman and CEO of CSP. “The new facility allows us to accommodate growing customer needs in durable, light-weight solutions, diversified-composite formulation and sustainability. Our expert staff is continually seeking ways to make our structural composites lighter and stronger, making the new R&D center that much more important.”

CSP’s 29,000-ft2/2,694m2 R&D and Prototype Center is staffed by a team of chemists, chemical engineers, polymer engineers, materials scientists and technicians, including four Ph.D., four master of science, and five bachelor of science-degreed scientists. The facility features expanded capability for the development of advanced composites, including a prototype SMC line, which has been refurbished and upgraded to properly handle and introduce carbon fiber. Also in-house are a 50-ton, 100-ton and a new 200- ton press suitable for molding test plaques and parts.

Provisions are also being made to expand capabilities into resin transfer molding (RTM) and thermoplastic composite development, and to acquire additional equipment including a larger press for molding prototype automotive parts and a second compounding line for fabrication of carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) and prepreg.

CSP’s Polymer Development and Analysis lab includes thermal analysis testing (DSC, DMA, TMA, and TGA), optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), chemical property testing (FTIR/Infrared Spectroscopy and EDS/Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy) and a fully-equipped mechanical and physical property test area. In addition, the center contains a wet lab suitable for polymer synthesis and chemical testing. The engineering and orototype area is equipped with paint booths, conditioning ovens, environmental and salt-spray chambers, CMM tables and a machining area for building test fixtures.