Dow Automotive expands composites processing capabilities

Two new composites development facilities, one in Switzerland and one in Michigan, will support advancement of relationships with automotive and commercial transportation customers, with an emphasis on carbon fiber composites.

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Dow Automotive Systems (Auburn Hills, Mich., USA), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., announced that it is expanding its capabilities in composite processing technology with the opening of two Dow development facilities to service its global customer base, one in Freienbach, Switzerland, and the other in Midland, Mich., USA. These laboratories support the advancement of strategic relationships with automotive and commercial transportation customers with an emphasis on carbon fiber composites.

In Freienbach, the Composite Technology Center offers comprehensive state­-of-the-­art infrastructure to develop composite applications paired with the appropriate joining technology. The 200m2/2,153-ft2 laboratory opened in April and is equipped with a large high-pressure resin transfer molding machine (RTM) for prototype production. It also offers development and testing facilities for resins and related adhesives. An Adhesives Training Center is also available as part of the Freienbach facility.

In Midland, Dow is also creating a center to accommodate technologies associated with direct long-­fiber processing, prepreg, preforming, compression molding and laminating. This 465m2/5,005-ft2 site is co­located with key corporate research and development capabilities including analytical sciences, the Materials Engineering Center and a wealth of polymer chemistry and processing related expertise. The close proximity of this laboratory to Auburn Hills, Mich., and the Dow Automotive Center of Competence for Adhesive Technology Development in North America will enable its teams to combine best practices in these important areas. The Midland facility opened in June.

“These important composite technology facilities demonstrate Dow Automotive Systems’ commitment to the development of lightweight composite solutions critical to meeting industry fuel efficiency and emissions targets,” says Peter Cate, global strategic marketer for composites. “In two key locations, we now offer critical on­site composites material and processing development capabilities that will further our expertise in this area as well as provide immediate benefits to customers investing in these technologies.”