R3 Composites launches nonwovens business

US-based Carver Non-Woven Technologies will offer nonwovens made with fiberglass, jute, carbon fiber and several types of polymer fibers, plus binder/resin blends.

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R3 Composites Inc. (Grabill, IN, US), a custom compression molder and compounder of sheet molding compound (SMC) with design and part-conversion capabilities, has announced the formation of a new, wholly owned subsidiary, Carver Non-Woven Technologies LLC, which will supply high-quality, multimaterial nonwoven products to R3 and the broader North American composites industry. Carver will be headquartered nearby in Fremont, IN, and is nearly done renovating an existing plant at that location where it will produce its nonwoven products and offer them for commercial sale starting in July 2016.

The new company will offer nonwoven reinforcements for a variety of thermoset and thermoplastic composites due to Carver's ability to create sheetstock with low-variance weight (density) and good dimensional stability and mechanical properties. A broad combination of single-fiber and hybrid (multifiber) mats will be offered, including E-glass fiberglass, bast-type natural fibers (primarily jute), carbon fiber, and several types of polymer fibers (e.g., nylon and polyester) plus highly homogeneous resonated acrylic/latex binder-resin blends. Carver also plans deliver carbon fiber nonwovens at considerably lower costs than conventional wrap-and-resonate processes. Carver also has opted to automate its production line completely ― from initial debaling, fiber opening, blending and carding, all the way through to finished packaging.

"From the start, we strategically positioned Carver's focus on design and technology in order to significantly raise the bar on nonwoven product quality," notes Mark Glidden, president, R3 Composites and Carver Non-Woven. "In order to meet the demanding performance requirements of the automotive, recreational vehicle, building/construction and office-furniture markets, we knew it would be critical to maintain tight tolerances on fiber blending, coarse and fine fiber opening, product weight distribution and line versatility. These are the key metrics that we kept in mind when custom designing our processes and equipment."

For more information, contact info@carvernonwoven.com