Rigicom to focus on self-reinforced composites

Rigicom Ltd. is a new U.K. company created to extend hot compaction technology for the manufacture of self-reinforced composies.

A new company, Rigicom Ltd. (Bradford, U.K.), has been formed to extend the Hot Compaction technology for the manufacture of self-reinforced composites, developed at the University of Leeds (U.K.). The company has secured an option to the rights to the extensive portfolio of patents and is now seeking new licensees for the technology in addition to helping create new markets and applications.

Self-reinforced composites are produced from highly drawn polymer tapes compacted to create light-weight, highly impact resistant thermoformable sheets. Being single-polymer materials they are totally recyclable.

Hot Compaction is the technology behind Curv self-reinforced polypropylene, currently manufactured by Propex Fabrics GmbH in Germany. Curv is already recognized as a leading self-reinforced polypropylene, seen in a wide range of products from blue chip companies including light-weight luggage from Samsonite and high-performance sports protection from Nike. Other applications range from automotive parts to panelling and ballistics protection.

Professor Ian Ward, lead inventor of the Hot Compaction technology in the 1990s and a director of Rigicom, commented, "In the time since we signed our first licence [with BP, now Propex Fabrics] we have developed ways to extend the technology to a wide range of polymers. Some of these offer remarkable levels of stiffness, strength and impact resistance and we are looking forward to working with Propex and new licensees in the development of new products and materials.”

Information: Call Rigicom at +44 1274 637 786 for more information.