Solvay, 3A Composites establish foam core collaboration

Solvay and 3A Composites will develop specialty core materials for the advanced transportation market.

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Thermoplastics specialist Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) and core specialist 3A Composites (Sins, Switzerland) announced at JEC Europe a collaborative effort to develop and manufacture light-weighting specialty foam and sandwich materials for the advanced transportation market.

Dr. Armin Klesing, global business development manager, aerospace & composites, at Solvay, and Roman Thomassin, CEO 3A Composites Core Materials, sat down with CW to discuss the alliance. Klesing says the goal of the collaboration is to combine the strengths of the two companies, noting that 3A’s expertise is in providing a range of industrial processes to manufacture foams, while Solvay’s expertise is in formulating the broadest portfolio of specialty polymers to desired performance attributes in highly demanding applications — what Klesing called "before the extruder."

The collaboration includes personnel and capital from both companies and it will pursue challenging applications that are ripe for highly engineered core solutions. The alliance’s first product, Radel PPSU foam, is already on the market in an interior application for Airbus A350 XWB commercial aircraft. Thomassin says thermoplastics will be the base material of the products the collaboration provides. He adds that the alliance’s success could lead to a more in-depth relationship with Solvay.