Victrex to invest $22.7 million in new PEEK capacity

The investments tie-in with recent product launches.

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Victrex (Thornton-Cleveleys, UK) plans to invest up to $22.7 million to build a new PEEK composite facility for unidirectional (UD) tape as well as add new manufacturing capability for medical trauma plate applications at its UK headquarters.

UD tape is being used for Victrex’s partnership with Magma Global, for an oil and gas program that focuses on m-pipe. Magma’s m-pipe is a high strength polymer carbon pipe which is 90% lighter than steel in water and has a number of performance benefits, including being highly durable, corrosion resistant to seawater, CO2 and sour gas. M-pipe is flexible and spoolable, which offers the potential to reduce project cost. The m-pipe application has secured a number of development programs in 2015 with a diverse range of oil and gas operators. UD tape composites are also being used in aerospace applications following the launch in October 2015 of VICTREX AE250.

 “To deliver solutions to our customers and consequently shape future performance means continued investment to drive our future growth programs. This includes the technical, marketing, quality and regulatory functions,” said Victrex’s CEO David Hummel.

In trauma, Victrex will continue to invest in specific downstream manufacturing facilities during 2016. Trauma plates, for example, composed of the high-performance composite, PEEK-OPTIMA Ultra-Reinforced, are delivered by Victrex's medical division - Invibio Biomaterial Solutions. Cleared regulatory device predicates in the U.S. and Europe enable medical device manufacturers to more easily expand their trauma range beyond metal technologies. Hummel said: “We are particularly encouraged by the opportunity in this market. Downstream manufacturing capability of trauma plate components will enhance our offering, enabling us to have the ability to meet initial demand.”

These investments also include capital expenditure for the company’s Polymer Innovation Center, which will deliver prototyping and application development excellence for Victrex. The new facility, which is due to start construction in early 2016, will help Victrex research and test many of its new downstream applications in the years ahead, allowing the company to enhance its capabilities as a solutions provider.