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9/20/2019 | 6 MINUTE READ

INEOS Composites Drives Industry Forward with Ashland Acquisition

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Those in the composites industry will now find trusted brand names and products they love from Ashland under the new INEOS Composites umbrella. Here’s what they can find.


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INEOS Composites

INEOS Enterprises recently announced its acquisition of Ashland Composites; the new partnership is expected to have a major impact on product offerings for the composites industry. Under INEOS Composites, customers and end users will gain continued advantages from Ashland Composites’ technical expertise and well-known product lines in addition to the service and commitment of INEOS, one of the world’s leaders in science and chemistry.  

INEOS Composites manufactures and sells a broad range of general-purpose and high-performance grades of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, gelcoats and low-profile additives for the plastics industry.

The products of INEOS Composites support the fabrication of composite parts with an array of functional properties including corrosion resistance, fire retardance, ultraviolet resistance, water and chemical resistance, high mechanical properties, thermal and electrical insulation, impact and scratch resistance and high strength-to-weight ratios.

With the acquisition, those in the composites industry will now gain access to the trusted brand names and products on which they rely under the new INEOS Composites umbrella. 



As an in-mold coating used in fiber-reinforced plastics and cast polymers, gelcoats have long provided exceptional protection and performance in critical-use environments. Today, customers seek products with high durability and performance all while providing outstanding aesthetic appeal and efficient in-process application characteristics.

Maxguard™ gelcoats exceed these expectations as well as some of the toughest requirements set by the marine and automotive industries.

Top Benefits:

  • Flexibility
  • Viscosity and gel time stability
  • Application properties
  • Improved air release
  • Non-tacky overspray
  • Blister resistance
  • Gloss retention
  • MACT compliant
  • Easy to repair

High performance can mean a lot of things but for the Maxguard™ product line, this means a product designed to eliminate defects or cracking, built to withstand harsh elements and created to minimize rework or excess usage.

INEOS Composites touts a history of success in the marine industry, and by collaborating with some of the industry’s leading boat builders, is dedicated to offering high weatherability so that boats can maintain their luster and finish for longer. They’ve accomplished this in one particular cosmetic area: that of gloss retention. Maxguard™ EZM white marine gelcoats, for instance, exceed industry demands for high levels of UV and blister resistance, so it maintains its color and texture for a longer period of time under the harshest testing environments.

Maxguard EZM UV exposure chart

Maxguard™ EZM demonstrates significant gloss retention over time.

Mold designs are becoming increasingly complex, so INEOS Composites is dedicated to providing a gelcoat that not only performs exceptionally well, but is also easier to apply. From a viscosity standpoint, Maxguard™ markets more stability, which means it can be stored longer, is easier to spray and can reach even the tightest contours in hard-to-spray areas, while maintaining consistent application and even spray patterns. From an expense standpoint, these application benefits also lead to major reductions in overspray and excess usage.


To watch the full video and more on gelcoat application, click here.

Aside from mechanical challenges, the aesthetics of complex parts come with their own set of problems. Generally speaking, white is the standard for gelcoats. And with a white surface finish, you want a bright and glossy appearance, which can be impeded by fading and yellowing from UV exposure and other natural elements.

When it comes to cracks in the surface, they’re not just a component of weathering and age. These kinds of defects are common with industrial products, such as decks and furniture, that are susceptible to high levels of physical pressure or surface tension. Even the most insignificant crack takes a lot of time and money to repair.


To watch the full video and more on the lamination procedure, click here.


To watch the full video and more on gelcoat repair and patching, click here.

Maxguard™ HPW gelcoats leverage unique technology that outperforms traditional marine white gelcoats in flexibility as well as weathering. These gelcoats are extremely tough, performing in rough waters while maintaining their glossy finish over time. In addition to their high performance, Maxguard™ HPW gelcoats meet the needs of the world’s premium boat builders by offering superior application properties and improved stability.

Maxguard gelcoat mandrel bend test

Mandrel bend test demonstrating Maxguard™ HPW gelcoat’s 50% increase in flexibility compared to other marine gelcoats.



Also joining the INEOS Composites family of products is Derakane™ Signia™, an epoxy vinyl ester resin built with continued corrosion performance wherever fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) pipes and tanks are used.

acid storage vessels for Daniel Mechanical

Example of acid storage vessels for the Mountain Pass Rare Earth mine, produced by Daniel Mechanical.

Built on the same foundation as the legacy Derakane™ product line, Derakane™ Signia™ leverages new production capabilities to modernize resin features and benefits, including improved environmental performance, better workability and increased worker satisfaction. Additionally, Derakane™ Signia™ resins encompass the industry’s first identifiable resin system, providing assurance that the resin used in the resin that was specified.

Derakane Signia offers 50% longer commercial warranty.

Derakane™ Signia™ offers a 50% longer commercial warranty compared to current epoxy vinyl ester resins.

Reduction of styrene emissions has gained importance to the FRP composites industry over the past several years with increasing regulations around the globe regarding human exposure to styrene. This has become a significant concern not only in response to new regulations, but for the sake of the work environment as well. As a result, Derakane™ Signia™ resins are formulated to include unique vapor suppression technology that greatly reduces styrene emissions upon curing.

Derakane™ Signia™ offers lower styrene emissions.

Derakane™ Signia™ offers lower styrene emissions across all three types of applications.

The vapor suppressant film is air activated and requires air to pass over the laminate surface; therefore, the fabrication method used greatly affects suppression performance of the resin system. Once formed, this suppressant film creates a barrier to block the evaporation of volatile compounds like styrene. Derakane™ Signia™ resin contains 44% styrene, but the vapor suppression technology allows it to perform the same as resins with far less styrene. This results in a minimum 30% reduction in styrene emissions, depending on the fabrication method.

FRP fabricators count on Derakane™ epoxy vinyl ester resins for proven performance backed by decades of documented in-service reliability. Derakane™ Signia™ resins deliver improved productivity with faster laminate consolidation, lower foaming and reduced sanding for application of secondary laminations.

Reduced odor and less dust help provide a better overall work environment for employees, and a longer shelf life significantly extends the workability timeframe. According to the company, these resins offer a 50% longer commercial warranty compared to current epoxy vinyl ester resins and nearly three times the warranty of the original Derakane™ line.

The chemistry of epoxy vinyl ester resins makes them highly reactive, and, when first invented, they were unstable and difficult to use. Introduction of better production capabilities improved their stability and allowed them to become a material of choice for corrosion applications where alloys could not perform.

In Derakane™ Signia™ resins, INEOS Composites has combined the best technological features of the Derakane™ and Hetron™ lineage with additional new learnings to bring landmark improvements that elevate the quality, production and supply of high-quality composite equipment.


Driving the Industry Forward, Together

INEOS recognizes the profound impact Ashland Composites had on the composites industry and paired with the expertise of INEOS, together they are continuing to raise the standard and drive the industry forward.

To learn more about INEOS and the future of composites, visit ineos.com/composites.