Composites One to acquire Solvay Process Materials business

The acquired business, rebranded as Aerovac, will act as manufacturer, developer and supplier of process materials, tooling and services and is comprised of a range of vacuum bagging materials.


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New Aerovac, Composites One logo.

It was announced on March 1 that Composites One (Arlington Heights, Ill., U.S.), with the help of private equity firm, Emko Capital (Philadelphia, Penn., U.S.), has completed its purchase of the Process Materials business from the Solvay (Alpharetta, Ga., U.S.) Composites Materials Global Business. The acquisition offers Composites One the opportunity to add international manufacturing and sales capabilities in specialized materials used in a variety of vacuum-assisted composite manufacturing processes.

The acquired business, rebranded as Aerovac, is a manufacturer, developer and supplier of process materials, tooling and services used in prepreg processing, vacuum infusion, glass lamination and other industrial applications.

According to Robert Murdock, vice president and general manager of Aerovac, notes that the Aerovac brand was first establihed in the 1970s in Europe and has always represented innovation in process materials; it changed in 2000 to Richmond/Aerovac, a name referenced in current aerospace specifications. “The name Aerovac pays homage to the brand’s heritage and customer focus which is now combined with the market presence of Composites One,” Murdock says.

The Aerovac line is comprised of an extensive array of vacuum bagging materials, from bagging films, breather fabrics, release films and fabrics, to peel plies, sealant tapes, valves and hoses. Also available are tailored process materials kits and hard and soft tooling. 

Composites One notes that these products are the same quality process materials that it has been providing to customers the past two years while serving as Solvay’s North American distributor. “Aerovac is a natural, strategic extension of Composites One’s business,” says Steve Dehmlow, CEO of Composites One. “It positions us for future growth, and further establishes Composites One as a major supplier to the aerospace, wind energy and marine markets.”

“We believe that the Process Materials business will greatly benefit from being part of Composites One,” adds Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay Composite Materials Global Business Unit. “Their intent is to grow and invest in the business, fostering innovation, reliability and customer service and build on the excellent work that our team has done.”

With the acquisition, Composites One gains multiple manufacturing, kit design/fabrication and materials distribution locations including Santa Fe Springs, California; Sumner, Washington; Keighley, U.K.; Mondovi, Italy; and Toulouse, France. An additional site in Toulouse focuses on the design and manufacture of hard and soft tooling. Another inclusion is a U.K.-based distribution business, Med-Lab, which trades in aircraft engine overhaul consumables and fuel testing instruments.