Chinaplas 2016: Solvay sets up testing lab for auto parts in China


Polyamides-based performance materials supplier Solvay Engineering Plastics has set up a laboratory for parts testing in Shanghai, China, to support the growth of its customers in the Asia region. To start up end of this year, this first Application Performance Testing (APT) centre outside Europe aims at accelerating the development and validation of Technyl applications said Marilyn Lye, Asia Region Director, adding that it will cater to the automotive as well as consumer and electrical markets.

“The market is growing for automotive testing needs, not only in China but also in Asia. Most of parts testing is done in Europe so that is why we have decided to set up the lab in China.”

“Our decision to create a dedicated facility in Shanghai will greatly enhance our ability to respond to our Chinese and Asian customers, thereby offering an optimum service to tiers and OEMs active in the region,” states Lye.

APT Technyl Validation offers a wide scope of part testing, says Solvay. Most of Solvay’s bench tests are developed and customised in close collaboration with OEMs and major Tier 1 suppliers. It also includes CAE simulation capabilities with MMI Technyl Design and 3D printing with Sinterline Technyl prototyping.

The company’s APT laboratory located at the Technyl Innovation Centre in Lyon, France, includes an array of equipment to address metal replacement, thermal management and fluid barrier application parts testing. This notably includes coolant (glycol) and oil circulation, hydraulic testing for structural applications, oil separation, air pulsation (up to 230°C), vibration testing for temperatures ranging from -35°C to +180°C, etc.

The China lab will initially be equipped with installations dedicated to metal replacement applications, like under the hood parts like transmission covers and the second step will be air intake and cooling systems, said Lye, adding that Solvay has invested in Shakers and impact resistance equipment. Progressively, the facility will be equipped with additional apparatus for testing thermal management and fluid barrier applications.

In terms of its business, Asia accounts for 44% of Solvay’s business and China takes up 25%, making it the most important market for speciality products. It caters to seven major industry sectors: aerospace, automotive, construction and consumer, electrical/electronics, energy, healthcare and industrial and environment.

Meanwhile, in China, recent Solvay expansions include added capacities for its Tecnoflon FKM and Solef PVDF at Changshu as well as for Technyl polyamides at Shanghai. It also has a strategic alliance with Shanghai 3F New Material to serve Asia’s growing demand for high-performance fluorinated polymers.


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