Solvay expands production for PEEK and PAEK in China

Solvay Specialty Polymers is investing in a major series of global supply chain initiatives to expand the availability of its KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and AvaSpire polyaryletherketone (PAEK) products, including the production of the resins in China and the creation of new distribution centres for the resins in vital regions of the world. This effort also benefits the global availability of Torlon polyamide-imide (PAI), a polymer whose ultra-performance capabilities complement those of PEEK and PAEK. Both elements of the initiative are aimed at providing availability and supply of Solvay’s polymers to support growth in a diverse range of applications spanning the transportation, healthcare, electronics, oil and gas, and semiconductor manufacturing markets.

In China, production of PEEK and PAEK compounds has commenced at Solvay’s Changshu production site. “This is an exciting milestone for us and represents a major commitment by Solvay to the local production and supply of these ultra polymers for the Chinese market and for the region in general,” said Chris Wilson, senior vice-president of the ultra-performance materials business line. “This is a key investment that places these very high-quality innovative materials at the doorstep of our fast-growing customers in the region.” Solvay announced in July 2012 the opening of its Changshu production site located in the province of Jiangsu at an investment of EUR21 million. Today’s announcement reflects Solvay’s strategy to expand the product scope of these operations as stated in the initial announcement.

In addition to establishing manufacturing presence for ultra-performance polymers in China, Solvay has been very busy developing a more agile global supply chain for these products. “Over the last two years, we have successfully leveraged Solvay’s extensive global network of warehouses to place our KetaSpire, AvaSpire, and Torlon ultra polymers in close proximity to the markets in key geographies around the world,” said Art Tigera, product manager for Spire Ultra Polymers. In the Asian corridor, Solvay has established new distribution centers in Singapore, China, Japan, and South Korea.

In the US, the polymers benefit from Solvay’s warehousing network in the Texas gulf coast region where consumption of these products is concentrated due to the strong presence of companies involved in oil and gas exploration and production. These added distribution centers complement the existing warehouse network in Europe, the Americas, and other regions of the world. “

KetaSpire PEEK is one of the industry’s most chemically resistant plastics and offers excellent strength, superior fatigue resistance, and a continuous-use temperature up to 240°C. Glass fibre-reinforced and carbon fibre-reinforced grades provide a wide range of performance options for demanding applications.

AvaSpire PAEK is a family of polymers that embraces versatility by delivering new and unique combinations of performance and value. The AV-600 Series delivers a range of distinctive performance attributes with some grades offering more attractive economics when compared to PEEK. The AV-700 Series offers comparable performance to PEEK at up to a 30% lower cost.

Torlon PAI is a high-strength plastic with the highest strength and stiffness of any thermoplastic up to 275°C. It has outstanding resistance to wear, creep, and chemicals (including strong acids and most organics) and is ideally suited for severe service environments.


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