K2013: Solvay to offer TPCs through investment in Aonix

US-based Solvay Specialty Polymers is acquiring a financial interest in Canadian developer of composite materials Aonix Advanced Materials. Solvay will partner with Aonix to accelerate the development and commercialisation of mass-produced, thermoplastic composites (TPCs) made of Solvay’s polymers for end-use markets like mobile electronics, automotive, oil and gas, and sporting goods. A final agreement is expected to close in late November. Though the partnership will target Solvay’s full range of polymers, it won’t affect developments involving its KetaSpire PEEK with other companies.

“This unique collaboration will bring together two world-class companies focused on meeting the growing global demand for lightweight, stiff, strong, and recyclable composite materials,” said Armin Klesing, Business Development Manager for aerospace and composites for Solvay Specialty Polymers. “We’re excited about the composites market and Aonix’s potential to deliver cutting-edge composite systems with significant benefits over conventional epoxy-based systems in high-volume production.”

“We see valuable synergies resulting from this partnership,” said Jerome Le Corvec, President/CEO of Aonix Advanced Materials. “Our expertise in composites formulation and fabrication and Solvay’s industry-leading position in high-performance polymers creates a strong team capable of opening up new doors in the advanced thermoplastic composites arena.”

The partnership will focus on the use of Solvay’s high-performance thermoplastics as a matrix as well as overmoulding polymers, which are particularly suited for these advanced composite applications due to their strong mechanical properties, damage tolerance, and chemical resistance. A key processing advantage is their faster cycle times compared to thermoset systems such as epoxy, particularly in high-volume fabrication. These composites are reinforced with glass, aramid or carbon fibres.

Aonix offers a range of proprietary UltraMaterials, a range of thermoplastic formulations that are used to create new classes of composite materials with improved performance, high-volume output, and recyclability versus conventional composites. The company accelerates commercial development by performing all formulation, prepreg, prototyping, testing, and validation for the customer. Aonix’s turnkey solution also includes purpose-built, automated manufacturing systems that are fully optimised for high-volume/low-cost production, eliminating the labour-intensive processes of traditional composites manufacturing.

“We expect our partnership to capitalise on the integrated value chain, from material formulation to component manufacturing,” said Klesing. Work on commercial applications is underway in a range of end-use markets.

Situated in West Ottawa, Aonix has been doubling in size every year since its inception in 2008 by Jerome Le Corvec. It was formerly known as V+I Composites Inc.


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