Plant set-ups: Solvay sets up UK manufacturing for aerospace structural adhesives; Evonik to build silicones facility in Germany

Solvay sets up UK manufacturing for aerospace structural adhesives

Belgian chemical supplier Solvay recently inaugurated its manufacturing centre for aerospace structural adhesives and surfacing films in Wrexham, UK. Together with the existing plant in Havre De Grace, US, this investment broadens Solvay’s footprint and strengthens its leadership position in this growing and demanding global market.

The centre is purpose-built and automated, supported by robotic and digital systems. This step-change in the manufacturing process optimises the production and supply chain security of aerospace structural adhesives, surfacing films and lightning strike protection for composite structures.

“Solvay’s new centre, equipped with cutting edge technologies, industrializes our manufacturing capabilities of structural adhesive and surfacing materials. It provides the quality and reliability our global aerospace customers need to meet the increasing rates of their aircraft programs and support their production system,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, head of Solvay’s Composite Materials Global Business Unit.

The centre is fully commissioned and moving towards commercialisation later this year.

 Evonik to build silicones facility in Germany

In other news, Germany’s Evonik says it is investing tens of millions of euros into the construction of a new multi-purpose facility at its Geesthacht location in Northern Germany, 30 km outside the city of Hamburg. The new facility will produce a range of silicones and silane-terminated polymers, which Evonik sells under the brand names Polymer VS and Polymer ST. The company did not reveal the capacity to be produced.

The products are used in a myriad of applications, including in parquet adhesives, adhesives for wound care, or encapsulation applications in electronics.

“The planned investment at the Geesthacht site has an important strategic significance by helping us to further strengthen our focus on innovative specialty chemical products,” says Dietmar Schaefer, head of the Interface & Performance Business Line of Evonik.

The new plant is scheduled to start operations at the end of 2019. A facility for filling tank trucks is also being built onsite to simplify and increase efficiency of the delivery and storage process for Evonik customers.

“The additional production capacity will also create room for us to develop new products, enabling us to increase the performance of our customers’ products and to react to future demands in the adhesives and sealants market,” says Dr. Sabine Giessler-Blank, head of the Polymer & Construction Specialties Product Line.

With about 100 employees, the Geesthach site will focus on two areas: silicone and nanotechnology. The addition and condensation-curing silicones as well as the silane-terminated polymers are used as binders in adhesives and sealants, electronics, and medical applications. Evonik’s silica-based nanomaterials serve as property-enhancing additives in fiber composites, which are widely used in the automotive and aerospace industry.

The company is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 36,000 employees. In 2017, the enterprise generated sales of EUR14.4 billion and an operating profit of EUR2.36 billion.


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