ANAHEIM, CALIF. — The merging of operations at Cytec Fiberite Inc. has created an advanced composites powerhouse.
During eight months, President Michael Molyneux's team has faced a significant task ``bringing two large units together,'' he said in an interview.
Specialty chemical firm Cytec Industries Inc. of West Paterson, N.J., acquired the bulk of Fiberite Inc. on Sept. 30 for $344 million and combined it with Cytec Engineered Materials Inc. to form Tempe, Ariz.-based subsidiary Cytec Fiberite. In size and scope, only Hexcel Inc. is comparable.
A restructured Cytec Fiberite underscored its success with bismaleimide resins at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering symposium and exhibition held May 31-June 3 in Anaheim. Lockheed Martin Co. uses the resins in the U.S. Air Force's F-22 next-generation fighter, and Pratt & Whitney, GE Aircraft Engines and Rolls Royce use BMI in aircraft engines.
Also, Cytec Fiberite exhibited a 27-foot-long composite helicopter tail boom that Textron Inc.'s Bell Helicopter unit manufactures in Montreal. The boom offers significant weight savings vs. aluminum booms.
Cytec Fiberite is fine-tuning cyanate resin systems with low outgassing for space prepregs, replacing ``formulations we left with Hexcel,'' Molyneux said. Stamford, Conn.-based Hexcel acquired Fiberite's space satellite business and a broad license to Fiberite's structural prepreg technology at the same time Cytec acquired most of Fiberite's assets and liabilities.
Cytec Fiberite is returning to that market, using technology from a Newark, Del., advanced materials and structures group now being partially relocated.
Under former DuPont Co. ownership, that group developed remarkable technology that was never brought to the marketplace, according to Molyneux. DuPont sold the research-based operation to Fiberite in early 1997. Lines include the Avimid family of high-temperature composite prepregs and Declar thermoplastic polyetherketoneketone composite sheet materials.
The group developed a less-expensive way to lay down unidirectional thermoplastic tapes. Cincinnati Milacron Inc.'s Batavia, Ohio-based Plastics Technologies Group is testing a laying head that fuses tape during application, eliminating autoclave curing. Commercial availability may occur in five years.
Cytec Fiberite expects by year-end to transfer selected Delaware operations and 20-30 employees about 20 miles to a Havre de Grace, Md., facility and eliminate 30-40 positions.
In other company news:
In April, Cytec Fiberite began seeking a buyer for a 125,000-square-foot Delano, Pa., plant and the related molding compound business. Molyneux hopes to complete a sale in the fall. A milled carbon-fiber operation, being moved to Greenville, Texas, from Pennsylvania, aims to break down resin catalytically, removing polymers and reclaiming the fiber for use in milled form.
Cytec Fiberite named Scott Riefler new business development director as part of a major strategic push to dilute sales for aerospace and aircraft applications to 50 percent from 70 percent now, Molyneux said. The effort promotes electronic adhesives, thermoplastics for high-performance industrial applications and, by mid-1998, water-based corrosion primers for the general painting market.
Barry Brine was named general manager of Cytec Fiberite's new European division, which consolidates operational, sales and technical functions in Wrexham, Wales. He will oversee that manufacturing facility and another in Ostringen, Germany.
Cytec Fiberite is moving toward 1998 sales of $500 million, Molyneux said. The Fiberite operations had 1997 sales of $267.4 million, and the former Cytec unit, about $170 million.