Da Vinci has arrived in Minnesota.
Materials firm PlastiComp Inc. recently opened a new R&D lab at its headquarters in Winona, Minn. The Da Vinci R&D Lab is named in honor of famed renaissance inventor and artist Leonardo da Vinci. The project provides an isolated environment for the firm's smaller long fiber composite pellet pultrusion line, as well as for its auxiliary equipment for conducting evaluations of new raw material feedstocks and processing enhancements.
“PlastiComp is one of the few long fiber compounders actively engaged in advancing long fiber technology into new markets and applications, instead of just producing commodity long glass fiber polypropylene products,” president and CEO Steve Bowen said in a news release. “Our new Da Vinci Lab provides the ideal environment for PlastiComp to evaluate different fiber and polymer combinations, as well as try out new processing techniques to assess their effect on material performance.
In addition to custom engineering the performance of LFT materials to meet customer specific application requirements, PlastiComp also performs contract research and development work for industry suppliers and partners seeking to adapt LFT technology. The plant-within-a-plant concept provides a secure environment in which PlastiComp can conduct confidential trials separate from its primary production operations.
PlastiComp operates two plants covering a total of 115,000 square feet in Winona. Its composites are available as standard and custom engineered formulations that combine long glass, carbon, and other specialty fiber reinforcement with thermoplastics ranging from polypropylene to PEEK. The materials are widely used in transportation, aerospace, defense, sporting goods, industrial equipment, and consumer goods.