Solvay SA will begin producing high-performance polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) polymers in the U.S. early next year to support its composite materials business in meeting growing aerospace demand.
In a Sept. 12 statement, the Brussels-based specialty chemicals company said it would start PEKK production at its site in Augusta, Ga., and under the trade name NovaSpire.
"Solvay further affirms its unique position in lightweighting materials by joining the forces of its high performance specialty polymers and composite materials to produce its own PEKK resin," said Roger Kearns, a member of Solvay's executive committee.
"This new capacity will address fast-growing demand for thermoplastic composites and 3D printing components in aerospace and in other markets."
PEKK is used in thermoplastic composites reinforced with carbon fibers and in additive manufacturing in a range of industrial applications.
Solvay announced last year that it was developing specialty polymers including PEKK compatible with elective laser sintering (SLS).
With the 2015 acquisition of U.S. composite materials producer Cytec Industries Inc., Solvay has gained a strong position in PEKK, a material that has proven itself for the SLS processes.