Solvay SA is stepping up its aerospace activities with a new investment in additional resin capacity at its production site in Greenville, Texas.
The Belgian specialty materials company broke ground on July 26 on a new expansion plan to add resin mixing capacity at the site, which is dedicated to supplying materials to the aerospace industry.
The expansion, according to Tracy Price, executive vice-president global operations, Solvay Composite Materials, will supply out-of-autoclave composite products to commercial and military aerospace customers.
The company did not provide full details of the project but told Plastics News Europe that the new investment would increase resin capacity by 35 percent at the site.
The additional resin, said Solvay in a statement to PNE, will be crucial for meeting the quality requirements and contracted volume of the company's aerospace customers.
The new program follows a “several-million-dollar” investment in the plant in 2015.
The Brussels-based company added a new carbon fiber production line at the Texas facility in 2015, doubling production capacity to convert acrylonitrile monomers into standard modulus carbon fibers.
The site in Greenville is part of Solvay's recently-established Composite Materials global business unit.
It was acquired by Solvay in 2001 from BP Amoco and one of its primary products is Torlon PAI grades — a family of polyamide-imides that according to Solvay combines the performance advantages of thermoset polyimides with the ease of melt processing of thermoplastics.
Solvay has accelerated its aerospace activities since the 6.2 billion euro acquisition of materials company Cytec in 2015.
As part of Cytec's integration, Solvay created the composite materials unit in 2016, where it houses the former Cytec composite business of aerospace materials.
Solvay also recently announced that it had extended a supply agreement for polymers with the world's largest Tier 1 aerostructures manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems, based in Wichita, Kan.
As part of the agreement, Solvay will supply composites and adhesives to be used on nacelle and fuselage applications across Boeing's commercial programs.