Solvay, the Belgian chemical company partnered with the Switzerland-based 3A Composites to produce a new range of foam materials. The new school of specialty foam will be custom-made and a pocket-friendly alternative to the conventional materials that required labor-intensive manufacturing. The new foam also promises to reduce the weight of applications efficiently.
As per the terms of agreement, 3A Composites will share its knowledge and expertise of industrial processes for the development and fabrication of a high volume of foam. This will be combines with Solvay’s expertise in the production of high quality and ultra-performing plastics.
At the initial stage, the companies will focus on the production of Radel foam, familiar to Solvay’s processes and the very common sandwich material which are commonly used on Solar Impulse, and Airbus A350. However, in the near future the companies will adopt strategies to expand the manufacture of different products that Solvay at present is developing.
The material produced will be sold to the manufacturers of commercial aircraft or high speed train, as they look for quality yet more affordable alternatives of heavier plastics and metal structures. Specialty foams, therefore, has emerged as the most potent option of replacing the heavier plastics and metals with, since they are more time-intensive and expensive to maintain.
The light-weight applications offered by the specialty foam material include a range of products from ducting to trolleys. The material will also enhance the energy efficiency, as mentioned by a spokesperson of Solvay.
The business development manager for aerospace and composites department in Solvay Specialty Polymers, Armin Klesing said in a recent interview that the alliance foresees to be a game changer in the industry manufacturing high tech foams on a large scale.