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Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. (“Momentive Specialty Chemicals” or the “Company”), the global leader in thermoset resins, today announced the start-up of its Transportation Research and Application Center (TRAC) in Duisburg, Germany. TRAC researchers will develop and test custom lightweight structural composite solutions for clients in the automotive, aerospace and mass transportation markets. The laboratory will complement existing research and development (R&D) facilities worldwide where Momentive business units have been working with these industries for many years, creating new resins, products and solutions, and providing technical support.
The Transportation Research and Application Center (TRAC) will be sited at Momentive Specialty Chemicals’ Duisburg plant, already an important epoxy production and R&D facility which develops new formulations for a range of end uses. The availability of fast-reacting formulations now allows slow Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) processes to be replaced with fast-molding methods. Driving down cycle times for composite components can help minimize cycle times for automotive applications. The new lab will house a state-of-the art dosing/injection unit and press from Cannon, specifically engineered for the rapid production of small-batch epoxy composite test components conforming to a wide array of process and customer conditions.
“Cannon’s Epoxy Structural Reaction Injection Molding (ESTRIM) high-productivity resin injection equipment allows us to apply our materials under realistic customer processing conditions. We expect combined product and application development like this to drive future innovation and solutions,” says Roman Hillermeier, PhD, (Technology leader for Transportation) and Francis Defoor (Marketing leader for Transportation). “Our team at Momentive will work on a whole range of composite production technologies, such as High Pressure RTM, Low Pressure RTM and Compression Molding processes. We believe that both material and production technology, hand in hand, will help us drive the upsurge of composites in the automotive industry.”
Joseph Bevilaqua, President, Epoxy, Phenolic and Coatings Division of Momentive Specialty Chemicals, adds, “TRAC will extend our capabilities and help us build partnerships with co-suppliers and customers, as this is key to the successful development of structural composite solutions for mass production in the automotive industry. Plus, in addition to advanced application development activities, the center will still support Momentive Specialty Chemicals’ existing R&D and growth initiatives supporting the Automotive, Aerospace and Mass Transportation segments.” The Company’s extensive product line of EPIKOTE™ Epoxy Resin / EPIKURE™ Curing Agent systems is well established in many composite, coating, electronics and adhesive applications.
The TRAC’s main applications technology equipment will be installed by the end of March. The center is expected to be fully operational in its first phase by April or May.