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Dow helps Ford with composites

Ford Motor Company and Dow Automotive are teaming up to develop low-cost, high-volume carbon-fibre-reinforced composites for automotive applications. Researchers from the

two companies will focus on establishing an economical source of automotive-grade carbon fibre and on developing high-volume component manufacturing methods. Ford hopes that the new

materials and manufactur- ing techniques will help it to achieve its strategic goal of reducing veicle weights by up to 750 lbs (340 kg) by the end of the decade. ❙

PolyOne and Xenia sign carbon fibre deal

PolyOne has signed a coopera- tion and supply agreement with Xenia, the Italian special- ist in carbon fibre composites. As part of the agreement, PolyOne will market Xenia’s materials in Europe excluding Italy, while Xenia will promote and market carbon-fibre-rein- forced grades of PolyOne’s OnForce materials in Italy. The two companies are

targeting high-end applica- tions, aiming to replace metals and thermosets with their carbon-fibre-reinforced thermoplastics. PolyOne brings expertise in manufac- turing long fibre-reinforced thermoplastics, plus the benefits of global market reach. Xenia offers its experience in developing thermoplastics with short

PolyOne and Xenia will offer FEA design support for their carbon-fibre-reinforced thermo- plastics

carbon fibres, plus its finite element analysis (FEA) capabilities for developing designs based on such materials. “PolyOne has extensive

expertise in metal and thermo- set replacement using OnForce LFT long fibre materials,” commented Holger Kronimus, PolyOne’s general manager for Engineered Materials Europe. “With Xenia, we have identified a company that will support our efforts to help customers enhance their performance

and profitability.” Xenia president Fabio Azzolin added, “Xenia’s carbon fibre reinforced XECarb materials are already selected for use in high-end applica- tions such as racing and sport components and in mechanical parts. Working with PolyOne, we intend to become the foremost European supplier of these materials across an even broader spectrum of applica- tions than we enjoy today.” ❙

Foster increases compounding capacity

Foster has added a new compounding line at its medical polymers plant in Putnam, Connecticut, USA. It will be used for producing custom pre-coloured grades used in Class I medical applications. The new line features a

twin-screw extruder with a capacity of more than 1,000 lbs/h (450 kg/h). It has been designed to optimise pigment dispersion for challenging colours and polymers. Both strand and underwater pelletizing options are available.

The equipment was 6 “As a leader in polymer

Foster’s new high-throughput compounding line will produce pre-coloured grades for Class I medical applications

designed to serve high-volume medical applications where colour is critical and cost is


important, for example custom-coloured polymers for bandage or packaging film.

compounding for minimally invasive devices and catheters, Foster has developed an expertise in the dispersion of additives in polymers for thin-wall parts,” said Christine Howe, director of manufactur- ing for Foster. “We have designed this new larger line to provide the same quality and consistency for Class I devices with demanding colour requirements. These applica- tions generally consume higher volumes and are under increased pressure to reduce costs.” ❙

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