Dow Announces R&D Facility, New Licensee and New Applications for FULCRUM Technology

12 October 2001

At Composites 2001 Dow Plastics announced several significant strides to expand the application potential of its breakthrough FULCRUM thermoplastic composite technology, including the construction of a research and development (R&D) facility, and the signing of a new licensee for the technology.

A state-of-the-art facility dedicated to FULCRUM technology is currently under construction at Dow’s LaPorte, Texas, site. “FULCRUM technology has enabled Dow to open new market avenues never before possible in the composites industry. We are extremely excited about the potential this R&D facility has to further drive development efforts,” said Ed d’Hooghe, technology leader for FULCRUM technology. d’Hooghe expects the initial stages of the facility to be complete and a first line to be operational before the end of the year. “We will use this line to accelerate our technology development and the commercialization of new applications,” he said.

The newest Dow licensee for FULCRUM thermoplastic composite technology, Composite Technologies Corporation (CTC) (Boone, Ia., USA), will be using the technology in its THERMOMASS® Building System, an insulated concrete panel wall system. Specifically, FULCRUM technology will be used to manufacture a new line of CTC’s THERMOMASS® fiber composite connector.

According to Robert T. Long, founder and executive vice president of CTC, the two main components of the THERMOMASS® Building system consist of fiber composite connectors and pre-formed STYROFOAM* brand insulation. The components are used to connect two wythes of concrete to form a long-lasting, energy-efficient sandwich wall.“FULCRUM technology is critical to the success of the structure. The connectors made with FULCRUM technology possess remarkable strength and durability and are greatly superior to steel rods in sandwich wall panel applications,” said Long. The production speed, toughness and corrosion resistance achieved through the use of FULCRUM technology provides CTC with a unique competitive advantage. According to Long, another benefit of using FULRUM technology to produce THERMOMASS® fiber composite connectors is that the connectors are non-corrosive and possess low thermal conductivity, thus eliminating thermal short circuits..

Dow is also working with other licensees that are using FULCRUM thermoplastic composite technology for the production of continuous fiber thermoplastic composites, with exciting results. “The expertise provided by these licensees, coupled with our ability to bring innovative composite solutions to the marketplace, is creating new growth opportunities and value for the end-user,” said Chris Edwards, business development manager for FULCRUM technology. New application developments include sail battens by Top Glass S.p.A. (Pioltello, Milan, Italy), Bolts by Click Bond (Carson City, Nev., USA) and prototype tool handles from profiles made using FULCRUM technology.

“The team for FULCRUM thermoplastic composite technology is continuously working with licensees and customers to open new doors,” stated Edwards. “We have an excellent team in place to expand the technology and its uses, and look forward to sharing new application success models throughout 2002.”

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