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3M

Industry Collaboration to Improve Composites Moulding Operations

28 June 2005

Ashland Composite Polymers and Signature Control Systems have entered into an alliance that will result in a new technology that composite moulding operators can use to improve quality and reduce scrap material.

The alliance will join Ashland Composite Polymers’ new spiral-flow mould with Signature Control Systems’ SmartLab technology.

“Our companies are bringing together two complementary products that will add real bottom-line value to moulding operations,” said Cedric Ball, global marketing manager for transportation, Ashland Composite Polymers. “Unlike typical designs, our spiral-flow mould employs a wider channel to better simulate actual production. When we add the SmartLab technology, laboratory technicians can immediately characterize a compound by analyzing impedance curves, mould temperature and pressure, and material flow,” said Ball.

This agreement, now in effect, provides Ashland Composite Polymers exclusive global rights to market the combined technology.

The spiral-flow mould is outfitted with SmartLab, a technology specifically designed for the composites industry, and utilizes Signature Control Systems impedance sensors to capture and record data for analysis. It is designed specifically for the composite lab environment and includes multiple software algorithms to measure cross linking reactions for compression, injection, RTM processes.

“This is an industry first where thermoset moulders can now apply dielectric technology with material displacement and proprietary software to optimize moulding performance,” stated Tom Trexler, vice president sales and marketing with Signature Control Systems, Inc.






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