Plastics Acquisition Strengthens Engineering Phenolics Market

27 May 2005

Vyncolit, producer of high performance thermosets, has been acquired by Sumitomo Bakelite, the worldwide phenolic producer.

The acquisition by Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd. of Vyncolit N.V. and Vyncolit North America Inc, developer Vyntec, the short carbon fibre reinforced composite, brings together the complementary resources of two leading companies in the engineering phenolics market.

Sumitomo Bakelite purports to be the world’s largest producer of phenolic moulding compounds and one of the leading global developers and producers of specialty phenolic resins. Vyncolit, has a broad product base and focuses on developing high-tech applications based on engineering phenolics, with a special focus on automotive components and carbon fibre composites.

“Customers in Europe, the USA, and Asia Pacific, will benefit from this highly synergistic combination,” says Henny van Dijk, Managing Director, Vyncolit N.V. “In addition to assuring customers of long-term continuity of supply, our new parent company gives greater depth to Vyncolit business and enables us to extend our reach into new markets.

“Sumitomo Bakelite, has already established 14 operational bases in 8 countries of the 5 main markets including Japan, the United States, South East Asia, China, and Europe. As well as global production capability, customers will also benefit from the significant new product R&D resources of Sumitomo Bakelite, in conjunction with the extensive application development expertise that we contribute to creating the solutions that best serve their needs.

“This,” according to Henny van Dijk, “will be particularly evident in the automotive sector where we already have a common involvement and where engineering phenolics, building on their high performance and part integration possibilities, have a proven fit in replacing metal, such as aluminium, in complex parts and components.”

Sumitomo added that “While we focus our strategic business efforts on the automotive applications, we recognize that in Europe where we may expect more attractive market potentials than in the United States and Japan we indeed cover the phenolic resins well but have been lacking in an operational base for phenolic moulding materials.”

Vyncolit compounds are based on phenolic resins which utilise a variety of reinforcement fibres and mineral fillers. The compounds are characterised by their heat resistance, dimensional stability and impact performance, and by their ease of moulding into reproducible, high tolerance parts. This encourages their specification for a broad range of applications subject to harsh operating environments like automotive under-bonnet cooling and fuel systems, brake components and power trains, but also in applications in other industries as diverse as electrical, gas, aviation and domestic appliances.

“We have been at the forefront of customer-focused application development and we believe that our integration with Sumitomo Bakelite, an acknowledged world-leading phenolics specialist, will allow us to take innovation to an even higher level and greater success,” says van Dijk. Designed to give long-term, robust performance in demanding applications operating in aggressive environments, Complementing its broad product line, Vyncolit, guided by Sumitomo Bakelite, will continue to provide customers with a complete package of technical services. This support, from initial design through to prototyping and testing, is delivered by a state-of-the-art Technical Market Development Centres (TMDC); one in Gent, Belgium and the other in Detroit, USA.

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