07 August 2012
07 August 2012
Polystrand, plans to begin production on September 1st, 2012 at its new facility south of Denver in Douglas County, Colorado, US.
In June last year, the Polystrand announced plans to build a new 120,000-square-foot facility and expand its manufacturing operations from Montrose, Colorado to be near a major transportation hub. Mike Gordon, Polystrand Chief Executive Officer, said the move will support growth.
“We need room to expand and the new facility is more than double the size of our existing plants in Montrose,” said Gordon. “Easy access to a major rail line and transcontinental highways will facilitate shipments of raw materials and finished products. Being close to Denver International Airport will also make it easier for customers to visit Polystrand as we work on development projects.”
Ed Pilpel, Polystrand President, said, “The new Polystrand facility near Denver marks the opening of the largest facility of its kind in the world. It is the most technologically advanced, state-of-the-art production facility for continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites.”
Polystrand says its reinforcing tape is made in a proprietary process that impregnates continuous fibre with a thermoplastic resin. The reinforcement has been made with a variety of polymer materials including recycled content. Polystrand tapes generally range from 60 to 80 percent continuous fibres by weight, and 20 to 40 percent thermoplastic resin. This is a high fibre-to-resin ratio that is very difficult to achieve with traditional thermoplastic composite fabrication processes. The reinforcement comes thoroughly impregnated, avoiding traditional thermoplastic composite concerns about fibre wet-out.
According to Polystrand, most commodity thermoset resins use styrene and generally require closed processes or special environmental equipment to control volatile organic compounds. Composite fabricators are looking at thermoplastics as a way to avoid these problems and grow their business under existing environmental permits.
Pilpel said Polystrand reinforcements can minimise waste, increase productivity and compete with steel and aluminium for strength and recyclability. He also said the operation in Douglas County will be a zero waste facility.
“Because of their strength, ease of use and environmental benefits, we believe Polystrand reinforcements are the world’s next generation of composite materials,” he added.
Polystrand produces continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites in the form of tapes, rolls, sheets, laminates and preformed inserts. Standard 12½ and 25 inch-wide tapes can be laminated to form sheets and panels up to 10½ feet wide. The new facility will enable Polystrand to produce up to 100 million pounds of reinforcing material annually.
The move is expected to generate up to 240 new jobs to Douglas County in the coming years, which is already one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Polystrand executives said about 32 experienced employees are expected to accept transfers from Montrose to the Douglas County plant.
Gordon Holdings, parent company of Polystrand, will also be moving its corporate headquarters to the Douglas County facility while maintaining operations in Montrose for its subsidiary Gordon Composites, and its InnoVoc Solutions division.
The use of composites within the rail industry is predicted to grow by up to 40% between 2015 and 2020 according to the Composites Leadership Forum, reports Fibrelite, a UK manufacturer of composite trench covers.
Plasan Carbon Composites (PCC) has been awarded a contract to produce the first composite ramps and bridgeplates for Amtrak.