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Dow Automotive Systems is expanding its capabilities in composite processing technology with the opening of two development facilities to service its global customer base – one in Freienbach, Switzerland and the other in Midland, Michigan, US.
Dow says these laboratories support the advancement of strategic relationships with automotive and commercial transportation customers with an emphasis on carbon fibre composites.
According to Dow, the Composite Technology Centre in Freienbach offers a comprehensive state-of-the-art infrastructure to develop composite applications paired with the appropriate joining technology. The 200 m2 laboratory opened in April and is equipped with a large high pressure resin transfer moulding machine (RTM) for prototype production. It also offers development and testing facilities for resins and related adhesives.
An Adhesives Training Centre is also available as part of the Freienbach facility. Dow encourage customers and distributors to visit and learn about the application of different adhesive technologies and to evaluate the benefits of their use with composites.
In Midland, Dow says it is also creating a centre to accommodate technologies associated with direct long-fibre processing, prepreg, preforming, compression moulding and laminating. This 465 m2 site is co-located with key corporate research and development capabilities including analytical sciences, the Materials Engineering Centre and Dow’s polymer chemistry and processing related expertise. Dow expects the close proximity of this laboratory to Auburn Hills, Michigan and the Dow Automotive Centre of Competence for Adhesive Technology Development in North America will enable its teams to combine best practices in these areas. The Midland facility is expected to be operational in June.
“These important composite technology facilities demonstrate Dow Automotive Systems’ commitment to the development of lightweight composite solutions critical to meeting industry fuel efficiency and emissions targets,” said Peter Cate, Global Strategic Marketer for Composites. “In two key locations, we now offer critical on-site composites material and processing development capabilities that will further our expertise in this area as well as provide immediate benefits to customers investing in these technologies.”
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