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Grant to Help Don and Low Develop Revolutionary Materials

  • Saturday, 25th August 2007
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

Don and Low has been awarded a grant to help devise products which could be used to help cars be recycled more easily and even save aircraft using as much fuel on take-off.

Don & Low has secured the R&D Plus grant of £144,000 from Scottish Enterprise to help develop higher performance, innovative new fabrics.

The company, which was formed in 1792 by William Don, has grown over the years through acquisitions and investment in new technology. It now has 500 employees and turnover of £48 million.

It manufactures polypropylene woven and nonwoven fabrics in Forfar – producing up to nine million square metres a week of materials ranging from carpet yarns to medical fabrics – and has a track record of continually developing materials, processes and products, investing well over £1 million in R&D in the last three years.

This latest project involves a number of elements including:

▪ Development of synthetic fabrics for use by the construction industry to help insulate and ventilate buildings more effectively;
▪ New composite fabrics for use in aircraft manufacturing to reduce weight at take-off;
▪ New fabrics to make it easier to recycle vehicles; and
▪ Innovative composites to make ballistic panels to counter terrorist attacks.

It is anticipated commercialisation of developments helped by the grant from Scottish Enterprise will contribute to an annual increase in sales of £2.2 million.

David Avril, Development Manager at Don & Low, welcomed the grant and said: “”To keep ahead of the competition, we need to focus on manufacturing higher performance, higher value technical textiles with significant export potential.

“”This project will help us exploit anticipated trends, diversify into new markets and secure new orders.”

Sandy Cannon, company development manager at Scottish Enterprise Tayside, said: “”Don & Low is an excellent example of a traditional textiles company which has diversified into new high-tech, high-spec products and experienced major growth as a result.

“”This is the latest project we have worked with them on and will help them diversify further and pick up more orders, helping their business to grow even more.”

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