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Victrex has invested approximately $13 million in a Polymer Innovation Centre to support is ongoing research and development activities for VICTREX PEEK polymer and other grades within the PAEK family of high performance thermoplastics.
Recent innovations include the introduction of VICTREX AE250 composites for the aerospace industry.
Located at the company´s UK headquarters, the new facility will focus on rapid prototyping of new parts and components with novel PAEK materials. The manufacture of new and differentiated polyaryletherketones on a technical scale will help in the research and testing of high-performance polymer grades aimed at achieving progress in, for example, composites and 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Victrex is currently leading a consortium backed by Innovate UK to focus on 3D printing. The new centre will also support improvements in manufacturing existing polymers.
“We continue to expand our PAEK-based portfolio, services and technologies into new markets and new applications,” explains Jakob Sigurdsson, CEO at Victrex. “As an innovative world leader and pioneer in high-performance polymers, investments in science and manufacturing capability are key to continuous innovation and to improve innovation cycles and time-to-market. This new facility is another important step for us, particularly as we anticipate around 10-20% of our overall sales will come from new differentiated PAEK polymer grades and our mega-programmes in the medium term. It will further enhance our capacity for R&D, where we will continue to work in close and continuous cooperation with our customers and partners in driving new and differentiated polymer solutions.”
The centre is expected to create approximately 60 new jobs in the region over the next 10 years. It delivers 30-70 kg batch manufacture of novel polyaryletherketones and supports improvements in quality and performance of existing products. The building is equipped with pilot-scale process technology and equipment.
The company reports that by typically replacing metals its thermoplastic solutions are contributing to greater productivity, performance and reliability, as well as overall cost reductions, in the automotive, aerospace, electronics and energy industries, and in the development of materials and selected implantable products for the medical industry.
Image provided by Victrex
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