Chemical major Solvay is set to start producing high-performance Polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) polymers in the United States early next year to bolster its composite materials business to meet the incremental needs of aerospace industry. PEKK finds its usage in carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites and in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, in a range of industrial applications.
Image Source: Victrex
Solvay will begin PEKK production at its site in Augusta, GA under the trade name NovaSpire. Roger Kearns, member of Solvay’s Executive Committee stated: “Solvay further affirms its unique position in lightweighting materials by joining the forces of its high-performance specialty polymers and composite materials to produce its own PEKK resin”. “This new capacity will address fast-growing demand for thermoplastic composites and 3D printing components in aerospace and in other markets”, he said.
Thermoplastic composite materials are finding their place increasingly in plethora of applications in different industries. Aerospace industry also has been betting high on composite materials recently in order to make aircraft lighter to meet the fuel efficiency and emission reduction requirement and as a result, there has been a spark in their demand for different applications.
According to a recent report launched by Stratview Research, the Global Thermoplastic Resin Market in the Composites Industry is poised to grow at a robust CAGR of 4.2% over the next five years to reach US$ 9,138.4 million in 2022. Organic growth in the automobile production, increasing demand for lightweight components to address stringent regulations such as CAFÉ Standards, higher demand for sustainable (recycling) and fast-curing materials, development of new application using thermoplastic composites, and increasing penetration of composite materials by replacing metals are the major growth drivers of the thermoplastic resin market in the composites industry.
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