With Evonik's Groups decision to construct a stretching, grinding, and polishing plant for PMMA sheeting at the Weiterstadt (Germany) site, has further consolidated its market position through systematic forward integration; at the same time, it is rounding out its product portfolio to become a full-range supplier of cast and stretched PMMA sheets for the aviation industry.
Stretched PMMA sheets have enhanced impact and chemical resistance, making this material particularly suitable for the extremely high requirements of the aviation industry.
The new plant producing stretched Plexiglas aircraft materials is the most advanced of its kind anywhere in the world. It is being erected directly adjoining the existing production facility for the cast PMMA blocks that are the base materials for the stretching process.
The investment will, in the future, allow production of sheets more than twice as large as is customary at present. This will enable Evonik, as the world's only supplier of these larger sheets, to satisfy the trend toward larger aircraft windows and the resulting increase in demand for oversized dimensions. For more traditional applications, this larger sheet will result in increased yields per stretched sheet while maintaining the highest standards of quality and supply security.
Martin Krämer, head of Evonik's Acrylic Products Business Line in the Performance Materials Segment says: "The new plant will ideally supplement our product portfolio in this extremely fast-growing sector. This investment is perfectly aligned with our strategic focus on PMMA specialties and demonstrates our commitment to being a reliable partner to the aviation industry."
"Demand is growing in the aviation industry for stretched PMMA sheeting that meets the highest requirements on quality and supply security. With the new production plant and the experience of our employees, we are in a position to work alongside our customers to support their growth and promote innovation within the aviation industry," says Roland Mickal, head of the Transportation Market Segment at Acrylic Products.
Steve C. duPont senior strategic market manager at Acrylic Products, adds: "The current supply chains are based on technologies that have been in existence for more than 50 years, so the market urgently needs an innovation leader. Our investment enables us to supply the customer with the largest sheets available anywhere and the lowest possible thickness tolerances. In this way we're improving standards for stretched PMMA sheets and opening up new innovation and design possibilities for our customers."