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Solvay and GKN Aerospace team up to accelerate the adoption of thermoplastic composite materials on aircraft

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Press release

Tempe – June 20th 2017 --- Solvay and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business have teamed up to promote and accelerate the adoption of thermoplastic composite materials on aircraft, with Solvay becoming a preferred supplier of these innovative lightweight materials to Fokker.

Under the agreement, Solvay and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business will combine their expertise to advance technological developments in thermoplastic composite materials, as well as improve processes and cost competitiveness. The businesses have complementary materials expertise in thermoplastic polymers and fiber reinforced composites. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business also brings leadership in component design and manufacturing, to translate the technology into innovative solutions for aerospace customers.

“Solvay’s partnership with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business is an important step in our goal to become the leading supplier of thermoplastic composite materials to the aerospace, oil & gas and automotive industries. A deeper understanding of the market’s needs and challenges in adopting these new materials together with Fokker’s expertise in design and manufacturing will enable us to develop technologies to industrialize the manufacturing of thermoplastic composites and parts,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, President of Solvay’s Composite Materials Global Business Unit (GBU).

Toine Verbruggen, Vice President Procurement and Supply Chain Management of GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business, said: “This agreement will contribute to our technology leadership in thermoplastic innovation. We design and manufacture the systems and components that our customers need, and this partnership will enable us to offer more advanced, lightweight solutions to our customers.”

Thermoplastic composites can reduce the weight of aircraft components by up to 25%, when compared to traditional metallic solutions. This helps lower emissions, boost aircraft performance and enhance the efficiency of parts manufacturing.

Picture caption:
Carmelo Lo Faro, President of Solvay’s Composite Materials Global Business Unit and Hans Büthker, CEO of GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Business sign agreement at the 2017 Paris Air Show.

About Solvay 
Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products and solutions are used in planes, cars, smart and medical devices, batteries, in mineral and oil extraction, among many other applications promoting sustainability. Its lightweighting materials enhance cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 27,000 employees in 58 countries. Net sales were € 10.9 billion in 2016, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program.

About Solvay Composite Materials
Solvay’s new Global Business Unit Composite Materials is a global provider of technologically advanced lightweighting material solutions that enable our customers in the aerospace, automotive and other demanding industries to design, develop and efficiently manufacture high-quality, high-performance and complex composite structures.  Composite Materials has the most extensive product portfolio, including prepregs, resin systems, adhesives and surfacing films, carbon fiber, textiles, tooling and vacuum bagging consumables, thanks to its leadership in advanced materials science, chemistry and application engineering. Solvay Composite Materials combines the former Cytec Aerospace Materials and Industrial Materials businesses.

About GKN Aerospace
GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies– for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Lightweight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 14 countries at 55 manufacturing locations employing approximately 18.000 people. 

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