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Solvay and Penso successfully collaborate on the industrialised production of lightweight structures

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On the road to industrialization

Heanor, UK, November 21 2019 --- Solvay and Penso successfully developed the composite design, material and manufacturing technologies required to create a modular, multi-material Body-In-White structure suited for large production volume. 

The consortium was awarded a multi-million pound grant in 2017 by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) for the Flexible Lightweight Architecture for Volume Applications (FLAVA) automotive project. With clear recognition that this project would help to accelerate positive change, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK also quickly became a project partner.   

The project, through the manufacture of composite intensive vehicle prototypes, demonstrated the technical and commercial solutions required to meet emission legislation with design flexibility, structural integration, lightweighting, vehicle assembly and logistics simplification.

FLAVA contributed to establishing a composite supply chain able to offer manufacturing processes that meet Automotive OEM quality, serial production rate and total cost of ownership requirements in standard OEM production facilities.

“Solvay, through FLAVA, was able to further demonstrate composite part manufacture process readiness for large scale production by investing in R&D (product development and automation), industrialising our composite manufacture and contributing to establish a supply chain for end-customers. FLAVA is a stepping stone for Solvay on our industrialization roadmap” said Gerald Perrin, Automotive Global Growth Director for Solvay Composite Materials Global Business Unit.


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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.


Solvay is an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers worldwide in many diverse end-markets. Its products are used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, as well as in mineral and oil and gas extraction, enhancing efficiency and sustainability. Its lightweighting materials promote 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 24,500 employees in 62 countries. Net sales were €10.3 billion in 2018, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 22%. 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. (Financial figures take into account the planned divestment of Polyamides).

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