New polymer facility opens

Louise Smyth

Proactive investment in the development of next-generation thermoplastic solutions has now resulted in the completion of Victrex´s new £10 million Polymer Innovation Centre. The centre is fully operational and represents Victrex´s dedication to pioneering research and development focused upon PEEK polymer and other differentiated grades within the PAEK family of high-performance thermoplastics. Recent innovations include the introduction of AE250 composites for the Aerospace industry, which ties in with the company’s polymer-to-parts strategy.

The Polymer Innovation Centre will further extend Victrex’s capabilities in innovation and assist customers in the development of technological advances using PAEK solutions. Co-located at the company's UK headquarters in Lancashire, the new centre will function as an enabler for 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 manufacturing. Helping to improve the process for manufacturing existing polymers will also be supported by the new centre.

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 can support the continual improvement in quality and performance of existing products. The 16 metre high building is equipped with unique, state-of-the-art pilot-scale process technology and equipment that opens up new dimensions for the development of high-performance polymers. 

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