Kaneka Aerospace acquires composites portfolio of Henkel

Kaneka Aerospace LLC (KAE; Benicia, CA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kaneka Americas Holding Inc. (KAH; Pasadena, TX), and Henkel Corp. (Düsseldorf, Germany) have finalized the transfer of commercial rights, technologies and patents of benzoxazine-based high-performance composites business from Henkel to KAE. KAH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Kaneka Corp. (Tokyo).

Benzoxazine-based composites do not exhibit microcracking, which can be an issue with phenolic-based composites. Further, no water is generated during curing.

KAE was established in September 2017 with the acquisition of Applied Poleramic Inc., which possessed advanced technology for formulated resin used in high performance composites to enter into the promising aerospace business. The addition of Henkel's benzoxazine-based composites business further strengthens KAE's growth, sales and market position in high performance composite products.

Included in the acquisition are benzoxazine-based prepregs, film adhesives, and infusion resins. Several of these products have been qualified in the aviation market. The addition of these products and technologies will further enhance the ability of Kaneka Aerospace to penetrate the aerospace market.

Benzoxazine resins are stability at ambient temperature, thereby eliminating the need for refrigerated shipping and storage. They also exhibit excellent inherent flammability performance (flame, smoke and toxicity), minimal shrinkage meaning lower residual stress, a low cure exotherm contributing to better thermal stability and improved safety, and weight saving potential of at least 30 % compared to conventional metal structures.

Benzoxazine resins are also lower in cost, and exhibit higher toughness and shorter cure cycle at lower temperature  compared with bismaleimide (BMI) resins. They also feature superior hot/wet performance versus epoxy-based systems.

Following the acquisition, Kaneka will continue to seek M&A and partnership opportunities for further growth. Kaneka aims to achieve more than $200 million in sales by 2025 in high-performance composites in aerospace by fully utilizing Kaneka's global R&D resources.

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