Ashland opens composites R&D center in Shanghai

Ashland has opened a new composites research and development technical service center in the Jinling Valley Sci-Tech Industrial Park, in Shanghai, China. The new center will strengthen the company’s innovation and commercialization efforts and serve as the Asia Pacific technical center of Ashland’s composites segment.

The new composites R&D technical service center will focus on combining existing chemistries knowledge with future technologies to solve customers’ most complex materials challenges. The center is nearly 1500 square meters in area and will house approximately 20 scientists and engineers who will lead R&D efforts on advancing technologies for markets such as transportation, construction, marine and infrastructure products, enhancing and driving closer partnerships with customers.

Ashland aims to address industry needs for composite solutions in the transport sector our of its Shanghai R&D center.

“Global demand is increasing for innovative materials that can meet and exceed the challenges from a variety of environments and applications,” said Andrew Johnston, Group Vice President, Composites. “As our customer base grows, the need to create, produce and test new chemistries, formulas and materials plays a critical role in the market cycle.”

He continued, “The new Composites R&D technical service center serves as the latest example of our long-term commitment to investing and growing in the Asia Pacific region. The addition of this new center reinforces our promise of ‘always solvingfor our customers in ways that enable customers to amplify the efficacy, refine the usability, add to the allure, ensure the integrity, and improve the profitability of their products and applications.”

“The new center will be an important part of our global network in research and development and will provide strategic and technical service for the Asia Pacific region. We will leverage our strong expertise in problem solving and in providing timely and professional service to the Asia Pacific market and local customers.” said Dr. Darcy Culkin, Global Technical Director, Composites.

Ashland is a global leader in unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl ester resins and gel coats. The composites business manufactures and sells a broad range of general-purpose and high-performance grades of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, gelcoats and low-profile additives for the reinforced plastics industry.

The products in the composites business provide an array of functional properties including corrosion resistance, fire retardance, ultraviolet resistance, water and chemical resistance, high mechanical strength, impact and scratch resistance and high strength-to-weight ratios.

Ashland offerings include the Arotran 300 resin system for hood, door, roof, and deck lid inners. The system is specifically designed to achieve a balance between light weight and high strength to help reduce fuel consumption and provide durability and safety by utilizing carbon fiber. Arotran 300 combines epoxy vinyl ester chemistry with nano-composites technology. Carbon fiber SMC structural composite parts made with this resin technology possess very high mechanical properties.

“With the opening of our new center in Shanghai, Ashland will be able to expand and reinforce its global R&D expertise via local channels,” says Mike Chen, General Manager, Asia Pacific Composites. “The center is designed to meet current and future needs of customers in the rapidly growing Asia Pacific region. It will bring our company and solutions closer and faster to them.”

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