The two companies will utilize complementary strengths to develop, produce and sell customized biobased composite products, with NPSP focusing mainly on development and sales, and Poly Products on production.
Both companies are both highly experienced and well-known innovators in the field of composites. Poly Products, based in the Dutch town of Werkendam, has 45 years of experience working as a leading customization specialist in the processing of fiber-reinforced plastics.
NPSP, which is currently located in Haarlem but which plans to relocate to Werkendam, has successfully pioneered the use of natural fibers such as flax, jute, hemp and coconut in biocomposites, next to the use of glass and carbon fiber. Today, NPSP is working on developing 100 percent organic composites, made using natural fibers and organic resins derived from waste products of the sugar industry, natural oils or lactic acid. According to the company, the biggest challenge is processing these resins industrially for large-scale applications. Research has shown that the cost of organic resins and fibers is already competitive with conventional raw materials, while their application would make it possible to reduce the environmental impact of these materials by approximately 80 percent.
The announcement of the new alliance comes at a propitious moment: after a protracted period of very modest growth, the market for fiber-reinforced plastics is now once again gaining momentum and strength. A report published by Lucintel last year forecast substantial growth of the composites market in the near future, with new developments in various sectors, reaching approximately $34.1 billion in 2018 with a CAGR of 5.1 percent over the next five years. The sectors aerospace, automotive energy and marine composites are key contributors to this growth.
And, while glass fiber composites are expected to continue to dominate the market, companies are increasingly looking at 'greener' alternatives, such as the use of natural fiber reinforced composite materials. According to NPSP, these not only take less energy to produce and require fewer chemical substances to adhere to the resin, they are lighter and also decompose better at the end of the product's service life. Natural-fiber reinforced composites can be incinerated without the residue that is left after incinerating glass-filled composites.
According to the Lucintel report, "the future market is expected to be highly competitive, and companies with innovative capabilities can be anticipated to thrive and gain market share."
Certainly, NPSP and Poly Products are making sure that they'll be part of that future.