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Evonik Commissions Stretching and Polishing Plant for PMMA Aviation Materials in Large Format

Evonik Commissions Stretching and Polishing Plant for PMMA Aviation Materials in Large Format

At the end of 2017, Evonik put the world’s most advanced stretching and polishing plant for aviation materials made of ACRYLITE® into operation. In Weiterstadt, 20 kilometers South of Frankfurt, the company is now producing polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) sheets 5.4 meters long and 3.7 meters wide – the largest format available worldwide. 

Before production begins, an extensive validation phase must first be completed by an external company. Due to the stringent standards in the aviation industry, the products must first obtain an aviation certification. For this purpose, Evonik will take the first PMMA sheets from the new plant in order to certify the material in accordance with Mil P-25690 for the North American market and EN 4366 for the European market. The first of the necessary tests have already successfully passed. 

At the same time, the first partners in the aviation industry are already receiving samples. This enables them to verify for themselves the advantages of the large-format PMMA sheets. These include – in addition to the increased design options - highly efficient production processes and reduced offcut quantities. 

Evonik Performance Materials has invested a two-digit million euro amount in the construction of the new plant. 

Evonik’s methacrylate business, to which PMMA sheets belong, has seen positive development in recent times and made a significant contribution to Performance Materials’ strong annual earnings. The ongoing investment in Weiterstadt will put the business in an ever stronger position. Going forward, however, the Evonik Group wishes to concentrate its investment on four defined growth engines. The methacrylates business does not come under these. The Group has therefore made the decision to establish the business as an independent entity to provide it with more prospects for development, including the implementation of the C2 technology, thereby reaching a leading position on technology and costs. 

Compared with cast PMMA materials, stretched PMMA sheets display improved impact resistance and higher chemical resistance. The material is therefore especially suited to meet the extremely high requirements of the aviation industry. 

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 36,000 employees. In fiscal 2017, the enterprise generated sales of €14.4 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.36 billion. 

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