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DSM opens international research center for innovative materials

News International-French

19 Nov 2014

The company opens its new center for research into and development of high-performance materials on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands. 

The completion of DSM’s largest materials center worldwide is part of the €100 million investment in knowledge and innovation in the Netherlands that DSM announced in May 2012. The center employs over 400 knowledge workers and combines important technological skills and expertise unique in the Netherlands for use in applications the world over.

The new state-of-the-art center is officially being opened by Dutch Economics Minister Henk Kamp, together with Theo Bovens, Governor of Limburg Province; Dimitri De Vreeze, member of DSM’s Managing Board; Roelof Westerbeek, President of DSM Engineering Plastics; and Atzo Nicolaï, President of DSM Netherlands.

The materials center is an important base for DSM’s Materials Sciences research and marketing activities. Furthermore it will be the most important research center worldwide for DSM Engineering Plastics. Historically, Sittard-Geleen has been the main center of DSM’s high-performance materials research. In addition, being located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus offers opportunities for open innovation owing to the proximity of other start-up and established companies as well as research and education institutes.

DSM materials are used in applications and products all over the world; from connectors in electronics, surgical sutures and medical implants to heat-resistant plastic engine parts for the automotive industry, smart food packaging material, solar panel coatings and super-strong fibers in, for instance, cables. The materials need to be not only safe and superior in quality but also have a positive impact on people and the environment.

For example: Dyneema, a fiber is at the same time light and flexible and has many innovative applications, for instance in cut-resistant gloves, shipping ropes and bullet-resistant vests. The company is always on the lookout for innovative new applications for this fiber, one example being an automatic tsunami barrier. The barrier could be installed along the coastline anchored in a trench behind the beach. When the tsunami tidal-wave arrives, the force of the water immediately causes the membrane with Dyneema to unfold, while a float drags it upright. The float is kept securely in place with Dyneema cables. This rapidly creates a high wall stopping up to 20 meters of water, thus preventing casualties and material damage.

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