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Pret announces a North American TPO capacity expansion for auto industry

News International-French

18 Sep 2015

Shanghai Pret Composites, which acquired WPR Holdings LLC (Wellman Plastics Recycling) of Johnsonville, S.C. earlier this year, announces that the new name of its U.S. operating unit will be Wellman Advanced Materials and that it will benefit from a capacity expansion of 44 million pounds/20,000 tonnes.

“The name change is to signify that Wellman Advanced Materials' product portfolio in North America has been expanded to include TPOs [thermoplastic polyolefins] and various engineered polypropylene compounds in addition to Wellman’s traditional nylon products,” explained Xy Sun, chief-executive officer, Wellman Advanced Materials.

In addition to its new name and logo, Wellman Advanced Materials will benefit from a major new capacity expansion of 44-million pounds/20,000 tonnes at the Johnsonville site in order to offer Pret's highly regarded TPO, long-glass (reinforced) polypropylene (LGPP), and other engineered polypropylene (PP) compounds to automakers and tier suppliers in North America. The first compounding extruder will be installed by the end of 2015 with a second to be installed in early 2016.

Already a leading TPO compounder in the Chinese automotive market, which currently produces 21-million cars and is the world’s largest passenger-vehicle market, its products are well known for their innovative technology, such as compounds with seamless airbag deployment approvals, very-low odor and emissions, high scratch and mar resistance, minimal tackiness, and excellent color matching and color consistency ― important attributes for interior-trim components. Further, since PRET’s materials already carry global automotive approvals at Ford Motor Co., BMW Group, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group, and many others, these products are now available for use on North American vehicles.

In addition to the 44-million pound/20,000 tonne capacity expansion, Wellman Advanced Materials also will be expanding its product development and application testing services at its R&D facility in Johnsonville with testing equipment that is identical to that used by Pret in China with more in-house mechanical testing, material characterization, and color-matching resources. Moreover, Wellman Advanced Materials will now offer moldfilling and structural analysis support for its North American customers.

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