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R3 Composites announces formation of Carver Non-Woven Technologies

News International-French

23 Mar 2016

The custom compression molder and compounder of sheet-molding compound (SMC) with design and part-conversion capabilities headquartered in Grabill, Indiana, announces the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Carver Non-Woven Technologies LLC, which will supply high-quality, multi-material non-woven products to both R3 and the broader North American composites industry.

Carver will be headquartered nearby in Fremont, Ind., and is nearly done with renovating an existing plant at that location where it will produce its non-woven products and offer them for commercial sale starting in July 2016.

The new company will offer cutting edge non-woven reinforcements for a wide variety of thermoset and thermoplastic composites due to Carver's ability to create sheetstock with low-variance weight (density) with superior dimensional stability and mechanical properties. A broad combination of single-fiber and hybrid (multi-fiber) mats will be offered, including E-glass fiberglass, bast-type natural fibers (primarily jute), carbon fiber, and several types of polymer fibers (e.g. nylon and polyester) plus highly homogeneous resonated acrylic/latex binder-resin blends. Carver also plans to be the first to bring carbon fiber non-wovens to market at considerably lower costs than conventional wrap-and-resonate processes. In another departure from conventional non-wovens, Carver has opted to automate its production line completely ― from initial debaling, fiber opening, blending, and carding, all the way through to finished packaging.

The Carver team understood that quality also meant integration with the whole non-wovens supply chain, so they addressed this important aspect of their quality program with hands-on involvement in fiber quality and specifications prior to purchase ― especially in the area of natural fibers. The company has carefully partnered with suppliers in Southeast Asia to bring together the first comprehensive supply-chain management program for bast fiber non-wovens, including full quality testing of products prior to shipment to the Freemont plant. Starting at farms and distribution points throughout India and Bangladesh, the University of Calcutta is providing inspection and lot testing. Since jute fibers have a single harvest per year and since shipping to the U.S. Midwest takes 6-8 weeks, supply-chain management is really important to assure higher quality, longer fibers with good and consistent strength values are received.

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