R3 Composites Forms Nonwovens Subsidiary
Carver Nonwovens will make multi-layer materials at Fort Wayne plant
March 23, 2016
R3 Composites, Inc., a custom compression molder and compounder of sheet-molding compound (SMC) with design and part-conversion capabilities headquartered in Grabill, IN, has announced the formation of a new, 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, IN, where an existing plant is being renovated to 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.
"From the start, we strategically positioned Carver's focus on design and technology in order to significantly raise the bar on non-woven product quality," notes Mark Glidden, president, R3 Composites and Carver Non-Woven. "In order to meet the demanding performance requirements of the automotive, recreational vehicle, building/construction and office-furniture markets, we knew it would be critical to maintain tight tolerances on fiber blending, coarse and fine fiber opening, product weight distribution, and line versatility. These are the key metrics that we kept in mind when custom designing our processes and equipment."