Materials & Process Development

Whether it's thermosetting or thermoplastic composites, biocomposites or nanocomposites, we can help you develop a material or process that meets your requirements.

Services

Materials & Process Development

We have been at the forefront of composite materials research and development since 2000 and have successfully commercialised a number of products. Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of chemists, material scientists, engineers, production experts and composites specialists with experience of many different types of composite, their ingredients, and their manufacturing processes.

Capabilities

Ballistic Protection

We have developed lightweight self-reinforced polymer (SRP) composite materials for body and vehicle armour that provide high levels of ballistic protection against a range of threats

Biocomposites

High-performance reinforcements and resins for composites that are produced from sustainable, non-fossil fuel resources - natural fibre reinforcements and bio-derived resins

Fire-Retardant Composites

The development of modified composites that meet or exceed the stringent fire requirements of sectors such as aerospace, marine, rail and construction

Long Fibre Thermoplastics

We have developed lightweight natural fibre-based alternatives to conventional glass-based long fibre thermoplastics (LFTs) for injection moulding

Materials Development

Our scientists and engineers within our material and process development centres are at your disposal for the development and evaluation of new composite materials

Materials Evaluation

Using our suite of testing and analysis equipment, we can evaluate the performance of polymers and composites, and provide guidance on further improvement

Nanocomposites

The functional modification of polymers and composites using nano-additives to improve aspects such as conductivity, fire performance and toughness

Prepregs

Development and pilot-scale production of novel preimpregnated ("prepreg") composites via both solvent and hot-melt processing routes

Process Development

The development of processes for manufacturing composite materials such as prepregs, tapes and moulding compounds, including the design and construction of pilot lines

Production Trials

We have a wide range of processing equipment for undertaking small-scale production trials - prepregging, injection moulding, compression moulding, and more

Reinforced Thermoplastic Tapes

High-quality unidirectional carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic tapes for automatic tape placement, tape winding or compression moulding

Reinforcing Fibres

Development and/or evaluation of novel fibre and fabric reinforcements for composites - natural fibres, recycled fibres, thermoplastic fibres, and others

Self-Reinforced Polymers

Thermoplastic composites based on a single type of polymer (e.g. polypropylene-reinforced polypropylene) - lightweight,  impact resistant and recyclable

Technical Benchmarking

We can provide a technical assessment of your material, process or component using our suite of manufacturing facilities and testing equipment

Thermoplastic Composites

Thermoplastic (e.g. polypropylene, nylon, PEEK) matrix composites - suitable for high volume compression moulding, tape placement or injection moulding

Thermosetting Resin Formulation

Custom formulation, evaluation and benchmarking of thermosetting resin systems according to specified processing and performance requirements

Associated Case Studies

Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Tapes

Automated tape-laying or winding using fibre-reinforced thermoplastic tapes has advanced significantly over recent years.

Long Natural Fibre Thermoplastic (LFT)

Long natural fibre thermoplastic, injection-mouldable pellets are a composite of natural fibres in a polypropylene matrix.

Self-Reinforced Polymer Armour

Self-reinforced polymers (SRPs) are a particular family of thermoplastic composite materials in which both the reinforcing fibre and the polymer matrix are from the same polymer family.

Can we help you with your materials & process development requirements?

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What our clients say

They were selected as the development partner for novel materials structures and were instrumental in supporting strategic market analysis, leading to development programs on unique products. Their staff engaged and worked effectively in a multi partner framework engaging effectively with adjacent industrial partners. As a result it was possible to significantly increase project velocity, broaden the scope of the work and evaluate the market relevance of development ideas. They continue to a valued development partner.

Senior Director Business Development,

Amongst all the providers of technical support to users and intended users of composite materials, they offer a unique blend of expertise, skills and knowledge in this area that has been recognised by RAPRA and its members. RAPRA is therefore proud to have them as a key part of its Technical Support Network that it uses to serve members and wider Industry.

Steve Shaw, Executive Director,

As a small company with a small budget we have been able to utilise the expertise of their consultants Chris Hare, Joe Carruthers and Ben Hargreaves. Through their in-depth knowledge and understanding of both composites and business needs, our composites for footwear have improved in strength, durability and manufacturability.

Adri Hartveld, Founder & Managing Director,

We commissioned them to review the projected demand for composites among UK based automotive suppliers and the associated opportunity gaps in the UK composites supply chain.

The purpose of the research was to firstly establish views on the adoption of volume composites amongst automotive OEM’s and secondly, to assess if Tees Valley could be positioned to host known ‘energy intensive’ segments of the composites supply chain, such as precursor and carbon fibre manufacture. Tees Valley is Western Europe’s 2nd largest chemical producing region and offers embedded power generation and private wire networks enabling companies to benefit from lower power and utilities costs compared to many other UK manufacturing locations.

We selected them to deliver the work based on their strong insights and contacts within the UK’s composites industry as well as their expertise in the application of composite solutions in automotive and other key UK advanced manufacturing segments

We are truly delighted with the resulting intelligence as it gives Tees Valley a clearer view on the investor opportunities that best align with the unique assets and skills base in our area. We would have no hesitation in recommending them and in using them again in the future.

Neil Kenley, Director of Business Investment,