Press release
PLEXIGLAS
October 17, 2016

Evonik constructs production plant for stretched Acrylic sheets for the aviation industry

  • Evonik to invest two-digit million euro amount in new stretching and polishing plant at its Weiterstadt (Germany) site 
  • Production slated to start in early 2018 
  • Enables production for the first time of the world’s largest sizes of stretched PMMA sheets conforming to Mil-P-25690 and EN 4366

Darmstadt/Weiterstadt, Germany. With its PLEXIGLAS® aircraft materials, Evonik has been among the leading global producers in this field for more than 80 years. Well-known aircraft manufacturers have long been using the products of the Essenbased Group. Due to its high optical quality, low weight, and good processability, PLEXIGLAS® has traditionally been used for the cabin windows of commercial airliners and in the cockpit glazing of planes and helicopters.

With Evonik’s Groups decision to construct a stretching, grinding, and polishing plant for PMMA sheeting at the Weiterstadt (Germany) site, has further consolidated its market position through systematic forward integration; at the same time, it is rounding out its product portfolio to become a full-range supplier of cast and stretched PMMA sheets for the aviation industry.

Stretched PMMA sheets have enhanced impact and chemical resistance, making this material particularly suitable for the extremely high requirements of the aviation industry.

The new plant producing stretched PLEXIGLAS® aircraft materials is the most advanced of its kind anywhere in the world. It is being erected directly adjoining the existing production facility for the cast PMMA blocks that are the base materials for the stretching process.

The investment will, in the future, allow production of sheets more than twice as large as is customary at present. This will enable Evonik, as the world’s only supplier of these larger sheets, to satisfy the trend toward larger aircraft windows and the resulting increase in demand for oversized dimensions. For more traditional applications, this larger sheet will result in increased yields per stretched sheet while maintaining the highest standards of quality and supply security.

Martin Krämer, head of Evonik’s Acrylic Products Business Line in the Performance Materials Segment says: "The new plant will ideally supplement our product portfolio in this extremely fast-growing sector. This investment is perfectly aligned with our strategic focus on PMMA specialties and demonstrates our commitment to being a reliable partner to the aviation industry."

"Demand is growing in the aviation industry for stretched PMMA sheeting that meets the highest requirements on quality and supply security. With the new production plant and the experience of our employees, we are in a position to work alongside our customers to support their growth and promote innovation within the aviation industry," says Roland Mickal, head of the Transportation Market Segment at Acrylic Products.

Steve C. duPont senior strategic market manager at Acrylic Products, adds: "The current supply chains are based on technologies that have been in existence for more than 50 years, so the market urgently needs an innovation leader. Our investment enables us to supply the customer with the largest sheets available anywhere and the lowest possible thickness tolerances. In this way we’re improving standards for stretched PMMA sheets and opening up new innovation and design possibilities for our customers."


About Acrylic Products
The Acrylic Products Business Line of Evonik’s Performance Materials Segment manufactures the inspiring brand plastic PLEXIGLAS® and offers a wide range of specialty semi-finished products for a variety of future-oriented applications.
Major markets for PLEXIGLAS® are the aviation industries, architecture and the construction industry, lighting and design applications, electronics and communication, furniture and exhibition booth construction as well as store fixtures.
With production facilities in Europe, North America, South Africa and Russia and a global sales network, AP is one of the leading producers of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) worldwide. In 2015, the business line’s roughly 1,000 employees generated sales of 375 million €.

Evonik’s PMMA products are sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the ACRYLITE® trademark in the Americas.

About Performance Materials

The Performance Materials Segment is managed by Evonik Performance Materials GmbH. The segment focuses its global activities on developing and manufacturing polymer materials and intermediates, especially for use in agriculture and in the rubber and plastics industry. In 2015, the segment’s roughly 4,400 employees generated sales about €3.4 billion.

Company information

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, operating in the Nutrition & Care, Resource Efficiency and Performance Materials segments. The company benefits from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. In 2015 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around €13.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.47 billion.

Disclaimer

In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.