In response to soaring demand from the market, fuelled by the strong growth in particular in the sports and consumer goods sectors, specialty materials company Arkema has announced a 25% capacity expansion at its Pebax elastomers plant in Serquigny, France.
According to the company, production of both its bio-circular Pebax Rnew and the traditional Pebax range of materials will be increased, enabling the development of new and highly specialised grades targeting specific applications. Lightweight, flexible and offering excellent energy return, - the properties exhibited by these materials are particularly valued in the sports equipment branch, where they are use in running shoes soles, ski boots or technical textile. They also find application in various consumer goods such as smartphones and flexible screens, and other markets, including medical equipment.
The materials in Arkema’s Pebax Rnew range are derived from castor bean oil. Next to being 100% recyclable, compared to other elastomers on the market, these materials have a carbon footprint that is up to 50% lower. The expanded capacity is scheduled to come on stream by mid-2023. Among others, the investment at the French plant will also lower water consumption at the site by 25% due to the implementation of process optimisation measures.
Besides expanding its production capacity at the Serquigny plant, Arkema will also continue to produce many of these materials at its Birdsboro plant in Pennsylvania, the company said.