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Editor's highlights

The global economy may still be somewhat fragile, but acquisitions in the performance materials industry continue apace.  

Most notably, Berry Plastics has agreed to pay US$2.45 billion to purchase the world’s largest manufacturer of nonwovens, Avintiv (formerly Polymer Group Inc).

Meanwhile, Cobham has sold its advanced composites business to its rival in the defence sector Meggitt for US$200 million. Both companies will be happy with the deal; Cobham gets to streamline its business while Meggitt gets access to a sector that is predicted to expand significantly in the future.

A number of smaller deals have also taken place. RTP Co has acquired Polymer Partners LLC, a manufacturer of black concentrates and specialty compounds, while Teknor Apex has sold off its Beetle thermoplastics brand.

Of course, there has also been lots of activity in research and development:

  • one of the largest automated fibre placement (AFP) machines to be built in the USA has been delivered to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Marshall Space Flight Center;
  • methods for the creation of ductile ceramics are being explored by researchers in the USA;
  • a method for curing epoxy resins and adhesives by passing an electrical current through them has completed its first validation trials at Airbus Getafe;
  • researchers in Taiwan have found a controllable way of tailoring the properties of graphene by varying the parameters of the electrochemical exfoliation process used to produce it.

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