India Bound: Airtech’s 2023 New Facility to Grow Composites in the Region

Formnext Germany

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Airtech Advanced Materials announced the opening of a new location in Goa, India, in July 2023. The upcoming expansion is set to accelerate regional customer response times and personalized service, reducing both shipping costs and lead times. A new facility will feature state-of-the-art equipment and technology, enabling the manufacturing and distribution of Airtech’s full range of composite materials and vacuum bagging systems. On a grander scale, the aim is to support the local growth and development of the composites industry.

Coinciding with Airtech’s golden jubilee year, the business’s 50th anniversary, the milestone was announced in Paris during the JEC World 2023, the largest trade show for the global composites industry. Generating excitement among business professionals, the company says it’s eager to collaborate with new partners and customers in the region to deliver composite solutions that meet the specific needs of Indian customers.

Material pursuit

According to a report on the future of the Indian composites market, the main drivers for growth are government initiatives centered on eco-friendly energy generation, freshwater transportation, sewage treatment systems, and rehabilitation of water and sewage pipelines. Wind energy is expected to be the largest end-user in India’s composite market due to benefits such as longevity, minimal maintenance, corrosion resistance, and an optimal strength-to-weight ratio.

Unlike established economies like the U.S. or European nations, India’s status as a developing economy might render it a cost-sensitive market. As a result, there’s likely high demand for composites offering an excellent balance of cost and performance. In addition, with ongoing and future infrastructure projects, like metro rail systems, highways, and smart cities, there may be a surge in demand for specific composites tailored for these applications.

Indian sectors that use composites extensively include the local automotive industry, which is one of the largest in the world and demands lightweight and durable composites to improve fuel efficiency and meet stringent environmental regulations. Similarly, India’s booming construction industry may seek composites that offer strength and resistance to environmental factors.

“We’re thrilled to be opening a new location in India, which is a vibrant and growing influence on the worldwide composites industry,” indicated Jeff Dahlgren, President and CEO of Airtech. “With this expansion, we’ll be able to provide even greater value to our customers and strengthen our position as a leader in the composites industry.”

Composite printing

Airtech manufactures and supplies materials used in various industries, including 3D printing. Its 3D printing resins and composite tooling materials are ideal for producing high-quality parts.

The company also produces specific thermoplastics or resins that can be directly used as the ink in some 3D printers. Additionally, Airtech manufactures films, release agents, and vacuum bagging materials used in the post-processing of 3D printed parts. This is particularly crucial in industries like aerospace and automotive, where 3D printed parts frequently undergo secondary processes to meet required performance characteristics.

As the world’s largest privately owned producer of vacuum bagging and composite tooling materials, Airtech’s expertise has been recognized by prestigious partners. Notably, the company was named the Technical Partner for Brumos Racing in the production of 3D printed molds and composite parts for the updated Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport – a high-performance, track-exclusive variant of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS that costs $1.39 million with a limited production run of only 30 units.

Brumos Racing Car at the Pike’s Peak Invitational Hill Climb. Image courtesy of ppihc.org

Moreover, Airtech collaborated with renowned tuning shop BBi Autosport to enhance the aerodynamics of the Porsche racecar. They achieved this using 3D printed mold tooling fabricated with Airtech’s proprietary Dahltram printing resins and Print-Tech in-house 3D printing service.

In another recent development, Airtech purchased a large-scale additive manufacturing 3D printing machine with built-in machining capability, which can create large-scale toolings such as trim fixtures, holding fixtures, and layup molds more quickly and to a high standard.

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