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Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C.'s TORLON(R) Polyamide-Imide Breaks Into Precision Micro-Molding Arena


10/19/2005 5:09:38 PM

ALPHARETTA, Ga., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In the 1967 film, The Graduate, recent college grad Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is a little confused about his future. A neighbor tells the hapless Hoffman that the future lies in just one word: plastics.

After 37 years, the promise of plastics continues to evolve, particularly for RapidWerks LLC, which is taking injection molding to new heights using a grade of TORLON(R) polyamide-imide (PAI), an ultra-performance polymer produced by Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C.

A precision micro-molded component made from TORLON(R) 4203L that is part of a larger medical device used in cardiovascular repair procedures was displayed this week at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West exposition and conference in Anaheim, Calif.

RapidWerk's ability to mold a very complex, miniature component weighing only 4.2 milligrams and having metal-like performance marks a technological breakthrough for the Chicago-based injection molding and micro-molding company. Fabrication is easier and less expensive than machining metal parts, typically costing 25-30 times less than converting stainless steel from raw material to the finished part. TORLON(R) resin's unique ability to combine high strength at temperatures up to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) with excellent resistance to creep and wear helped make this possible.

"Since the component operates at several thousand RPM's under a load, we needed a low-friction material that provided exceptional strength and wear resistance," said Scott Herbert, general manager of RapidWerks. "Because a significant amount of heat is generated during the procedure, we also needed a material that was stable at high temperature. TORLON(R) 4203L is the only high-performance plastic we found that could meet all of these requirements."

RapidWerks uses a Battenfeld Microsystem 50 micro-molding production cell designed specifically for miniature components. With the Battenfeld machine RapidWerks can precision micro-mold plastic components weighing less than one gram.

It's a breakthrough that RapidWerks believes will "open the flood gates" in micro-miniature molding opportunities, particularly in the medical device field, according to Herbert.

Please go to http://www.solvayadvancedpolymers.com/services/photogallery to download a high resolution file photo of the precision micro-molded component made from TORLON(R) 4203L.

About Solvay Advanced Polymers

Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C. is an indirect subsidiary of Solvay America, Inc., the U.S. holding company of Solvay, S.A. The company is a leading producer of high-performance polymers that are used in a wide range of demanding applications in the automotive, aerospace, medical, plumbing, industrial and electronics industries worldwide. For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at http://www.solvayadvancedpolymers.com/ .

Solvay S.A. is an international pharmaceuticals and chemicals group with headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, employing about 30,000 people in 50 countries. In 2002, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 7.9 billion generated by its four activity sectors: Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Plastics, and Plastics Processing. Solvay S.A. is listed in the Euronext 100 index of top European companies. Details are available at http://www.solvay.com/ .

About RapidWerks LLC

RapidWerks serves manufacturers of medical devices and equipment, automotive equipment and accessories, mobile electronics, and telecommunications products. The company offers a variety of services that include part design and engineering, rapid tooling and prototyping, injection molding, precision micro molding, insert molding, over molding and volume production and contract assembly services. For more information, visit http://www.rapidwerks.com/ .

Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C.

CONTACT: Marla Witbrod of Solvay Advanced Polymers, L.L.C.,+1-770-772-8451, or fax, +1-770-772-8730, or email, marla.witbrod@solvay.com;or Scott Herbert, General Manager of RapidWerks LLC, +1-708-457-2336, or fax,+1-708-457-2672, or email, sherbert@rapidwerks.com


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