In order to develop new materials and bring them to fruition, the Arkema Group’s R&D Division has put in place an original structure: the incubator. Innovations developed in this incubator can originate in in-house research or in technologies acquired from startups.
In chemistry, innovation is the fruit of medium and long-term projects whose application prospects require development over several years.
The "incubator" is an original structure with its own technical and financial resources. Its goal is to develop nanomaterials and new generation polymers.
PEKK (polyether ketone ketone) is an ultra high performance polymer with exceptional resistance to high temperatures (up to +260°C), chemicals, abrasion and fire, combined with excellent mechanical properties.
These characteristics make it ideally suited to particularly exacting applications:
- in aerospace to replace metal in mounting and fastening components, insulating parts, and interior fittings,
- in very deep oil exploration wells where temperatures and pressures are high, to protect the electronics of logging probes.
Arkema produces and markets multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) under the tradename Graphistrength®. These are added in very small quantities to polymer materials, concrete, or composites to impart outstanding mechanical and electrical conductivity properties. Arkema is one of only two European producers of CNTs with its 400 tonne pilot plant at its Mont facility in France.
The Nanostrength® technology is based on acrylic copolymers able to organize themselves on a nanometric scale when added in small amounts to a polymer matrix. As a result, the polymer acquires a combination of properties that would normally not be possible, including impact resistance together with a degree of elasticity even under moist conditions. They are used to produce composite materials, adhesives, and automotive glazing.
A new family of grafted polymers, Apolhya® combines the properties of polyamides with those of polyolefins. It ensures superior resistance to heat and impact, as well as greater flexibility. These polymers are used in the engine compartment of cars, as a protection layer, replacing rubber or plastics which are less able to withstand high temperature. They are also used in cable manufacture and in other applications requiring excellent flame resistance.