R&D Focused on the Future
Arkema works with different technology and industrial partners to design the materials of tomorrow and develop concrete applications. This synergy of skills focuses on six research platforms in line with the biggest challenges of the contemporary world:
The technology platforms we are working on are not independent of each other, they feed off of each other. University research departments, major laboratories, industrial manufacturers, and the application sectors need to work hand in hand."
Arkema is involved in many high-level scientific collaborations with universities:
- Industrial research chairs (bioplastics research chair at Mines-ParisTech, professorship in organic electronics at Bordeaux Polytechnic Institute, new chemistry chair for sustainable development at ChemSud in Montpellier);
- Common research programs (with the laboratories of ESPCI-Paris and Bordeaux Polytechnic Institute).
The Group also has tripartite university-research-industry partnerships in the region:
- The CRDE (Centre de Recherche et de Développement de l’Est [Eastern Research and Development Center]) in Carling is a partner of the Lorrain center of expertise in process intensification, alongside the École Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques de Nancy (ENSIC).
Investing Today for Tomorrow’s Growth
Arkema is involved in the mechanisms of the Investments for the Future program, whether through the IRT (Instituts de Recherche Technologique [Technological Research Institutes]), structural R&D projects, or “ecological and energy transition demonstrators” programs and “vehicles of the future.”
The French State’s investment program, Investments for the Future, is aimed at meeting the challenge of competitiveness as well as valuing growth and employment throughout France.
The GRL (Lacq research center) is a founding member of CANOE (Consortium Aquitain d’Innovation Nanomatériaux et Électronique Organique [Aquitaine Nanomaterials and Organic Electronics Innovation Consortium]), alongside the Aquitaine Regional Council. This technology platform has business expertise in chemistry and polymer formulation. CANOE works on projects related to advanced and composite materials in various industrial sectors (aeronautics, transportation, renewable energy, sports and recreation, construction).
Fiabilin: Linen in Composite Materials
Fiabilin’s eco-engineered products will be used in the automotive, boating, and aeronautics industries, replacing composite materials containing glass or carbon fibers.
With the support of ADEME, the Isocel project promotes the development of a competitive and sustainable manufacturing industry for new-generation photovoltaic modules specifically designed for the construction industry.
Arkema has partnered with Plastinov and other innovative SMEs for the Effiwind project. The aim of the project is to validate the manufacturing process of wind turbine blades of the future, made of Elium® resin. In late 2016, Effiwind had a significant breakthrough with the production of its first 25-meter blade.
“We have demonstrated the industrial viability of the project. Elium® resin is now the only thermoplastic compatible with traditional blade manufacturing tools and processes,” said Michel Glotin, Materials Scientific Director at Arkema. Soon to be tested on the wind farm in Plougras (Brittany), Elium® blades could arrive soon on the market!
Compofast and Fast RTM: Leaner Cars
The Compofast project is now in its final stages. Arkema and its partners have developed thermoplastic composites to replace metal in body-in-white components, as well as other vehicle structure parts. This means a substantial reduction in the weight and CO2 emissions of cars.
In partnership with the iRT M2P (Institut de recherche technologique Matériaux, Métallurgie et Procédés [Technical Research Institute in Materials, Metalworking and Processes]) in Metz and various French automobile and auto parts manufacturers, the Group has also participated in the Fast RTM project since 2015. In June 2016, Arkema created an industrial pilot to demonstrate the possibility of mass production of Elium® composite automotive parts at the manufacturer’s required rate of one piece every two minutes.
A winner of the latest JEC Innovation Awards, the Fast RTM project is expected to be finalized in December 2017, allowing the integration in automotive production of Arkema’s thermoplastic composites, which make it possible to produce lighter vehicles that emit less CO2.
Ines/CEA + Arkema: Materials Find Their Place in the Sun
Since 2010, Arkema and the CEA, through the Ines (Institut national de l’énergie solaire [National Solar Energy Institute]) (selected as Institute for Energy Transition in Investments for the Future), have created the first private/public mixed laboratory dedicated to polymer materials for photovoltaic modules.
A unique Proximity to French Businesses
As a member of competitiveness poles driving growth and employment, Arkema actively participates in regional economic development: