TUCKER, Ga.—Lehigh Technologies, which produces micronized, engineered powders from recycled scrap tires and other polymers, has opened a 10,000-sq.-ft. Applications & Development Center adjacent to its plant in Tucker.
The new center has capabilities in three core areas, according to Lehigh: rubber compounding, curried, compression molding and testing; plastics compounding, injection molding and testing; and coatings formulation and testing.
“This is clearly unique in the industry,” said Lehigh CEO Alan Barton. “No one else has this.”
The purpose of the ADC is twofold, according to Tom Rosenmeyer, Lehigh vice president-technology: to develop a fundamental understanding of the technical performance of Lehigh's sustainable powders in complex composites, and as a result to assist Lehigh's customers in developing commercial applications that meet their cost, performance and sustainability targets.
“It gives us the ability to understand how our material is complementary to our customers' materials, and how to integrate the two,” Rosenmeyer said. Because of the ADC, Lehigh now can study various properties of micronized powders in depth, including morphology and surface characteristics, he said.
Lehigh already has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the properties of micronized rubber powders, according to Rosenmeyer. The applications and develop- ment center gives the firm the ability to fabricate powders made from nitrile and natural rubber as well as its traditional SBR, he said.
Lehigh also plans to publish technical papers on various aspects of micronized powders during the course of next year, he said.
Barton and Rosenmeyer praised the team in charge of the ADC, including:
c William Schreiber, technical director-plastics, with Lehigh since 2007 and in the plastics field for more than 35 years;
c Frank Papp, technical manager-tire and industrial rubber, who has extensive rubber compounding experience in tires;
c Ravi Ayyer, technical manager-plastics, an expert on polymer structure and the lead investigator in Lehigh's plastics/PolyDyne composites research; and
c Ardhyang Pandit, technical manager-coatings, asphalt & construction materials, with 20 years of experience in developing water- and solvent-based coatings and vinyl plastisols.