Hutchinson launches Composite Technical Center

Hutchinson says that the CTeC is an innovation centre dedicated to the development of new composite products, materials and processes and, by the end of 2014, will employ 50 people. Located next to the Hutchinson Research Center, the CTeC benefits of the whole group's expertise in all areas as acoustics, material characterisation, mechanical vibration and thermal protection, in addition to its premium computing capabilities (supercomputing, reverberation room, anechoic chamber,...).

Hutchinson adds that the creation of the CTeC in Châlette-sur-Loing, France will allow a high standard of support in the design, development and qualification of systems or composite parts, for example, in complex structures, fluid distribution systems, and smart panels with their supporting structures. Currently, the group has four sites, employing more than 700 personnel (two in France, one in Germany and one in Canada).

The CTeC will focus on multi-functional composites, says Hutchinson. The CTeC is working on new manufacturing processes, with greatly reduced cycle times, such as injection in all its forms, stamping, thermoforming and pultrusion or filament winding, in addition to new materials such as specific thermoplastic alloys.

"We develop new processes particularly less labour intensive with reduced or even without hand lay-up" explains Bertrand Florentz, Director of the CTeC. "Our advantage is our ability to integrate functions into our composites thanks to numerous proprietary qualified solutions and materials, such as the absorption or damping of sound and vibration, thermal insulation, electrical conductivity or resistivity. These are important advantages for the transport sector."