Norner Signs Deal to Build New Polymer Exploration Center and Enters Future Materials Catapult
Independent Norwegian plastics institute aims to become a leader in the development of future sustainable plastics solutions.
Two years ago, we reported on Norway’s Norner, an independent plastics institute with over 40 years of experience, having granted the first licensing agreement to an undisclosed company for its patented “breakthrough” PE production technology. The concept of the Norner Trimodal Technology (NTT) is based on a system of three polymerization reactors where a fraction of a third high-molecular-weight polymer is introduced in a small third reactor-containing comonomer.
As such, the technology creates trimodal materials with a higher comonomer content in the highest molecular weight, boosting material performance. It is reportedly very well suited for applications such as pipe, blow molding and films. Key material and application benefits are said to include improved pressure and stress-crack resistance, better impact resistance, as well as excellent processability.
Just recently, Norner announced that it has signed an agreement with R8 Property on the construction of its new Polymer Exploration Centre. At the same time, Norner has become part of Future Materials Catapult Centre—a national test center for the materials of the future
The new Polymer Exploration Centre will be a modern international R&D center for the plastics industry and provide research services throughout the value chain. Norner has customers in more than 60 countries and has experienced strong growth in recent years. The agreement with R8 Property calls for Norner to move all activities from Bamble to the new Powerhouse and a nearby application center in Telemark. Due to increased space requirements, a nearly 5000-m2 technology center will now be established at the bank of the Porsgrunn river and neighboring the Powerhouse Telemark.
Says Norner CEO Kjetil Larsen, “We will get a significantly more efficient building and have consolidated all our operations into one house. Construction work will start at the turn of the year and will be completed in the spring of 2021. Norner is investing long-term, and a 20-year lease has been signed between the parties and continues. Our owners, Thai SCG, have a long-term strategy and commitment with Norner. They are strengthening their position as a significant player in the plastics industry through this investment.”
The Future Materials Catapult Center is a national test center for the materials of the future, established in the fall of 2017 by Arendals Fossekompani, Elkem, Mechatronics Innovation Lab, ReSiTec and the University of Agder. The catapult aims to make the path from idea to market shorter for Norwegian business by offering test facilities, expertise and networks to develop sustainable advanced materials and production processes.
The creation of the Polymer Exploration Centre, together with its entering the Catapult Centre, will ensure that Norway develops a leadership in the development of future sustainable plastic solutions, according to Larsen.
Demand for more robust plastics is creating new opportunities for radiation-crosslinked nylons, including nylon 6 and 66, which can serve as cost-effective alternatives to higher-cost, high-heat thermoplastics. Crosslinked nylons have higher heat resistance than their standard counterparts, along with better physical properties and abrasion resistance. Adapted from a paper presented at SPE ANTEC 2012.
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