Novi’s Cooper Standard today announced three new agreements – two with consumer goods companies and another with an industrial goods manufacturer – to jointly develop commercial applications of its proprietary Fortrex material. Due to joint nondisclosure agreements, the specific customers and targeted product applications were not disclosed.
The signings were made through Cooper Standard’s Advanced Technology Group, which is charged with accelerating and maximizing the value stream of the company’s manufacturing expertise in its core process types for applications in the industrial and specialty markets.
“We are pleased with the continued growth and evolution of our Advanced Technology Group into diverse markets outside of the automotive industry,” says Jeffrey Edwards, chairman and CEO of Cooper Standard. “Since its establishment in 2018, the group has acquired and integrated Lauren Manufacturing and Lauren Plastics, validated Fortrex as a flexible chemistry platform for other industries and entered into a number of new development agreements.”
The ATG also drives growth through the company’s applied materials science offerings, which include the Fortrex chemistry platform that provides performance advantages over many other materials, according to Cooper Standard.
“Interest in our materials science business is growing as we continue to execute our strategy to maximize diversification opportunities,” says Jeffrey DeBest, president of Cooper Standard’s ATG. “In addition to materials licensing, we offer the sale of custom-formulated Fortrex material compounds and converted products. The material supply business model is anticipated to be highly complementary to our traditional product manufacturing business. We are working closely with our customers and expect to supply our first materials orders in 2021.”
Fortrex is an innovative chemistry platform used to create lightweight elastomeric materials that offer performance advantages over synthetic rubber, TPV and many other materials in terms of weight reduction, compression set, weathering, and durability, according to DeBest.
Fortrex can take many forms, including dense extrusions, foams, and membranes that can be tuned for many applications and performance solutions.