Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a Teijin Group Company, is to install a sheet moulding compound (SMC) line at its facility in Pouance, France, to support the need for its composite formulations in Europe.

CSP will invest around EUR5.1m (US$6m) to establish the SMC line.

CSP is currently the largest compounder of SMC in North America, with current SMC volumes exceeding 84,000 US tons annually. The installation of the SMC line in France will be used to further develop the company's range of proprietary, composite products, including low-volatile organic compounds (VOC) formulae currently under development to meet European market regulations.

The line will be capable of producing SMCs made with both glass and carbon fibres.

"The addition of this SMC line to the Pouance facility is an important step in our European growth plans," said CSP Europe president, Philippe Bonte.

"It will enable us to provide full-service capabilities to our customers here, as well as provide us with an opportunity to further enhance our already significant materials R&D efforts in Europe."

The Teijin Group is leveraging its lightweight materials and integrated composite technologies as one of the key focuses of the transformation strategies for the group's medium-term management plan, under which the company aims to expand business with a view to becoming a supplier of multi-material components.

The CSP Pouance facility is a development centre for lightweighting technologies including carbon fibre resin transfer moulding (RTM), Class A RTM and thermoplastic composites. The 12,000 sqm (130,000 sqft) facility was purchased by CSP in 2013.

The SMC line is expected to be commercially ready to produce SMC by the third quarter of 2019.

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