Darmstadt/Weiterstadt, Germany - Evonik has approved construction on a new production plant for high-quality flat films made from  multi-layer polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). To finance the project, the company plans to invest a sum in the double-digit millions in its Weiterstadt site. The plant is scheduled to supply the initial commercial film batches by the end of 2018. A number of new jobs will be created.

“With the investment we have now approved, we are strengthening our role as innovation leader for acrylic-based technologies and products," said Martin Krämer, head of the Acrylic Products Business Line. The new plant will enable production of extremely wide films with a previously unachieved number of layers. “This is an example of how we are putting our vision 'Evolution in acrylics is our passion' into daily business," says Krämer.

Multi-layered PMMA films are used in medical technology, window and façade construction, and in the graphics industry. As recently as mid-January, Evonik presented façade elements made from fiberglass plates equipped with a top layer made of PLEXIGLAS® film at the BAU 2017 tradeshow. The thermoset resin and glass fibers are protected in such a way that the plates also have an aesthetically pleasing and brilliant appearance. “With the new multi-layer films, we can ensure the longevity of such exterior components for façades,” says Michael Enders, head of film activities at Acrylic Products. The demand for extremely long-lasting and sustainable products has become increasingly important, particularly in the construction and architecture segment.

The new plant will also allow completely new film compositions. “We're expanding our offerings of custom-designed specialty films that offer not only our customers but also the consumers genuine added value,” says Enders. “Wider multi-layer PMM   A films allow particularly long-lasting and sustainable products and offer our customers new design and processing possibilities."