Citadel Plastics Agrees to Acquire The Composites Group
WEST CHICAGO, IL — October 13, 2014 – Citadel Plastics Holdings, Inc. ("Citadel" or "the Company"), a leading global provider of thermoplastic and engineered composite compounds, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Composites Group ("TCG"), a top manufacturer of engineered composite compounds, from Dallas, Texas-based Highlander Partners, L.P. The transaction is expected to close by November. Terms were not disclosed.
"TCG is a very strategic acquisition for Citadel, bringing outstanding expertise in material science technology, as is evidenced by its broad portfolio of proprietary engineered composites spanning BMC, SMC,TMC, and high-performance composites," said Mike Huff, CEO of Citadel. "The addition of TCG, our eighth acquisition since setting out to build a comprehensive materials solution provider, will significantly increase our presence in engineered composites and improve our positioning for future growth with existing and new customers in current and new end markets."
The Composites Group, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, has differentiated itself in the engineered composites industry through its proven ability to formulate, source and utilize high-performance specialty composite materials. By providing customers with an integrated product solution for demanding end-use needs, such as oil and gas, TCG further demonstrates its unique positioning within the engineered composites market.
"The addition of TCG expands Citadel's ability to fulfill a variety of customer needs across multiple sectors," said Kevin Andrews, President of Citadel Engineered Composites. "Like Citadel, TCG is critical to its customers' development initiatives. The combination of experience and greater global scale achieved through this transaction enhances both organizations' ability to partner with customers to provide innovative technical solutions."
"The combined businesses of Citadel and TCG create a complementary platform that is well positioned to serve the needs of our collective customer base today and in the future," said Terry Morgan, CEO of The Composites Group.
The acquisition of TCG will be the eighth plastics-related acquisition for Citadel since 2007 and the 39th overall acquisition since 2008 for HGGC, a middle-market private equity firm with a controlling interest in Citadel. This acquisition, along with the 2013 acquisition of Lucent Polymers, accelerates the evolution of Citadel into a global leader of highly engineered thermoplastic and engineered composite compounds.
"We are very pleased to build on Citadel's proven ability to grow through strategic acquisitions and integration of successful, complementary businesses," said Gary Crittenden, Chairman of HGGC, who also serves as Chairman of Citadel. "We're confident TCG's blue-chip customer base and financial strength will help Citadel extend its leadership in highly engineered compounds."
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is legal counsel to Citadel. William Blair & Company, L.L.C. is financial advisor to The Composites Group; Andrews Kurth LLP is serving as its legal counsel.
TCG Launches New Material Options for PremierLT™, PremierUV™ Compound Lines
Highland Heights, Ohio – October 14, 2014– The Composites Group (TCG) today announced the availability of PremierLT L703S and PremierUV VQH-55S, two new materials to the most recent PremierLT™ and PremierUV™ product families of high-performance thermoset sheet molding compounds (SMCs).
"We are committed to progressive research and development efforts that both address our customers' needs today and anticipate what the market will demand in the future," said Dwight Morgan, vice president of Sales and Marketing. "These materials are best-in-class additions to their respective portfolio lines and our corporate offerings."
PremierLT L703S among industry's lowest-density materials with 1.1 sp. gr.
PremierLT L703S, the third material in the PremierLT portfolio of lightweight, low-density, high-performance thermoset SMCs, is a multipurpose fiberglass-reinforced thermoset SMC. L703S boasts a specific gravity of 1.1—among the lowest available on the market to achieve a weight reduction compared to a standard composite.
It offers an excellent surface profile for highly visible painted exteriors, making it ideal for body panel, structural and semi-structural applications where exceptional surface appearance, high strength and durability are required in a low-density composite. It can be painted or sanded.
PremierLT L703S also delivers superior mechanical properties and toughness. The material is available in natural and automotive grey. It is manufactured by TCG's Quantum Composites business unit.
PremierUV VQH-55S delivers UV resistance, low-density capabilities
PremierUV VQH-55S, the third offering in TCG's PremierUV line of high-performance ultraviolet-resistant, flame retardant thermoset SMCs, is a fiberglass reinforced thermoset SMC for structural and semi-structural applications that require high strength, UV-resistance and durability in a low-density composite.
It has outstanding UV properties, mechanical properties and toughness with a specific gravity of 1.4. PremierUV VQH-55S also is manufactured by TCG's Quantum Composites business unit.
Or visit The Composites Group's exhibit at booth 3369 during this week's CAMX: The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, in Orlando, Fla.
The Composites Group to Feature Five New Materials, Two Presentations at CAMX 2014
Highland Heights, Ohio – October 1, 2014 – The Composites Group (TCG) and its three business units—Quantum Composites, Premix and Hadlock Plastics—will collectively feature five new thermoset compounding materials and two technical presentations at CAMX 2014. Visit the company's exhibit at booth 3369.
TCG will introduce PremierUV™ and PremierLT™, two high-performance product families of ultraviolet-resistant and lightweight thermoset sheet molding compounds (SMC), respectively. Quantum Composites also will highlight its first hybrid carbon fiber material, a cost-effective, lightweight and high-strength alternative for traditional fiberglass and metal applications.
Paula Watt, open innovation leader, will present "Study of cure inhibition in low-density high bio-based on carbon (BBC) molding compounds." Kurt Butler, polymer chemist, will present "Monomer-free sheet molding compounds."
The PremierUV line is comprised of two new-to-market materials, PremierUV VSH-25S and PremierUV VLH-25S, for electrical and outdoor applications, including electrical enclosures, light housings and warning tiles. Both are fiberglass reinforced compounds with non-halogen flame-retardant technology that deliver top-quality color retention as well as resistance to chalking and glass bloom.
The PremierLT family of lightweight, low-density materials is designed to meet current and future market needs for structural and semi-structural applications. PremierLT L701S boasts a specific gravity of 1.2 along with excellent moldability. It is pigmentable and offers low shrink. PremierLT L702S offers superior strength and moldability with a specific gravity of 1.5. It delivers excellent flexural strength and toughness, and accepts automotive primers and powder in-mold coatings.
Quantum Composites' first hybrid carbon fiber material, AMC®-8590-12CFH, is an Advanced Molding Compound® that offers the performance benefits of carbon fiber at a cost similar to high-performance fiberglass. It is easily moldable, delivering parts that are high strength, low density, and resistant to fatigue, suitable for applications in the automotive, heavy truck, medical, sporting goods and industrial markets.
Technical Presentation Abstracts
Paula Watt, Open Innovation Leader
Presentation: Study of cure inhibition in low-density high bio-based on carbon (BBC) molding compounds.
Abstract: Weight reduction of composites is desirable for a number of applications. Thermoset molding compounds have historically utilized mineral fillers to reduce cost through displacement of the more expensive resin matrix. Because these fillers comprise a significant portion of the compound and have specific gravities of roughly 2.5 g/cc, the density of the molding compounds is typically 1.8 g/cc to 1.9 g/cc. Approaches to lightweighting these compounds include reduction of filler loading or use of hollow glass spheres as fillers. Both of these approaches result in a significant cost premium. Renewable biomass fillers provide lower density than mineral fillers yielding compounds at equivalent volume reinforcement with a 20 to 25 percent weight reduction. These have been evaluated in thermosets in the past but have exhibited issues with water uptake and cure inhibition. Thermal treatments of the biomass have proven to improve the hydrophobicity of the fillers but can exacerbate the inhibition problems. As a result these fillers can be incorporated at only partial loading of the total filler limiting the potential of weight reduction and renewable content. Recent advances in the processing of biomass have yielded fillers that do not inhibit the thermoset cure reaction allowing complete replacement of mineral fillers for compound densities as low as 1.4 g/cc and BBC levels of greater than 40 percent. These compounds are projected to be near cost neutral to conventional compounds on a per volume basis.
Kurt Butler, Polymer Chemist
Presentation: Monomer-free sheet molding compounds
Abstract: Monomer-free unsaturated polyester thermoset resins have been available for a number of years in other industrial applications, especially as protective coatings in the electrical industry. Recently monomer-free unsaturated polyester and/or vinyl ester thermoset resins have moved into the composite arena, mostly as hot melt-type resins for prepreg processes or, for the liquid versions, as infusion, pultrusion, resin transfer, wet-molding, and BMC processes. The traditional sheet molding compound process was not considered a viable process as the monomer-free liquid resins have seen drawbacks in producing a thicken-able sheet. It has been found that modifications to the sheet molding compound formula that incorporate the monomer-free resins have now enabled the use of the monomer-free resins in the traditional SMC processes. The sheet molding compound can employ the use of the traditional fillers (calcium carbonate and ATH), initiator systems, pigments, monomer-free shrinkage control agents, and reinforcements (glass or carbon fibers). This presentation will explore and demonstrate the properties of the monomer-free sheet molding compound systems.
TCG Appoints Three to New Roles
Highland Heights, Ohio – September 29, 2014 – The Composites Group has hired three new associates to increase customer support: Robert Kluk, continuous improvement manager and quality management representative, Thad Plasczynski, Premix technical service specialist, and Martin Savage, Quantum Composites applications engineer.
Robert Kluk will develop and manage a corporate-wide continuous improvement initiative and will oversee the TS and ISO quality systems programs for Premix and Hadlock Plastics, respectively.
"Bob's role is critical to The Composite Group's commitment to ensuring a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. His experience will be invaluable to the corporation as we move forward," said Scott Besco, TCG's director of New Business Development Molding, Quality and Continuous Improvement.
Kluk has more than 25 years of experience implementing and managing continuous improvement programs. Most recently, he served as global continuous improvement specialist at Dresser-Rand, in Olean, N.Y., with global responsibilities for education and facilitation of corporate process innovation.
In addition, he has held engineering and continuous improvement positions with Sifco Industries, Cleveland, Ohio, Colfax Company in Erie, Pa., and Woodbridge, N.J., and TB Wood's, located in Chambersburg, Pa.
Kluk earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State. He is a Lean Professional and has completed Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
Thad Plasczynski will provide technical support to molding compound customers, delivering on-site molding assistance and technical education. He also will contribute to new product exploration and continuous improvement initiatives.
"With his education and experience, Thad's expertise will be a key element in our efforts to develop and support new compound technology, assuring the continued growth of The Composites Group and Premix in a competitive market," said Mike Gruskiewicz, TCG technical director.
Previously Plasczynski held senior technical service positions for Dow Chemical and Rohm and Haas, in West Alexandria, Ohio, as well as LORD Corporation in Erie, Pa.
Plasczynski holds a master's and bachelor's degree in Polymer Science, both from Penn State.
He also is a Registered Nurse, earning an associate degree of Nursing Science from Mercyhurst University in Erie. He most recently served as an RN at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Martin Savage will interact directly with customers and will be responsible for communicating customers' needs and concerns as well as providing broad engineering support to new and existing programs—including composite design and engineering, tool design, manufacturing, materials testing, prototyping and process development.
"Marty is a great addition to our team. I am confident that his engineering experience will prove to be an invaluable asset as he manages key programs and projects," said Mike Kiesel, applications engineer manager, Quantum Composites.
Previously, Savage held positions with Nexteer Automotive in Saginaw, Mich., Johnson Controls' automotive seating division, Plymouth, Mich., and Covaron Advanced Materials, Ann Arbor, Mich.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Mich.
TCG Exhibits at Annual SPE ACCE
Highland Heights, Ohio – Sept 8, 2014 – The Composites Group (TCG) is exhibiting at this week's 14th annual Society of Plastics Engineers' Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition (SPE ACCE), scheduled for Sept. 9-11, in Novi, Mich.
TCG will highlight PremierLT™ and PremierUV™, its newest product lines, at booth # 214.
Click here for a full agenda of this year's SPE ACCE, sponsored by SPE's Automotive Division.
TCG Introduces PremierUV™ Family of UV-Resistant Compounds
Highland Heights, Ohio – July 11, 2014 – The Composites Group introduces PremierUV™, a new family of high-performance ultraviolet-resistant, flame retardant thermoset sheet molding compounds (SMC) for electrical and outdoor applications, including electrical enclosures, light housings and warning tiles.
"Our new PremierUV products have ultraviolet weathering characteristics superior to competitive materials on the market," said Marc Imbrogno, corporate director of Market/Product Development. "We're in the development stages for additional PremierUV materials, as well, and hope to bring them to market this fall."
The PremierUV line is comprised of two new-to-market materials, PremierUV VSH-25S and PremierUV VLH-25S. Both are fiberglass reinforced compounds with non-halogen flame-retardant technology.
These materials deliver top-quality color retention as well as resistance to chalking and glass bloom. Both are pigmentable for molded-in color and can accommodate a range of pigments. Custom formulations also are available to meet customers' needs.
TCG Introduces PremierLT™ Family of Low-Weight Compounds
Highland Heights, Ohio – May 28, 2014 – The Composites Group introduces PremierLT™, a new family of lightweight, low-density, high-performance thermoset sheet molding compounds (SMC) designed to meet current and future market needs for structural and semi-structural applications.
"Lightweighting is a driving dynamic for manufacturers today and a high priority for our product development efforts," said Marc Imbrogno, corporate director of Market/Product Development. "We're introducing our PremierLT family with two low-density product lines and will be adding more.
"Our goal is to offer a portfolio of lightweighting solutions with different cost and performance characteristics, so customers can choose the optimal value equation for their needs," he added.
PremierLT L701S, one of the initial PremierLT products, boasts a specific gravity of 1.2 along with excellent moldability. It is pigmentable and offers low shrink, making it ideal for a wide range of applications where performance and aesthetics are important. TCG's Quantum Composites business unit will manufacture PremierLT L701S.
The second initial offering in the PremierLT family, PremierLT L702S, offers superior strength and moldability with a specific gravity of 1.5. PremierLT L702S is manufactured by TCG's Premix compounding business unit. It delivers excellent flexural strength and toughness, and accepts automotive primers and powder in-mold coatings, making it ideally suited for demanding structural and semi-structural applications in the transportation industry.
"Our PremierLT product line uses different chemistries to achieve the desired weight reduction, providing great diversity of choice for customers. In the coming months, we expect to announce two additions to the PremierLT family, including a carbon fiber SMC," said Imbrogno.
TCG Provides Comprehensive Solution to EMS Industry with New Composites Application
Ferno iN∫X to revolutionize daily life for emergency personnel
Highland Heights, Ohio – April 15, 2014 – The Composites Group (TCG) and its three business units, Quantum Composites, Premix and Hadlock Plastics, have collaborated with Ferno EMS in creating the new iN∫X (pronounced "in-ex") Integrated Patient Transport and Loading System—the next generation power cot for the emergency medical services (EMS) industry, and a new application for thermoset composites.
"This is a wonderful example of the comprehensive solutions approach we envisioned when forming The Composites Group," said Terry Morgan, CEO. "The drive to replace traditional manufacturing materials with superior-performing, high-strength, low-density composites continues to create new opportunities such as this in myriad industries. With our complementary skills, technologies and manufacturing capabilities, TCG is well-positioned to assist and respond."
After a thorough engineering and product development process, TCG was on hand as Ferno launched iN∫X at the 2014 Fire Department Instructors Conference this month. A motorized patient handling system, the iN∫X is designed to help EMS personnel stop lifting and reduce the risk of injuries while enhancing performance and delivery of care.
The Composites Group manufactured a total of 16 parts for each iN∫X system. Eight parts comprise the four tri-colored, independently adjusting legs while another eight parts form four black arms that secure the legs to the cot.
Each of TCG's three business units had a hand in manufacturing these parts.
- Quantum Composites produced and supplied AMC® 8590, a carbon fiber material known for its high strength yet lightweight properties.
- Premix handled the custom compression molding process.
- Hadlock Plastics finished each part, including a customized, tri-color paint application to feature Ferno's signature red.
"Our thermoset composites material delivered the requested weight reduction without sacrificing strength, which was critical to Ferno," said Greg Woerth, TCG account manager. "In addition, due to the strength and durability of thermoset composites, the iN∫X legs and arms will create a longer life for the product."
Ferno's iN∫X Integrated Patient Transport and Loading System is expected to revolutionize the daily professional lives of EMS workers, including emergency medical technicians and paramedics, who often suffer from work-related injuries that result in lost time and significant worker's compensation and medical costs.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sprains and strains were the most common diagnosis for EMS workers in 2011. Most of these injuries affected the lower and upper trunk (e.g. back and spine) and were the result of either excessive physical effort or a single incident that imposed stress or strain on some part of the body.
Premi-Glas 3101-20 Exceeds Industry Standard for Arc Track Resistance
North Kingsville, Ohio – Feb. 27, 2014–Premix's Premi-Glas® 3101-20, a fiberglass reinforced thermoset bulk molding compound for electrical applications, passes the ASTM D-2303 standard for arc track resistance at an exposure of greater than 2,000 minutes—surpassing the recognized industry standard.
ASTM D-2303 tests resistance to tracking on an incline plane in the presence of a liquid contaminant. The material was tested at 2,500 volts.
Premi-Glas 3101-20 is used for circuit breakers, switchgear and other applications where fire retardance is required. Its other key features and benefits include:
- Non-Halogen FR technology for regulatory compliance
- Excellent dimensional stability and electrical properties
- Recognized by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), File #E42524
- Outstanding flow and fill in compression, transfer and injection molding
- Pigmentable for molded-in color, best appearance with mold texture
For more information, view the Premi-Glas 3101-20 technical data sheet.
ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is one of the largest standards development and delivery systems in the world. Today, approximately 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.
TCG to Exhibit, Sponsor, Present at Annual SPE Thermoset Conference
Highland Heights, Ohio – Feb. 21, 2014–The Composites Group (TCG) will exhibit and deliver technical presentations at the Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoset Topical Conference (SPE Topcon), scheduled for Feb. 24-26 in Tucson, Ariz. TCG also is sponsoring the conference's opening breakfast Tuesday morning.
The annual event is sponsored by SPE's Thermoset division, which is the organization's fastest-growing unit. Topcon will include attendees from thermoset composites, raw material additives, as well as both mold and part design and production.
Tim Langschwager, lead development chemist with Quantum Composites, Inc., a business unit of TCG, will present "Thermoset matrix systems for high temperature applications."
Casey Blabolil, a product development chemist with TCG's Premix business unit, will close the two-day technical conference with his presentation, "Application of thermal analysis techniques to drive product development."
Langschwager leads Quantum's research and development activities, including formulating, testing and project management. He is a member of ASTM International's D-30 committee on composites testing and has been with Quantum for five years. Previously, Langschwager served as the organics lab coordinator for Delphi Steering's Divisional Materials Lab. He was responsible for PPAP's and engineering changes on plastic, rubber, oil and grease compounds and performed failure analyses. Langschwager earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Mich.
Since joining The Composites Group in 2013, Blabolil has focused on thermal analysis characterization techniques in order to provide quantitative data support to product development and quality control processes. Blabolil earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from University of Mount Union, Alliance, Ohio.
In addition, John Gaither, chairman, president and CEO of Reichhold Inc., will deliver the conference's keynote address Wednesday morning. Gaither will address present and future unsaturated polyester resin composites and explore trends, growth and partnering opportunities
Click here for a full agenda of this year's SPE Topcon.
Quantum Composites Launches First Hybrid Carbon Fiber Material
Bay City, Mich. – Feb. 17, 2014 – Quantum Composites, a business unit of The Composites Group, introduces its first hybrid carbon fiber material, a cost-effective, lightweight and high-strength alternative for traditional fiberglass and metal applications in the automotive, heavy truck, medical, sporting goods and industrial markets.
"Quantum Composites' revolutionary hybrid carbon fiber has the power to open doors that were previously closed. This new material—with its improved flexural and tensile moduli at a significant cost reduction—has created the opportunity for new thermoset applications," said Wisdom Dzotsi, general manager, Quantum Composites.
The hybrid carbon fiber material, AMC®-8590-12CFH, is an Advanced Molding Compound® that offers the performance benefits of carbon fiber at a cost similar to high-performance fiberglass. It is easily moldable, delivering parts that are high strength, low density, and resistant to fatigue.
To round out its value-added attributes, this innovative, hybrid compound can be customized to achieve specific application requirements and is suitable for fast cure compression molding to form complex parts in high-volume production.
AMC-8590-12CFH is part of Quantum's AMC-8500 Engineered Structural Composite® (ESC®) series. Quantum's ESC® materials are available in a range of product offerings, including carbon or glass reinforcement in epoxy, vinyl ester and polyester, phenolic, BMI and polyimide resin matrices.
For more information on the hybrid AMC-8590-12CFH material and potential applications, contact Matt Douglas, product manager, at 989-922-3863, ext. 108 or click here.
Randall Zajac Named Oil and Gas Market Manager for The Composites Group
Bay City, Mich. – Jan. 20, 2014 – Quantum Composites, a business unit of The Composites Group (TCG), has appointed Randall Zajac as its Market Manager for Oil and Gas. TCG utilizes a comprehensive portfolio of thermoset composite compounds and parts along with forward-thinking research and development initiatives to deliver creative solutions for myriad applications throughout the oil and gas and other markets.
Zajac has been with Quantum Composites for two years and has 13 years of experience in composite processes, design, and application engineering. In his new role, Zajac will be responsible for new business development and account management as well as compound and molded parts sales within the oil and gas market.
"The oil and gas market is an industry with a number of potential applications for our high-performance fiberglass and carbon fiber composite compounds," said Wisdom Dzotsi, General Manager, Quantum Composites. "Randy had great success with our international automotive customers. I am confident his engineering expertise and composites knowledge will help us to serve this new market segment well."
Most recently, Zajac served as the primary technical support for Quantum's European automotive customers, specifically Lamborghini. Notably, he played a key role in securing the use of Quantum's carbon fiber SMC products in a number of components on the Lamborghini platform.
Prior to joining Quantum, Zajac held various engineering, technical, and research and development roles for TPI Iowa, Newton, Iowa, Gougeon Bros, Bay City, Mich., and Johnson Controls, Holland, Mich.
Zajac earned an MBA from Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Mich., and a Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering Technology from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich.
Scarpino Appointed to Newly Created Marketing Coordinator Position
Highland Heights, Ohio – Nov. 26, 2013 – The Composites Group, a leading supplier of thermoset composite solutions, has appointed Suzanne Scarpino as its marketing coordinator.
In this newly created position, Scarpino will assist with the development and implementation of marketing communications strategies, public and media relations, corporate communications, and outreach initiatives for The Composites Group and its three business units, Premix, Hadlock Plastics and Quantum Composites.
"We are fortunate to have found a high-caliber communications professional such as Suzanne to help shape and lead The Composites Group's marketing communications efforts," said Marc Imbrogno, Corporate Director of Market/Product Development.
Scarpino has nearly 15 years of public and media relations and integrated marketing communications experience. She has served as a corporate communications manager for Cleveland Clinic, assistant director of media relations for Villanova University in Villanova, Pa., and coordinator for public information at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pa. In these roles, Scarpino was responsible for building relationships with key external and internal stakeholders, assisted with the development and execution of public and media relations efforts, including writing and distributing news releases, feature stories, website content, and media pitches, and assisted in strategic decision making for crisis communications and issue management efforts.
Early in her career, Scarpino served as a senior account manager for Marketing Communications Inc. in Washington, Pa., where she handled the public and community relations, global customer communications, and marketing collateral for its manufacturing and specialty chemical clients. She also has served as a public relations writer for Tillman Group in Erie.
Scarpino earned a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Penn State.