Following the company’s decision to develop syntactic foam composites in 2009, project High Performance Low Density (HPLD) was born. The objective was to manufacture low density materials capable of performing at high hydrostatic pressures and in harsh subsea environments. By bringing the manufacturing process in-house, Trelleborg’s Advanced Engineering & Materials operation held a unique position in the market.
Brian Richardson, QHSE Manager within Trelleborg’s Advanced Engineering & Materials operation, says: “Global demand for subsea equipment to operate at ever deeper seawater depths has dramatically increased in the past 50 years. Exploration depths have moved from 150 meters in the North Sea to the deepest known location on the planet; the Marianas Trench at 11,500 meters. Consequently, the requirement for low density syntactic materials capable of withstanding the extreme hydrostatic pressures at these depths has become greater.
“By utilizing appropriate material selection, innovative chemistry, formulation techniques and engineering ingenuity, our first product capable of operating in 2,000 meters of sea water was approved in 2010. Further products soon followed, quickly making us a reputable supplier of low density, high performance and high quality syntactic materials. So, to be awarded the 2015 Innovation Award by Chemicals Northwest is a significant achievement; something that we know will continue to demonstrate the positive developments that we at Trelleborg continue to make in this area.”
The awards’ judging panel stated that the winner must demonstrate “creative solutions that present major commercial opportunities for a business. The winning recipient will be able to demonstrate how they have successfully invested in the research and development of a commercially viable new product, or enhancement to an existing product, or designed/modified and implemented a process that delivers demonstrable benefits to the business.”
Project HPLD has generated 30 new jobs in the local Northwest area ranging from design engineering, sales, production, planning and materials. This allows the business to produce buoyancy from design to the final product all in-house.
Held at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester last month, Trelleborg celebrated Chemicals Northwest Awards’ 5th annual celebration.