DSM Dyneema buys customer Cubic Tech

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Royal DSM's Dyneema fibre unit has acquired Cubic Tech, a maker of flexible laminates and fabrics in Mesa, Arizona, US.

Most of Cubic Tech’s products are made from Dyneema, an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibre. Those products include equipment and apparel for sportswear and military uses, emergency medical equipment and racing yacht sails.

Cubic Tech executives Heiner Meldner and R.J. Downs designed processes to make sail fabrics that helped the US win the America’s Cup yacht race in 1992. In 1997, they opened Cuben Fiber, making advanced versions of that same sail fabric.

High demand for the material in non-sailing applications led them to open Cubic Tech in 2003. Cuben Fiber was sold to another company in 2007.

“We have worked closely with Cubic Tech as a valued customer for many years, so we know that the two companies have a shared passion for innovation,” DSM Dyneema President Gerard de Reuver said in a 13 May news release.

The acquisition “accelerates DSM Dyneema’s entry into the performance apparel markets, and will add important new revenue streams and developments in existing markets,” officials added.

No purchase price was listed in the release. All Cubic Tech employees will be asked to stay on after the acquisition.

DSM — based in Heerlen, the Netherlands — makes Dyneema at plants in Heerlen and in Greenville, North Carolina. On a weight for weight basis, according to DSM, Dyneema is 15 times stronger than quality steel and 40 percent stronger than aramid fibers. Other applications for Dyneema include bullet resistant armor and clothing for police and military personnel.

In February, the New York Police Department announced it is replacing its bullet proof vests with new ones made using Dyneema.

DSM is a global plastics and chemicals maker which saw sales in 2014 of €9.18bn.

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