Material Expertise & History
The Material Expertise of Omniseal Solutions™ focuses on high-performance polymer materials. At the beginning of the 1950s, the business started to build fluoropolymer expertise. Under the name of Furon, the company was one of the first to develop a large offer of compounds for sealing and bearings applications. By the 1980s, the teams were developing thermoplastic and thermoset compounds, focusing strongly on polyimide materials.
Another example of how the company is innovating comes from a partnership with Greentown Labs in Boston, MA. The partnership with Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech incubator in the United States, was spearheaded by NOVA, Saint-Gobain’s external venturing group focused on creating partnerships with start-ups worldwide. Greentown Labs' strategic corporate partners, like Saint-Gobain, help to strengthen its startup community by providing industry expertise, professional services, and equipment to early-stage companies. As part of the agreement, Omniseal Solutions™ provided samples of Omniseal®, Rulon®, Meldin® HT thermoplastic, and Meldin® polyimide components and materials to Greentown Labs’ expansion site, the Global Center for Cleantech Innovation, in Somerville, MA, in order to share their sealing technology and support startup growth for future energy and sustainable solutions.
Local Research & Development
The research and development teams of Omniseal Solutions™ draw upon the vast resources of the Saint-Gobain Group when needed. In addition to the local R&D teams on the manufacturing sites, the business strategically placed large R&D centers on each continent. Every day the teams work to enhance the properties of the material formulations. Everything starts with the material!
Take for example the local team in Kontich, Belgium. Once 150 square meters, the Kontich laboratory space increased to 390 square meters when the team moved the R&D facilities to a new building located within the manufacturing complex at the end of 2017. Although the lab has more than doubled in space, the company plans for further expansion. For example, they added a FabLab and learning center to enhance customer focus in 2019. The team divided the current lab space into the following areas:
Office space for the R&D team
A dedicated room for analytical testing with DSC, FTIR, confocal microscope, and optical microscope
Test rig hall
Climate-controlled and noise-isolated room for specialized tribological, application, and surface roughness testing
A dedicated space for sample preparation and small test set-ups
A specific CNC machine for prototyping