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Date: 23 July 2014
ALCAN BALTEK CORPORATION  
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Company Name: ALCAN BALTEK CORPORATION

    
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Company Type: supplier

Company Profile

Alcan Baltek Corporation is the largest supplier of end grain balsa core material to the worldwide composites market, with a wide and innovative product range.

Alcan Baltek also distributes structural foam core materials manufactured by Alcan-Airex® AG Switzerland, and laminate bulkers manufactured by Lantor BV The Netherlands and U-Pica Japan, and a special core adhesive manufactured by ATC Chemicals, Oakville, Canada.
Other divisions of Alcan Baltek supply balsa lumber to model businesses around the globe.

Alcan Baltek Corporation and its predecessor companies have been in the wood industry since the mid-1880's, first in Europe and then in the United States. Since the early days, before World War I, the company has always emphasized the fact that it was involved in high quality products that would fit the changing needs of the end user. The main interest of the companies was in the trading and promotion of tropical species, such as mahogany from the Americas and limba from Africa, until balsa was introduced to the group in the 1930's.

In those days, tropical wood species were mainly used for furniture and in the early automotive industry. Then came the aircraft, which in World War I were mostly made from wood. In this market Alcan Baltek developed two new applications for balsa: structural cores and the hobby/model industry. One of the best known and earliest uses of balsa as a structural core was the famous British Mosquito bomber. The plane was made entirely of plywood, which was, in fact, a composite structure of plywood and balsa.

At the same time, Chance Vought Aircraft and Goodyear Aircraft in the United States were both very active in the development of sandwich structures for Navy planes and the nacelles of anti-submarine blimps. Alcan Baltek was working closely with these manufacturers in developing several grades of balsa for these highly technical uses of wood, since they required close tolerances of dimensions and very precise density selection.
The company was very successful in meeting all the aircraft industry specifications, and it is thanks to the precise work done at its various factories that it could develop a very "civilian" use: small slats of wood used as a core material in home flush doors. Millions of these precision-cut slats were shipped throughout North America.

In the mid-1950's, another main use of balsa was introduced when a Chicago engineering group developed a technique to transport liquified natural gas at minus 260F. Large sea-going LNG tankers, insulated with balsa, were tested successfully and large gas transportation projects were initiated based on the fact that ocean carriers could be built.

During the 1960's, balsa was used extensively for the insulation of LNG carriers; some of them are still in use after more than 30 years. Again, the use of balsa was made possible by the close technical cooperation between the company and the various engineering companies working with shipyards all over the world.

During the same time period, the company, working together with the US Air Force and Goodyear Aerospace Corporation, developed the famous air cargo pallet for the 463-L cargo system of the United States Air Force, still widely used today. This aluminum-faced pallet, measuring 88" by 108", with 2" thick end-grain balsa, is rated at 10,000 lb. and an 8g dynamic load.

Simultaneously, Alcan Baltek developed a structural core of end-grain balsa with the trade name, Contourkore®. This core was developed for use in the reinforced plastics market. The most widely known of these is the marine market. Crafts of all sizes, from the small dinghy to luxurious mega-yachts, are built with most of the structural parts in sandwich construction with end-grain balsa as the core. In addition to pleasure boats, this core is also used in large fishing vessels, commercial boats and military craft, such as minesweepers, patrol boats and super structures.

Over the past 40 years, the use of Contourkore in composites has greatly expanded outside the marine market. Balsa cored reinforced plastic sandwich panels have replaced traditional materials in such applications as:
- Chemical industry processing tanks and pipes
- Food processing tanks, industrial ducts and scrubbers
- Water purification and desalination troughs and weirs
- Windmill blades for electrical power generation
- Commercial aircraft, rail cars, trucks and buses
- Shipping containers
- Bath tubs and shower stalls

During all the post-war years, the company invested heavily in improving production facilities in Ecuador. Plants were upgraded with new automatic machinery and highly sophisticated gluing equipment using the latest resin curing methods. A large plantation program began in the 1970's, culminating in a land holding of over 16,000 acres on 28 sites, with a nursery on each site. A special seed orchard supplies the various plantations with selected seeds. In addition, it could be said that, for every tree felled, two or three trees are seeded, which means that as a company, we are actually growing more trees than we are cutting. 140 portable mills feeding five large processing plants produce lumber and, in total, the Ecuadorian organization employs over 900 people directed by 25 engineers.

Growing any kind of tree is relatively easy. Growing a "super" tree from carefully selected seeds is another story. The company is the originator and world leader in balsa farming and is in contact with numerous universities and laboratories where exchange of information helps in improving the balsa farming methods used. Our product is a renewable raw material and the statement: "We Grow the Future" is not just a thought -but a very hard fact.
Almost everybody knows why balsa is so important to some industries. It combines several characteristics, which surprisingly seem to contradict each other. It is lightweight, but has a very high strength to weight ratio. It is a hard wood, which means that it does not have any resin; however, it is very soft and can be carved easily. It offers a uniform gluing surface and is compatible with all synthetic resins.

Most people think of balsa for the manufacture of model airplanes, when in actual fact, 90 % of it goes into structural core materials.
Alcan Baltek is the source of a large family of high technology products used in some of the most advanced manufacturing technologies in the world.
Alcan Baltek applies proprietary processing expertise, which has been developed over nearly half a century.
Balsa combines many characteristics, which make it superior to man-made materials for a variety of applications.
Balsa sandwich structures have high impact and fatigue resistance, excellent flexural shear and bond strengths and an exceptional resistance to high temperature and fire.

Balsa provides superior sound and thermal insulation - due to its closed cells, which also contributes to preventing water migration across the cells.
During the 1980's, Alcan Baltek made decisions to expand its activities in the composite industry beyond their role of a balsa core supplier.
Laminated products were introduced with the trade names of DuraKore™, DecoLite®, GraphiKore® and EcoForm.
A core bonding adhesive with the trade name Baltek-Bond™ was also developed.
Two laminate bulker mats were added: Baltek®Mat and Coremat®.
In 1995, Alcan Baltek announced a cooperative marketing effort with Airex® AG for all of their structural core foam products adding the Airex® and Herex® and AirLite™ brand names.

In 1999, Alcan Baltek added BALTEK SL™ controlled density end-grain balsa core to the product line.
To meet the growing demand for products used in closed molding processes, in 2001 and 2002 we created GPS(tm), a special configuration of end-grain balsa and foam cores designed to optimize resin infusion technology, and added two products from Lantor BV, Soric® a non-woven infusion mat and Finishmat® to enhance surface cosmetics.

In the new millenium, Alcan Baltek has expanded production capacity and increased its value-added capabilities. We are continuously working to enhance our product line to meet the growing needs of our customers in all the world's markets.

About Company

ALCAN COMPOSITES CORE MATERIALS offers you many decades of broad experience not only from one company, but from two leading companies in the composite business. Alcan Airex, Switzerland and Alcan Baltek, U.S.A. provide you as ALCAN COMPOSITES CORE MATERIALS a unique range of core materials, great depth of knowledge and unmatched support.

It is all at your service in choosing just the right engineered materials for the product you are designing or building. We will not only assist you in making the right material choice without costly or time-consuming trial and error, we will also direct you to the best fabrication techniques.

Address: PO Box 195,Northvale, NJ 07647  City: Northvale      State:: Northvale
Contact:    Phone: (1) 201 767 1400      Fax:: (1) 201 387 6631
Website: http://www.baltek.com/  Email:
Registered: 29 July, 2006 06:38
Company Products: Bulker mats, DecoLite Panels, End Grain Balsa Core, Finishmat, KitKore, Structural foam Core
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