Haydale, the global advanced materials group, announces new market opportunities for HCT, the Group’s US based producer of proprietary Silicon Carbide (‘SiC’) micro-fibre.

SiC micro-fibre has been marketed and sold by HCT for a number of years. Since Haydale’s acquisition of HCT in October 2016, HCT has been working to significantly broaden its list of customers and product offering, initially targeting the US paint anti-corrosion powder coating market. Haydale is pleased to report that a global leader in pipe coatings has continued to purchase monthly quantities of SiC micro-fibres from HCT which, at the end of April 2018, amounted to sales in excess of US$200,000 for the six months previous. HCT understands that the global customer is incorporating HCT’s SiC into their epoxy-based coatings in order to improve the scratch, wear and corrosion resistance of ferrous structures, an important industry wide issue. As a result of increased demand, HCT has recently begun a new production run of SiC micro-fibres to ensure sufficient quantities are available to meet the ongoing contracted deliveries and the anticipated future demand from this new market.

In addition, HCT has been developing opportunities within the ceramic matrix composites market where HCT’s SiC micro fibre is currently undergoing evaluation with a multi-national oil and gas major as part of its advanced testing of the product as a strength enhancer for the catalysts used in its existing petrochemical production process. Whilst there can be no guarantees at this stage that either of these two new market opportunities for HCT’s SiC will develop into recurring revenue streams, we are pleased that HCT is starting to generate traction with substantial businesses in these new markets.

June 2018 is a significant sales month for HCT and its SiC micro-fibre with contracted sales of circa US$0.9 million due for delivery. The delivered product will be used by its customers who incorporate it into aluminium oxide to produce hard-edged ceramic cutting tools, principally for non-USA markets. As announced in March 2018, HCT has successfully launched its own newly developed SiC hard-edged cutting tool product as a strategy to grow its revenues and profit by moving Haydale up the value chain and increase its gross profit margins. HCT’s product is currently being manufactured by third-party contractors but HCT is pleased to announce that it is investing US$1.5 million in its own ceramic cutting tools manufacturing capabilities in its South Carolina facility to address this growing market opportunity. The first equipment is scheduled for delivery in the summer and the new product will incorporate the SiC micro-fibre already being produced in the same facility. This strategic move is being driven by growth in demand from the aerospace industry for jet engines, which uses ceramic cutting tools in its manufacturing process. Once the equipment is fully operational, Haydale would expect to be able to re-finance the equipment from traditional asset- backed lending institutions to repay the Group’s investment in the project.

Ray Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer of Haydale, commented: “The lead times to grow the ceramic customer base demanded that we widened our portfolio in what was initially a relatively restricted market. The new range of SiC uses in anti-corrosion and coatings for the oil and gas industry has started to grow the Company’s product sales and introduced Haydale to additional markets. The Group looks to maximise sales opportunities through removing existing supply side problems and offering finished product to order which will also capitalise on increased margins.”