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Matrix’s $13m underwater composites order

Manufacturing News

Matrix Composites & Engineering has received a $13 million purchase order to supply a deepwater buoyancy system utilising the company’s innovative syntactic composite foam.

The riser buoyancy system will be used on a deep sea oceanographic research vessel in Japan which is involved in seep sea mining, deep sea research and subsea geological surveys.

Syntactic foam is a high strength, low density material generally formed by the binding together of hollow spheres in a polymer matrix, providing buoyancy deep undersea where pressures are extreme.

The company will begin manufacturing the system immediately at its Henderson facility (pictured), the world’s largest syntactic foam manufacturing facility which more usually manufactures buoyancy systems for the offshore oil and gas sector.

Matrix Chief Executive Officer Aaron Begley said the company was successfully leveraging its core riser buoyancy capabilities across a broader range of markets.

Begley said: “This order represents the largest the company has ever achieved outside the oil and gas sector.

“Our Henderson plant is operating at its busiest level since 2016 and we are chasing other near term opportunities that could continue to add significantly to our FY24 revenue and the longer term order book.”

Matrix has experience with buoyancy systems for oceanographic research vessels – it supplied one for Cosmos in 2020.

Matrix has now locked in $70 million of secured FY24 revenue for subsea projects alone, according to Begley.

“(This underpins) strong year on year growth.

“This does not include expected recurring revenue out of our corrosion technologies and advanced materials businesses, adding to the growth trajectory.”

The contract win underlines Matrix’s recovery from a sales slump during the Covid-19 pandemic, which spurred it to look for new markets for its composites.

Further reading:
Matrix emerges from Covid downturn
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Matrix Composites & Engineering here.

Picture: Matrix Composites & Engineering/Henderson facility

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