Rogers Corp. announced that it has signed an agreement with PolyWorks Corp. of North Smithfield, RI, to license PolyWorks’ technology for molding Rogers’ industry-leading high performance foam brand, PORON microcellular polyurethanes, into three-dimensional shapes.

The agreement, finalized on November 2, 2010, stems from a multi-year joint development effort to adapt PolyWorks’ molding technology to PORON materials technology, enabling Rogers to expand its PORON urethane offerings beyond its traditional continuous sheet form. It calls for Rogers to acquire a custom molding machine from PolyWorks and a license to utilize PolyWorks’ technology for the molding of PORON formulations. The new line will be installed in Rogers’ Suzhou, China manufacturing campus to serve customers worldwide. It is expected to be operational in mid-2011. Until that time, PolyWorks will continue to manufacture the commercialized molded products on Rogers’ behalf.

PORON microcellular urethanes are typically used in applications requiring highly-consistent performance and protection under demanding conditions across a wide variety of markets, including electronics, automotive, industrial and consumer markets. The first commercial molded products, introduced earlier this year, are metatarsal guards for harsh-duty footwear shaped from one of Rogers’ latest innovations, PORON XRD impact protecting foam. Rogers will utilize this new capability to meet demand for more shapes and configurations of PORON urethanes to address needs for high performance cushioning and impact protection that comfortably conform to the human body for the sports, impact apparel and footwear markets.

Peter G. Kaczmarek, Senior Vice President of Rogers, commented, “Our customers have been looking for three-dimensional shapes with the great PORON cushioning performance properties for many years. Through our alliance with PolyWorks, we are now able to satisfy this growing need. We are excited about the opportunities this capability will provide, especially in the sports, leisure and impact apparel markets.”