Brains, Heart, Passion

The experts in materials and polymer science at work in our on-site laboratory are more than the brains behind our operation. They are its heart and soul — with a passion for innovation and the drive to see our customers and products succeed.

Highland has made significant investments in its people and equipment to provide a comprehensive, customizable mix of research, development, and testing services capable of meeting the specific needs of each customer.

When existing methods aren’t good enough, or where a customer has developed an internal method, we will work with our customer to clarify, prove, document, and implement new working procedures or protocols to suit.

A History of Discovery and Invention

The central place of R&D at Highland Composites descends from a long tradition of product development and continuous improvement at its parent, Highland Industries. Over seven decades, Highland has built a culture that prioritizes problem-solving through innovation, meticulous testing for constant quality control, and a belief that “good enough” is never good enough.

Many of the patentable products, finishing chemistries, and manufacturing processes used today were invented in-house to solve a customer need or push beyond existing limits of performance.

Product engineering at our parent company is led by a dedicated group with deep experience in science, engineering, and real-world manufacturing. Data traceability standards originally developed to comply with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense later proved useful for compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Automotive, Aerospace, and SCUBA industries.

Sparks of Genius

Working in a state-of-the-art laboratory at our facility in Statesville, NC, our research and development scientists are some of the most creative, dedicated experts in our industry – and some of the most well-rounded individuals in our operation.

R&D sits at the core of our value: where powerful creativity comes together with world-class technology to solve the toughest challenges our customers bring to us.

Process Engineering, Performance Modeling

Our state-of-the-art R&D lab includes specialized testing equipment that our researchers use on the path to solve problems that have long stymied our customers. Equipment includes:

  • Universal Mechanical Tester (Instron)
  • Torsion Tester
  • Viscometer
  • Barcole Impressor Hardness Tester
  • Profilometer
  • Coordinate Measuring Machine (7-axis)

Our investment in R&D equipment and expertise provides capabilities that include range from material characterization to product design, process design, quality control, and product certification.

While useful for pure research purposes, our scientists are typically focused on the practical needs of customers, and use our equipment to reverse engineer existing structural components, to design improvements to product and process, and to establish data to predict the performance of the composite structures produced by our proprietary, world-class braiding technology.