Morrison Molded Fiber Glass Co. plans to build a pultrusion plant about 25 miles from its Bristol, Va., headquarters and plant. The firm announced it will spend about $5 million to acquire land in Abingdon, Va., build the plant and equip it with pultrusion machinery. It plans a late 1996 start-up for the facility, which will make ladder rails, tool handles and other composite pultrusions.
Glenn Barefoot, the firm's marketing manager, said the 350,000-square-foot Bristol facility is at capacity and cannot expand because it is hemmed in by highways and rail lines. Abingdon will have about 100,000 square feet of space and eventually employ about 200.
The state of Virginia will provide a $250,000 economic development grant. The Abingdon facility also qualifies for property tax abatement and other incentives.
Morrison also has pultrusion operations in Bristol, and Chatfield, Minn., Barefoot said in a telephone interview. It makes pultrusion machinery for its own use in Bristol, and for sale to other pultruders at a facility in Twinsburg, Ohio. Its polymer concrete division, based in Lanore City, Tenn., also has a plant in San Jose, Calif.
Barefoot said polymer concrete is a mixture of unsaturated polyester resin, glass fiber and aggregates. Applications include corrosion-resistant panels for tunnel and bridge overlays, drain systems and utility boxes. It has higher compression strength than conventional concrete and allows 30 percent thinner sections.
Morrison's pultruded products include window components, gratings, oil field products, cooling tower parts, arrow shafts and auto drivetrain components. It employs more than 1,000.
The firm was awarded $200,000 early this year by the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop pultruded shapes for heavy-load applications such as bridge girders.