ORLANDO, FLA. — Alpha/Owens Corning LLC of Collierville, Tenn., is adding production capacity in Tennessee and Mexico, introducing fire-retardant products and realigning business management, Jerry Griffith, president and chief executive officer, said in a news conference at Composites '97.
In addition, AOC is forming a 50-50 joint venture in Durban, South Africa, with Sentrachem Ltd.'s unsaturated polyester resin NCS business unit.
AOC plans by 1999's first quarter to add annual capacity of 100 million pounds of unsaturated polyester resin at its Collierville plant. The firm claimed the equipment will include the largest reactor in the world.
The project will ``push the envelope for process control technology,'' said Randall Weghorst, executive vice president and chief operating officer. The Tennessee facility's total resin capacity will increase to 230 million pounds per year.
AOC Mexicana, a resin joint venture in Mexico City, is enlarging a reactor to boost production capacity to 40 million pounds of unsaturated polyester from 25 million pounds and installing process automation. Mexicana de Resinas SA de CV is the Mexican partner.
Once the expansions are completed, AOC and the venture will have North American capacity of 630 million pounds.
AOC added four new products, according to Reagan Stephens, who is both open-mold business manager and new-business manager. Two flame-retardant grades offer Class 1 flame spread ratings. An isophthalic polyester is offered for underground gasoline storage tanks. And a high-elongation vinyl ester aids bonding enhancement or formation of tougher laminates.
The company is targeting airline, consumer product and household applications, according to Stephens.
In a recent realignment, AOC named Mike Dettre to the new position of closed-mold business manager, Joe Simpson as business manager for distribution and Stephens to his positions.
Alpha Corp. of Collierville and Owens Corning of Toledo, Ohio, co-own Alpha/Owens Corning, which was formed in 1994.