CRANFORD, N.J. — All that glitters is gold at Glitterex Corp.
The 36-year-old Cranford firm is one of the largest glitter makers in the United States and isn't done growing. The firm will complete a 20,000-square-foot warehouse expansion this summer, bringing the total size of its plant to almost 60,000 square feet.
Glitterex's big seller is Polyflake, a glitter cut from PET film, which accounts for more than half of total sales, according to Roger Ertle, the firm's vice president of marketing. Small amounts of glitter also are made from PVC and polypropylene.
Glitterex's slitters and slicers can cut squares as small as two-thousandths of an inch. They also cut glitter into rectangle and hexagon shapes.
Big Polyflake markets include fabric, flooring, wallpaper and toys. Most PVC-based glitter is sold into the arts-and-crafts market.
Ertle added the company has enjoyed a 12 percent growth rate in recent years.
In most cases, Glitterex can provide custom color matching on Polyflake a few hours after an order is placed. Glitterex uses only virgin materials in its glitter production. Ertle claims some manufacturers use discarded or reprocessed materials.
Ironically, plastic glitter can't be used in plastic parts, since it can't survive the temperatures necessary for injection molding and other processes. In plastic uses, which make up about 10 percent of Glitterex's sales, aluminum-based glitter, sold under the Aluflake brand name, is used.
Aluflake gives outdoor furniture a granitelike appearance, which has proved popular in recent years. Other rising applications include flowerpots and mugs.
``Plastics is definitely an area of expansion for us,'' said Ertle, who declined to release specific sales or production totals. ``Aluflake can really withstand high temperatures, so it's very forgiving in a lot of injection molded applications.''
Glitterex, which custom builds its own machinery, employs a total of 45 in Cranford and at a coating facility in Belleville, N.J.
Before moving to Cranford in 1993, the firm's original production center was the Belleville plant.