CHICAGO — GLS Corp. (Booth N5473) has doubled the size of its McHenry, Ill., Thermoplastic Elastomers Division just over a year after moving to the new facility.
GLS now has 100,000 square feet of space at McHenry, said Walter Ripple, director of marketing, in an interview at the GLS booth. The firm was opening the new addition during the NPE show. He did not disclose the cost of the project, which was spurred by GLS's double-digit growth in sales, well above the TPE industry average of 6-8 percent per year, Ripple claimed.
The company will add more compounding extrusion equipment throughout 2000. Ripple said the McHenry facility now has four production lines, including a new one installed in November. GLS already had expanded capacity by 50 percent when it relocated to McHenry from Cary, Ill., in the first quarter of 1999.
GLS specializes in tailoring TPE to customer needs, although it also carries a line of stock products.
"We do a lot of custom-feel applications, such as silky or wet-grip properties," Ripple explained. Much of the firm's business is providing grip materials for consumer products ranging from toothbrushes and Gillette's Mach 3 razor to power tools and fishing equipment.
GLS is featuring an improved super-soft TPE at NPE. CL-2000, with 2 Shore A hardness, is available as a free-flowing pellet. Unlike earlier versions of the super-soft grade, CL 2000 is water-white rather than yellowish, allowing more color opportunities, including pearlescent and fluorescent pigments. The new grade also eliminates the slightly oily feel of the previous product.
Also new are Versalloy elastomer alloys for demanding environments. High-performance grades are available with Shore A hardness of 45-65, including a grade approved by the Food & Drug Administration with 55 Shore A hardness. The new alloys can be injection molded or extruded and resist chemicals and oils at elevated temperatures.