Gibson Enterprises Inc., a U.S. fiberglass company, in conjunction with Tongxiang-based manufacturer Jushi Group Co. Ltd., plans to release a new product that the companies hope will help blunt some of the impact of the global financial crisis.
E6 Enhanced Glass Fiber is expected to be in full production by the first quarter of 2010.
E-glass is the most common kind of fiberglass and is used primarily for glass-reinforced plastics. E6 will offer improved properties such as increased strength, elastic modulus, temperature resistance and acid-corrosion resistance. This will help the material meet requirements for an expanding range of demanding applications, said Zhang Yuqiang, chairman and president of Jushi.
Zhang announced the new product during a news conference at the company's 15th international Friendship Conference, a three-day annual event hosted at the Jushi fiberglass factory in Tongxiang.
With this product, we can offer a longer service life and a wider scope of applications, Zhang said.
The product was developed at the Tong- xiang factory and is currently being manufactured on a small scale.
This innovation is the culmination of nearly three years of development by [the] Jushi plant's science and technology group, said Joe Peng, president of Irwindale, Calif.-based Gibson Enterprises.
According to the partners, increased corrosion resistance will improve the performance of E6 composites in applications including environmental control devices and chemical, oil and desalination process pipes and tanks.
Composites based on E6 also will have improved mechanical properties including shear strength and compressive strength, which could help expand the use of high-performance composites in wind-energy applications, high-pressure vessels, geo grids, and chemical process pipes.
Wind is a particularly important target market for the company, according to Zhang.
Wind-energy products are increasingly important, he said. We hope the wind-energy market will eventually comprise 12 percent of our company's total sales.
In addition to opening up new markets and applications, E6 offers an important additional advantage. It has a much lower carbon footprint than traditional E-glass fiber. The manufacturing process requires less energy than normal E-glass and reduces total waste-gas emissions from the furnace by 80 percent.
With its introduction, Jushi and Gibson hope to improve their market shares in existing applications while they move into new areas. Expansion is understood to be the increase of sales numbers, Zhang said. People don't realize that expansion can also happen with improved technology.
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