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Advanced Fibre Technology is Newest Target for GE

13 May 2007

GE Plastics has installed a high-temperature melt spinning fibre line to evaluate materials and optimize process conditions for fibres with Ultem PEI and other high-temperature resins.

By optimizing the melt spinning process using its high-end materials, GE Plastics hopes to offer new options for manufacturers of fabrics and textiles that must comply with strict flame, smoke, and toxicity regulations.

“With the acquisition of specialized equipment for low-denier fibres, GE Plastics is entering a new industry where our materials will play an increasingly important and critical role,” said Rick Pontillo, general manager, Global Application Technology, GE Plastics. “As textile manufacturers face increasingly strict compliance requirements GE Plastics will help provide new fibre solutions featuring inherent flame retardance and excellent resistance to high heat and chemicals. We expect this capital investment to enable us to quickly develop new high performance fibre applications spanning global industry.”

The new melt spinning fibre line at GE Plastics can process resins at up to 450 C, enabling the use of materials such as GE’s Ultem and Extem1 resin grades. The equipment can produce continuous filaments at speeds up to 1,800 meters per minute, and is capable of in-line drawing of fibres. The melt spinning process involves feeding a polymer into a screw extruder, heating it to the molten state, and extruding it through a spinneret (die) with 144 small orifices. The new equipment can produce both low and high denier (6-10 dpf) fibres and is equipped for co-extrusion, further expanding GE’s processing capabilities.