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GE commercializes new fiber technology based on high-performance

Jun '07
GE Plastics, in partnership with Fiber Innovation Technology Inc (FIT), has commercialized a new fiber technology based on GE's high-performance, flame-retardant Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin in the United States.

This new fiber is an excellent candidate material for textiles and nonwovens used in aircraft interiors and other applications requiring compliance with strict flame, smoke, and toxicity regulations.

Currently, FIT can produce up to 10 million pounds/year of 6-denier per filament yarns and staple fibers from GE's Ultem 9011 resin using a state-of-the-art melt-spinning conversion line especially designed to handle high-temperature resins.

Further, the two companies are continuing joint development of smaller-denier fibers using a similar melt-spinning line recently installed at GE's Polymer Processing Development Center (PPDC) located here.

Brad Willingham, president of FIT, said, “Fiber based on GE's Ultem resin offers our customers a unique value proposition including inherent flame retardance and practically limitless dyeing possibilities that expands design freedom."

"Another benefit of this material is familiarity it's based on a resin that has been used widely in the transportation industry for many years. Our ongoing partnership with GE Plastics will help customers produce attractive, high-performance woven and non-woven textiles to meet current and future requirements.”

One of FIT's customers, JPS Composite Materials Corp, has successfully woven the new filament yarn based on GE's Ultem 9011 resin into a woven fabric. JPS selected the fiber yarn because of its inherent flame, smoke, and toxicity performance and proven track record in the aerospace industry. In addition to aerospace, JPS has targeted several other markets transportation, ballistics, and filtration for the yarn and is working with a number of end customers.

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