Johns Manville says its operation in Slovakia can supply European customers within one to four days.
Johns Manville says its operation in Slovakia can supply European customers within one to four days.

"The composite industry is growing again and we are convinced that current and future industry trends will continue to drive increasing demand for glass fibre products," states Enno Henze, senior vice president and general manager for JM Engineered Products Europe/Asia.

The furnace upgrade will support the launch of the next generation products for structural thermoplastic composites based on our new reactive sizing technology.
Enno Henze, senior vice president & general manager, JM Engineered Products Europe/Asia

“JM's commitment to growing the composites industry and to investment in the European region is based on the expectation that the EU will put in place effective measures against the dumping and anti-competitive subsidies of Chinese glass fibre producers, which is not a sustainable model,” he adds.

The rebuilt furnace is scheduled to start up in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Thermoplastic

The upgraded furnace will be able to support a number of JM products, including ThermoFlow® chopped glass fibre grades for polyamides (PA), PBT/PET and polypropylene (PP), and StarRov® LFT 490 roving for PP used in automotive, electrical and consumer applications.

At the JEC Europe 2014 trade show JM launched ThermoFlow 636, a new chopped strand glass fibre for PP, which is designed for automotive applications such as inlet manifolds and front-end carriers. 

Thermoflow 636 is said to provide a 10% improvement in tensile strength and impact resistance over standard short glass fibre chopped strands.

And thermoset ...

JM emphasises it is also committed to the thermoset composites market. Its latest product is a chopped strand glass fibre for use in bulk moulding compounds (BMC). StarStran® 862 has been designed to increase mechanical performance in higher glass loading applications.  

Henze reports that JM is also continuing to invest in its MultiStar® rovings for sheet moulding compound (SMC), spray-up and panel moulding. MultiStar 272, for example, is designed for non-painted parts where surface quality and durability are important criteria.

Johns Manville is owned by US company Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B).