GE Plastics has installed a high-temperature melt spinning fiber line supplied by Hills, Inc., at its world-class Polymer Processing Development Center (PPDC) in Pittsfield, MA. The new equipment, which will expand the capabilities of the company’s Global Application Technology (GApT) organization, will be used to evaluate materials and optimize process conditions for making low-denier (2 – 6 dpf) fibers with GE’s high performance, flame-retardant Ultem polyetherimide resin and other high-temperature resins. By optimizing the melt spinning process using its high-end materials, GE Plastics will be able to offer new options for manufacturers of fabrics and textiles that must comply with strict flame, smoke, and toxicity regulations.
The new melt spinning fiber line at GE Plastics can process resins at up to 450°C, enabling the use of next-generation materials such as GE’s Ultem and Extem resin grades. The equipment can produce continuous filaments at speeds up to 1800 meters per minute and is capable of in-line drawing of fibers. Fibers produced with Ultem and Extem resins are colorable and can be converted into staple fibers and filaments for use in woven and nonwoven applications.
GE recently agreed to sell its plastics unit to Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) for $11.6 billion. The transaction is subject to close during the third quarter of this year.