In line with its strategy of continued specialization, Kelheim Fibres GmbH, a leading producer of speciality viscose fibers, has reached an agreement with the bankrupt Finnish fiber company Avilon for the acquisition of knowhow and technology for the production of flame retardant viscose staple fibers, previously marketed under the Visil name. In the late 1990s, operating as Saeteri, Avilon pioneered the production of such fibers designed to meet the requirements in place for furnishings in the American market.
"The U.S. market has become dependent on supply of FR viscose fibers from China," says Matthew North, commercial director, Kelheim Fibres GmbH. "The agreement we have reached will allow us to finalize development of FR fibers based on the knowledge and experience of the historical market leader and offer a reliable, high-quality alternative to Asian sources."
Initial production trials at Kelheim with the support of Avilon technicians were completed successfully in April 2013 and the fibers are currently undergoing testing. It is expected that samples of the new fiber will be available for customer tests in early May 2013.