Demand for fiberglass technical fabrics is growing in Brazil, driven by the success of wind blade fabricators based in the region. Wind blades made in Brazil are used in the local wind power market and also exported.
“This latest expansion to our fabric knitting capacity highlights our strategy to support market growth and emphasizes our commitment to help our Latin America customers grow and succeed both locally and globally,” said Beth Rettig, OCV™ Technical Fabrics general manager, Americas.
OCV™ Reinforcements and OCV™ Technical Fabrics provide material to Brazil’s leading producers of blades for the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers. The businesses serve the market from two facilities in the state of Sao Paulo – one making knitted fabrics and the other the company’s patented Advantex® glass fiber reinforcements. Advantex® glass technology brings world-class energy efficiency and emissions control to glass fiber production while providing unique product benefits including corrosion resistance and high strength.
The company has produced fiberglass reinforcements in Brazil for many years. In July 2006, it established the first facility for technical fabrics, including woven, stitched and knitted products. Fabric capacity was doubled in 2007, and in 2008 the company moved the operations to a new facility and doubled capacity again.
Technical fabrics are used in several key industries but primarily in the wind energy market to meet rising demand for renewable, alternate energy sources such as wind power, which can benefit Latin America in terms of economic development.
Wind energy power generation is quickly developing on a global scale. In Latin America, Brazil at present has the largest installed capacity of wind energy power generation. It offers the greatest potential, along with Argentina, where wind-based energy has been attracting significant attention as an economically viable source of electric power generation. In the country’s southern Patagonian provinces, there are consistently strong westerly winds. To the north, the Mexico Renewable Energy Program promotes the development of alternate energy sources. Mexico has good locations and wind resources offering the potential to produce significant renewable energy substituting more than half of the fossil fuel utilized at present.
Owens Corning is a leading global producer of glass fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems and residential and commercial building materials. A Fortune 500 company for 55 consecutive years, Owens Corning is committed to driving sustainability through delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives. Founded in 1938, Owens Corning had sales of $6 billion in 2008 and about 16,000 employees in 30 countries. OCV™ Reinforcements, OCV™ Technical Fabrics and OCV™ Non-Woven Technologies are the three main business units that make up the Owens Corning Composite Solutions Business. The business delivers a broad range of reinforcement products that provide lightweight alternatives to steel, wood and aluminum, thereby reducing weight and improving energy efficiency. Additional information is available at www.owenscorning.com.