BGF & belChem Fiber Materials Celebrate Milestone

BGF and BELCHEM Celebrate Milestone

May 11, 2011

GREENSBORO, NC BGF Industries, Inc. and belChem Fiber Materials, GmbH, announce the celebration of a milestone in their ten year strategic partnership to supply Belcotex® fiber for the North American Markets. The occasion will be marked at the Techtextile trade show in Frankfurt, Germany later this month.

The partnership began ten years ago as BGF was seeking a new fiber for high temperature applications in the automotive, aluminum, and refractory markets. Belchem’s owner, Dr. Robin Richter, was looking for partners in the US to market a new fiber called Belcotex® which is a high temperature fiber superior to silica. Principals from both companies met and after a period of qualification and testing, the fiber proved to be well-suited for BGF‘s markets and manufacturing operations – and the rest is history.

“What has been a very fruitful relationship for both our companies started out on a somewhat ominous tone,” said John Forsythe, Market Manager for BGF Industries. “I’ll never forget it. We invited Dr. Richter to Greensboro to make a presentation to our sales and marketing group. This group convenes on a bi-annual basis and the date was September 11, 2001. Let’s just say that Robin was stuck in Greensboro a bit longer than he had planned,” Forsythe said.

But as often happens, tragic situations can result in a beneficial outcome. Dr. Richter added, “Since I was delayed in my return to Germany due to the airports being closed, I used our time to further outline our business strategy and develop new friendships with the people at BGF. I believe the additional time we spent together helped strengthen and solidify our partnership,” continued Richter.

A new product that has emerged from the BGF/belChem collaboration is a high temperature mat called SilcoSoft®. SilcoSoft is a nonwoven mat made of belChem’s Belcotex® fiber that can withstand temperatures as high as 2000°F. SilcoSoft is now an integral component of catalytic converters, heat shields, and for specialized refractory applications.

“The innovation continues today“, said Dr. Richter. “Development and problem-solving are on-going between belChem and BGF and we look forward to many years of growth and prosperity for both our companies. Our partnership is a splendid example of the successful cooperation of American & European companies and we are thankful for the strong relationships we have developed over the past ten years.”
BGF Industries, headquartered in Greensboro, NC, USA is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of technical textiles for the Insulation, Aerospace, Marine, Electronics, Filtration and Protective industries, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porcher Group of Badinieres, France.

Belchem, headquartered in Freiberg, Germany is a fiber technology company producing inorganic fibers and yarns for technical textiles, nonwovens and fiber reinforced composites for heat and fire protection for man and machinery, automotive insulation and thermal insulation in factories and buildings.

For more information, contact:
John Forsythe, BGF Industries: jforsythe@bgf.com
Robin Richter, belChem: rrichter@belchem.de