Avora® Plus FR to Raise the Bar for KoSa Fibers Worldwide

November 30, -0001

Charlotte, NC (USA) - KoSa will introduce its next-generation of FR fiber to the global hospitality and contract fabric trade under the name of Avora®Plus FR, according to Frank Trammell, sales manager, Polyester Textile Filament, and Suzette McHugh, Avora®FR marketing manager, in an exclusive interview with F&FI in KoSa''s regional headquarters in Charlotte. For the first time KoSa will be able to market Avora Plus for the same applications as Trevira CS®, the only other widely specified inherent FR polyester.

"We are assuming a leadership role in the FR contract business with the introduction of Avora Plus fabrics, utilizing KoSa''s higher performance yarn," Trammell said.

Kosa, a leader in the polyester industry, is a global producer of commodity and specialty polyester fibers, polymers, and intermediates. The company has 15 manufacturing plants in five countries and employs approximately 8,000 people.

Until now, Trevira CS has had the high-performance inherent FR polyester fabric playing field to itself, primarily outside the U.S.A. in the European market. Seasoned industry observers say the competition will be interesting.

KoSa''s FR yarn development is used to produce Avora Plus fabrics. While KoSa produces the yarn only, it monitors its customers in order to certify that fabric woven by them will pass the appropriate level of FR testing before it can wear the Avora Plus nametag.

"All of our customers'' Avora Plus fabrics will be checked on a spot basis as is the case with current Avora FR programs," said McHugh, who has 22 years'' experience with KoSa and its predecessor companies, including Hoechst Celanese. The first Avora Plus fabrics will be shown at KoSa''s booth #3230 at Hospitality Design 2002 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, May 2-4.

"KoSa''s high performance FR yarns will be sold to direct customers, namely weavers and knitters by mid-year," said Trammell. "Further, Avora Plus fabrics should significantly expand KoSa''s polyester market share of what is projected to be a 40 million pound FR fibers market worldwide. This product adds to our FR lineup, which includes yarns that are cationically dyeable, in bright lusters, and are available in POY (partially oriented yarn), friction-textured, air-textured, and flat varieties."

"Avora FR passes some but not all IMO standards. For many domestic applications in the U.S.A., Avora is suitable. For example, it passes NFPA 701," said Trammell. "Until now, it was the only fiber KoSa marketed to the domestic hotel/motel industry. In order to pass the most stringent FR standards worldwide, we needed a higher level yarn and that''s why we are introducing Avora Plus for the world market."

"Fabrics certified as Avora Plus are expected to pass the most stringent flammability standards in North America, Europe, and the rest of the world, including IMO, public transportation, and healthcare standards," said Trammell.

"As a result of the Avora Plus introduction, our North American customers will be able to export inherently flame resistant Avora Plus fabrics worldwide. In addition, Avora Plus expects to find a new market with European weavers that will also meet the highest standards," Trammell said.

KoSa is owned 100 percent by privately-held Koch Industries, Inc., which bought out its only partner, IMASAB S.A. de C.V. of Mexico City in November 2001. F&FI

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