Silicone and Polyamide Foams offer low densities.

Press Release Summary:



Featuring closed-cell nature, development-grade Polyamide Foam offers density of less than 30 kg/m³, making it suited for automotive, industrial, and offshore sectors. Offering extreme temperature and FST performance, ultra-low density Silicone Foam is manufactured with density of less than 50 kg/m³. It is targeted at aviation, aerospace, public transportation, and military sectors for sealing, thermal, and acoustic insulation applications.



Original Press Release:



Zotefoams plc Announce Two New Products: Ultra-Low Density Silicone and High Performance Polyamide Foams



SURREY, England, November 22

- Adds a commercial update following the launch of ZOTEK(R)F 30

Following the recent presentations at K2004 International Plastics Trade Fair, Zotefoams plc (TK: ZTF.L), the world's leading manufacturer of cross-linked polyolefin block foam, today announces two new products of ultra-low density silicone and high performance polyamide foam. In addition, the company provides a commercial update on its ZOTEK(R) F 30 which was launched in early 2004.

High Performance Polyamide Foam
At K2004, the company introduced development grade polyamide (nylon) foam. Zotefoam's polyamide has been foamed to a density of less than 30 kg/m3, compared with existing foams which are limited to approximately 700kg/m3. Its closed cell nature and ultra-low density make it unlike any other polyamide foam available.

These results have stimulated interest in the automotive, industrial and offshore sectors where polyamide solid materials are widely used and the hydrocarbon and higher temperature performance would offer a superior alternative to other foams currently used.

Ultra-low density Silicone Foam
Also at K2004, the company introduced development grade silicone foam. Silicone foams are well known for their excellent extreme temperature and exceptional FST (Flame Smoke & toxicity) performance, but existing technology limits their ability to reduce density much below 120 kg/m3 for closed cell materials and 80 kg/m3 for open cell materials.

These foams are manufactured with a density of less than 50 kg/m3, 60% lighter than previously possible. This ultra-low density makes it unlike any other silicone foam available. This has already stimulated interest in aviation, aerospace, public transportation and military sectors for sealing, thermal and acoustic insulation applications.

Launch of ZOTEK(R)F 30 to customers and commercial update
Following the launch of the ZOTEK(R) F foam earlier this year evaluation, testing, application engineering and product qualification has taken place in many industries.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration of the USA) has adopted upgraded flammability standards for thermal and acoustic insulation materials used in transport category airplanes. This includes a new test that addresses flame propagation; the Radiant Panel Test (FAR 25.856(a), Appendix F, part VI). Current standards do not realistically address situations in which thermal and acoustic insulation materials may contribute to propagation of a fire and the FAA is aware of at least six events in which the flammability characteristics of such materials may have contributed to fires.

From September 2005 thermal and acoustic insulation material installed in the fuselage of airplanes, with a passenger capacity of 20 or greater, must comply with this new flammability rule. Zotefoams has been at the forefront of development of compliant materials resulting in Zotefoams plc achieving approved supplier status at a major aircraft manufacturer. Initial orders for ZOTEK(R) F 30, which meets the requirements of this newly introduced Radiant Panel Test, have already been received in small quantities and we expect the number of applications and the rate of orders to increase as the mandatory date for compliance approaches.

Enquiries, evaluation and application engineering continues in many other sectors, particularly building & construction, semiconductor and chemical processing industries. During the recent K2004 International Plastics Trade Fair in Germany, the company passed an important milestone with over 500 enquiries relating to the ZOTEK(R) F range.

David Stirling, Managing Director of Zotefoams, commented: "Our strategy of leveraging Zotefoams' unique technology is beginning to show results with ZOTEK(R) F 30 attracting widespread interest from business across multiple sectors. We believe that the company is entering a new era where such products can contribute significantly to sales and profitability for our business.

"In addition, we are pleased to have launched two new products at the recent K2004 international plastics trade fair. Silicones are top of the range engineering foams and the market is growing quickly. Entry into this market will provide Zotefoams with a significant opportunity to accelerate growth. Our ultra-low density product exceeds the expectations of customers currently using existing silicone foams and will give the company an opportunity to quickly gain market share.

"Similarly, our polyamide foam product offers improved performance at high temperatures and this combined with the ability to thermoform easily and the chemical resistance offers potential customers a unique product."

The materials shown at K2004 are currently under technical development. Plans exist to move these to plant scale during 2005. Announcements are expected early in 2005 regarding commercial availability and will be posted at siliconefoam.com.

Zotefoams will be issuing a trading update for its overall business in early December 2004.

Zotefoams plc is the world's leading manufacturer of cross-linked polyolefin block foams. Its products are used in a wide range of markets, including sports and leisure, packaging, transport, healthcare, toys, building, marine and the military.

Through a unique production process, Zotefoams produces foams which have controllable properties and are of a strength, consistency, quality and purity superior to foams produced by other methods. Zotefoams' strategy is to create sustained profit growth by expanding its sales internationally and by broadening its potential market with new unique products.

Enquiries: Zotefoams, David Stirling, Managing Director, +44-(0)208-664-1608; Financial Dynamics, Deborah Scott, +44-(0)207-831-3113

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