TechFab changes name, forms alliance with Denso North America, expands C-GRID product line

TechFab, maker of structural reinforcing grids using carbon and other fibers, announced that it will now be known as Chomarat North America LLC. It also has formed a strategic alliance with Denso North America and expanded its product line.

TechFab LLC (Anderson, S.C.) announced on January 21 that the company has officially changed its name to Chomarat North America. Effective January 3, 2008, Chomarat North America will consolidate the ongoing operations and business activities of TechFab, LLC and Rovicore, LLC into a single corporate commercial entity. Bruce Hinton, former vice president and General Manager of TechFab, LLC, is now president of Chomarat North America. The respective sales, marketing and manufacturing teams for Chomarat North America will report to him.

In January 2007, Groupe Chomarat, based in Marciac, France, purchased the remaining 50 percent share of TechFab, which was formerly owned by Hexcel Reinforcements. The name change remains consistent with Groupe Chomarat's long-term strategy to continue to increase business in the global reinforcement industry by providing unique solutions to customer needs, coupled with outstanding customer focus and service.

Chomarat North America plans to expand the market for its innovative products, such as the revolutionary carbon fiber grid C-GRIDâ„¢, globally in 2008 by working with the industry's most influential leaders in reinforcement.

The name change announcement follows an announcement last week that the company has formed a strategic alliance partnership with Denso North America Inc. (Houston, Texas) to develop a proprietary system for strengthening deteriorated timber and concrete piles by combining the strength of TechFab's trademarked C-GRID carbon fiber grids with Denso's SeaShield pile jacketing systems.

The technical partnership will combine the advanced testing and development capabilities of both companies to create a revolutionary encapsulation system that not only protects timber and concrete piles from aggressive saltwater environments and marine borers, but also strengthens deteriorated piles with a durable, non-corrosive reinforcement. Lucian Williams, president of Denso North America Inc., remarked his company was excited to pilot the use of novel C-GRID reinforcement into a market and application that can truly benefit from the properties and use of carbon grid. John Carson, director of commercial development for TechFab, LLC commented that Denso is a market innovator, and TechFab is pleased to partner with them in this innovative application development initiative. TechFab and Denso will be exhibiting at World of Concrete in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 22-25, 2008. Visit TechFab at booth S13019 and Denso at booth S11551.

With facilities located throughout the U.S. and Canada, Denso North America Inc. is the original manufacturer of Petrolatum Tape, which protects buried steel pipelines from corrosion. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Winn & Coates International, Denso offers a full range of steel, concrete, and timber pile rehabilitation systems that include petrolatum systems, fiberglass jackets, nylon fabric forms, epoxy grouts, and other products. Denso's SeaShield Marine Systems provide the highest quality pile protection and are designed for long, maintenance-free service. These systems can be applied under water with minimal surface preparation. SeaShield's outer covers are high-impact resistant and UV stabilized.

TechFab, now Chomarat North America, also announced the addition of two new products to its highly successful C-GRID product line. The new products, identified as C50 – 3.5×4.0 and C50 – 2.2×2.2 join the C-GRID C50 series of carbon fiber grids. The products build on the experience of previous C50 series grids and are designed with larger openings to make it easier to place large aggregate concrete mixes where a lower strength, more economical product is needed. These products are expected to be quickly adopted by the construction community for use as reinforcement for concrete where corrosion resistance and crack control are desired. Like the rest of the C-GRID product line, these new products will be available in 500-yard rolls and in widths up to 102 inches. They are lightweight and can be easily trimmed to the desired dimensions in the field to accommodate the needs of any project.

The C50 – 3.5×4.0 carbon grids have been tested by AltusGroup for use in lightweight precast concrete architectural cladding panels. A wide variety of applications, including overlays and topping slabs, shotcrete repairs, and cast stone products are expected to take advantage of the C50 – 2.2×2.2 grids. To satisfy the demand of concrete artisans, the C50 – 2.2×2.2 will be marketed in short roll kits as CT400, joining the CT300 and CT550 kit series portfolio. CT400 will be sold in 41"x 25-yard rolls.

As part of TechFab's C-GRID product portfolio, these two new grids are further examples of TechFab's ability to design cost-effective composite reinforcement structures to meet the needs of concrete product producers. Both products are made using Zoltek Panex carbon fiber supplied by Zoltek Company (St. Louis, Mo.).

Headquartered in Anderson, S.C., TechFab, LLC manufactures adhesive bonded nonwoven scrims, scrim composites, carbon fiber C-GRID and MeC-GRID structural grids using fiberglass, polyester, aramid and other high performance fibers. Adhesive binder systems used by TechFab include PVC, Latex, SBR, urethanes, and epoxy thermoset resins.

Examples of applications for the company's products include cement and concrete reinforcement, roofing systems, high performance sail cloth, and infrastructure repair and rehabilitation products. The company is owned by Groupe Chomarat, a leading international producer of textiles and reinforcement solutions. TechFab, LLC is a founding member of AltusGroup.