Following up on the post from last week about Hanesbrands/Element 21’s Champion aerogel jacket that was used in Jamie Clarke’s successful ascent of Mt. Everest, an AP story indicates that the superinsulating Supersuit jacket may be in stores soon, and that Aspen Aerogel – the source of the insulation in the jacket – business is growing well enough that it plans to double the size of one of its facilities.
From the AP:
Champion parent Hanesbrands and Element 21, a Toronto company that licensed the aerogel technology, have spent two years and $2 million to solve those problems. If they succeed, they might have a competitor to insulators such as Thinsulate and Primaloft.
[. . . ]
The company wants to push aerogel into even more mainstream applications, including mass-market Champion gear set to be sold at Target and other stores sometime next year. Hanes spokesman Matt Hall said any Champion item developed containing aerogel would be “significantly under $100.”
The story goes on to note that Aspen has outgrown a fairly new $30 million, 150,000 square foot plant in East Providence, R.I.:
Aspen, based in Northborough, Mass., lowered costs by opening up to new industrial markets, making its manufacturing more efficient by improving chemistry and lowering costs for its raw material. It has also expanded manufacturing, opening a plant in Rhode Island in 2008. It now plans to double the plant’s size.