Gibson Enterprises, a U.S. fiberglass company based in Irwindale, Calif., plans to release a new product E6 Enhanced Glass Fiber (PDF) in full stream by the first quarter of 2010. Gibson is working with Chinese manufacturer Jushi Group to roll out this new product, and according to the them, E6 has a much lower carbon footprint than traditional E-glass fiber. The manufacturing process requires less energy than normal E-glass and reduces total waste gas emissions. E-glass primarily is used for glass-reinforced plastics.

E6 Enhanced Glass Fiber is currently being produced in trial quantities. Besides the environmental benefits, they companies are touting their enhanced E6’s improved elastic moduls, temperature resistance, acid corrosion resistance and improved mechanical properties including shear strength and compressive strength. “The enhanced physical properties of E6 will benefit composite applications with higher strength demands such as wind energy, high pressure pipe, and sucker rods,” says Joe Peng, president of Gibson Fiberglass.

According to Zhang Yuqiang, head of Jushi Group, they believe that the wind energy market will eventually comprise 12 percent of his company’s total sales

The manufacturing process is believed to have a much lower carbon footprint than traditional E-glass fiber. The company claims there is a 90 percent reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxide compounds and an 80 percent reduction in waste gas emissions. Particulate emissions are also greatly reduced.

According to company officials, $1.5 million is being spent in 2009 on research and development to improve glass fiber performance in thermoset and thermoplastic composite applications.