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Bellofram Silicones to expand West Va. facility

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Staff members of Bellofram Silicones
Photo by RPN photo by Chris Sweeney Staff members of Bellofram Silicones, from left, Daniel Byrne, Matthew Wingertsahn and Tom Ramsey showcase the company's products in Orlando. The firm is expanding its facility in Newell, W.Va., by 40,000 square feet.

ORLANDO, Fla.—Bellofram Silicones Inc. is expanding its only facility in North America by 40,000 square feet and released a new product to the market in March.

The firm said at the 2014 Gasketing and Converting Expo in Orlando that the expansion to its Newell, W.Va., facility will be utilized as additional warehouse space. Investment details were not disclosed, but Matthew Wingertsahn—operations manager for the silicones division—said the expansion is expected to be finished in the summer.

The expansion is just the latest investment at the Newell site. Wingertsahn said two years ago the firm added a sponge extrusion line, increasing its total to three. Bellofram Silicones also upgraded its lab and added a pressure transfuser during that span.

“Right now, we have all the equipment needed to validate what we need for customers,” he said.

Bellofram Silicones just released a fluorosilicone sponge sheet. Wingertsahn said it's the only one on the market that can be manufactured up to an inch thick, saying comparable products are only produced at 3/16th of an inch.

The product earned AMS 3323 approval, which is a specification for fluid resistance, according to Wingertsahn. It took two years to develop and was introduced in March.

“Anywhere there is high or low heat is the area our product fits,” Sales Manger Tom Ramsey said. “It's very economical as compared to the specialty woven gaskets. Even if you don't have extreme temperature environments, this silicone material has been shown to be useful for 20 to 30 years at ambient temperatures.”

Bellofram Silicones is an industry supplier that specializes in molded and extruded silicone profiles, offering closed-cell silicone sponge and dense silicones. The firm also produces organic molded parts.

Wingertsahn said Bellofram has the only high consistency closed cell silicone sponge sheet on the market.

“If you have a gasket that you want to put in place, set it, and forget it, this is the material to use,” Ramsey said.

Most of the company's business comes from a dual-durometer seal it sells to an automotive company that uses it as a sunroof seal sold to Ford and Chevy. Wingertsahn said that comprises about 50 percent of Bellofram Silicone's business.

The company serves a variety of other industries, primarily industrial lighting, food service and aerospace. Bellofram Silicones is part of the Marsh Bellofram Group of Companies. Marsh Bellofram spun off MTI Global Silicones Inc. into Bellofram Silicones when it bought the business from MTI in 2010.