ORLANDO, Fla.—Bellofram Silicones Inc. has received a certification from the National Sanitation Foundation, allowing it to introduce four families of silicones into the food and beverage industry.
Bellofram Operations Manager Matthew Wingertsahn—speaking at the Gasketing Converting Expo on April 6 in Orlando—said the firm released two closed cell silicone sponges and two dense silicones, one for molding and one for extrusion applications. The four lines are qualified for use in all food contact applications.
The certification covers direct contact in the food industry, which Wingertsahn said is the most stringent.
“We just went for it all,” he said.
“We always had one foot in the door with our food service customers. We needed this certification in order to be able to sell deeper into that customer base. It's something we wanted to explore.”
Wingertsahn said Bellofram currently sells to original equipment manufacturers who use steam gaskets on steam ovens. The four new lines will bring opportunities beyond that for Bellofram in addition to allowing the firm to participate at more trade shows.
Bellofram's molded business accounts for about 25 percent of its total. Wingertsahn said the Food & Drug Administration portion of that is about 6 percent and the company is looking to expand that. The firm operates out of a facility in Newell, W.Va., which was expanded by 40,000 square feet in 2014.
In addition to food service, it sells into the industrial lighting, insulation tubing, medical, aerospace and defense industries, among others.
“The way we look at ourselves as special is we get into niche markets,” Wingertsahn said. “This is a relatively small niche compared to aerospace and industrial lighting, but it's big enough that we wanted to compliment the existing product set that we have.”