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Alexium Develops Polyester/Cotton FR Treatment, Begins Nycolon™ Production Trials

Australia- and Greer, S.C.-based specialty chemicals and solutions developer Alexium International Group Ltd. — holder of proprietary patent applications for Reactive Surface Treatment (RST) technology — has developed an eco-friendly flame-retardant (FR) treatment for polyester-cotton fabric blends. The development follows the launches of the company's FR treatments Ascalon™ for nylon and Nycolon™ for nylon/cotton blends. Alexium reports that in its preliminary development stages, the new FR treatment demonstrated performance similar to that of Nycolon.

"We are seeing the same no melt, no drip performance, excellent vertical flame test performance, and durability to launderings," said Robert Brookins, chief technology officer, Alexium. "We will continue to refine the treatment to address a broader list of customer applications and requirements."

Alexium also has announced that in mid-August, it will begin initial production trials for Nycolon, transitioning from the pilot demonstration stage to a scaled-up demonstration that will enable more extensive fabric testing and apparel prototyping for a variety of end-use applications. The production trials also will allow the company to deal with any technical production gaps before the full commercial rollout.

In other related news, Alexium Government Solutions LLC (AGS) — the company's U.S. affiliate dedicated to pursuing government-sponsored research and development contracts — earlier this year was awarded a $40,000 grant by the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) as part of the SC Launch Matching Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer grant program. The company is currently finishing Phase I of an SBIR contract with the U.S. Marine Corps that focuses on an FR treatment for standard nylon/cotton blend fabrics used in military combat uniforms. AGS also could receive an additional $70,000 in Phase I at the discretion of the U.S. Department of Defense. Following the completion of Phase I, AGS may be invited to participate in Phase II with additional funding of up to $1 million.

"We appreciate the support of SC Launch," said Stefan Susta, president, AGS, and COO, Alexium. "These funds will act as a catalyst to help us focus on key technical and commercial tasks to support the commercial rollout of Alexium's FR chemicals, as well as intellectual property protection."

August 6, 2013