Eastman Chemical Co. has completed the expansion of production capabilities at its Saflex polyvinyl butyral (PVB) facility in Suzhou, China.

According to the company, this investment is a pro-active response to increased customer demand in the Asia-Pacific region. This expansion will allow Eastman to continue serving global customers’ needs in the region with shorter lead times. It is specifically focused on enhancing production capabilities and capacity for Eastman advanced acoustic interlayer products for use in laminated glass for architectural and automotive applications.

Eastman’s Suzhou site was established in 2007 to meet growing demand for PVB in automotive applications in Asia. In 2012, production capacity for both automotive and architectural PVB interlayers was added. The current expansion increases Eastman’s production capability for acoustic interlayers.

“Eastman is very excited to establish acoustic interlayer capabilities at our Suzhou facility,” says Heather Singler, global automotive director for Eastman advanced materials segment advanced interlayers products. “With this investment, Eastman is further strengthening our ability to serve glass laminators and supply the increasing demand for high performance, high quality products for the Asia-Pacific region. Eastman remains committed to manufacturing, technology and innovation investments to support the future needs of the automotive industry.”

Acoustic PVB interlayers from the Suzhou site will be available for customer qualification and use in the fourth quarter of 2018.