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Lead-acid battery fiber firm Cellusuede expands product range with buy-out

Fri, 10/30/2020 - 11:31 -- Paul Crompton

Lead-acid battery pasting fiber supplier Cellusuede Products has expanded its capabilities as a precision short-cut fiber supplier with the 100% buy out of fellow US company Engineered Fibers Technology (EFT). 

The move follows the Illinois-based Cellusuede acquiring a 20% stake in the precision short-cut fibers firm in 2014 as part of a strategic partnership related to new application and market development. 

A company statement said the move would ‘catapult the company’ into new technical markets while entrenching it further into existing markets as a first quality partner to our customer base. 

Cellusuede, an employee-owned company (ESOP), will leverage EFT’s capabilities to grow its business in energy storage markets, automotive applications, and additive manufacturing. 

Eric Honkamp, Cellusuede's sales manager, told BEST: "I think the way to look at the aquisition is how this will change battery manufacturers’ interest in Cellusuede?

"I cannot go into specifics as there are certain NDA’s in place, however, Cellusuesde/EFT’s capabilities and offerings to the battery markets have increased to include precision short-cut carbon fiber and EFTec specialty Nanofibrillated Fiber.

"In regard to our precision short-cut carbon fiber, there is electrochemical R&D testing being completed with select lead-acid battery manufacturers and engineering firms both large and small."

The company's EFTec product is used in the production of lithium-ion battery separators made by Soteria Battery Group, which is developing a solution to prevent thermal runaway in the batteries.

Andy Honkamp, president and CEO of Cellusuede, became the president of EFT following the deal in August. 

Bob Evans, founder, and former managing director of EFT will stay on in a technical consulting role, and Dave Merrill, former sales and marketing director for EFT, will remain in a sales and customer service support role. 

EFT will continue operations in Shelton, Connecticut, US.