Solutia creates dedicated thin-film materials division

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chemicals company Solutia, Inc. has set up a dedicated business unit to
supply the thin-film photovoltaics manufacturing sector with its
‘Saflex’ polyvinyl butyral (PVB) encapsulation materials. Solutia said
that it was also increasing PVB capacity at span production sites in
Belgium, China, Mexico and the United States.

“As energy demand and public policy drive the rapid adoption of renewable energy, the global market for thin-film solar panels is growing at a rate of 40% per year,” said Jeffry N. Quinn, Chairman, President and CEO of Solutia Inc. “Our Saflex business is the world’s leading producer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer, which is emerging as the encapsulant of choice in the thin-film solar panel market. Within the next 7-10 years, our Saflex business expects to build photovoltaic into a third major market, which will be comparable in size to its traditional architectural and automotive markets.”

“While the world market for PVB is tight, we expect to sell an increasing amount of Saflex PVB interlayer to photovoltaic customers,” said Luc De Temmerman, Senior Vice President of Solutia, Inc. and President of Saflex, the new division being created. “Importantly, we will continue to invest in PVB capacity and technology to meet the growing demands of our current and future customers across the architectural, automotive, and photovoltaic markets.” 

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