FunderMax and Johns Manville Launch m.look at BAU 2013 in Munich

m.look is a joint development of FunderMax (a leading specialist for wood based products and laminates) and Johns Manville (a specialist for glass fiber nonwovens). m.look is a revolutionary facade panel, fulfilling all requirements for fire class A2 (specifically: “Baustoffklasse A2-sq, d0”), while continuing to offer the full variety of decors for which FunderMax is known in the market. In this way, m.look opens new dimensions for design freedom in areas where this was unthinkable before. These corporate partners utilized the construction show BAU 2013 in Munich in mid-January as a platform to showcase this product innovation to interested professionals.

During the new product development stage, the partners replaced the cellulose-based papers that are utilized in current compact panels with a non-inflammable alternative. Technical and economical evaluations have shown that glass fiber nonwovens offer the best solution for this quest. The companies’ European organizations, as well as the Johns Manville Technical Center in Littleton, CO (USA), were responsible for this project.

FunderMax brought its long-standing competencies for sophisticated resin recipe developments to the impregnation of the core glass mat layers, which was crucial for the fire retardant properties of the product. FunderMax developed unique resins that are capable of withstanding the most-severe tests for alternating climatic environments.

Johns Manville, in turn, was responsible for the development of special functional layers made out of glass fiber nonwovens. For this purpose, whole sequences of the manufacturing process had to be re-designed. Process modules had to be re-adjusted.  This resulted in glass fiber nonwovens that, through their novel properties, open up completely new areas of application.

Both innovations together make m.look peerless and were jointly handed in for patent application.

Rene Haberl, managing director of FunderMax, said, "We have worked for a long time on the development of fire-proof facade panels and have invested a lot into this project. The collaboration with Johns Manville as a strong partner was extremely professional and offers exciting perspectives for the future."

Dr. Enno Henze, vice president and general manager of Johns Manville Europe/Asia, said, "I am pleased that our Evalith™ product range had been enhanced by a completely new product system. FunderMax is a strategic partner for us. The outstanding cooperation between our two teams as well as their interdisciplinary direction was important for the overall success of this project."

FunderMax is one of the leading European quality producers for wood based products and decorative laminates. Quality, adjacency to markets and strict orientation towards customers' needs are a benchmark for the companies' strategically direction. The company has five production units on three sites in Austria (St. Veit/Glan, Wiener Neudorf and Neudörfl). About 1,000 employees generated revenues of around € 320 M in 2012. More than 70% of the turnover is generated by exports, making FunderMax present on a worldwide basis. FunderMax is owned by Constantia Industries AG, one of the largest industrial groups in Austria. www.fundermax.at, www.facebook.com/fundermax.

Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality products for building insulation, mechanical insulation, commercial roofing, and roof insulation, as well as fibers and nonwovens for commercial, industrial and residential applications. JM serves markets that include aerospace, automotive and transportation, air handling, appliance, HVAC, pipe and equipment, filtration, waterproofing, building, flooring, interiors and wind energy. In business since 1858, the Denver-based company has annual sales of approximately $2.5 billion and holds leadership positions in all of the key markets that it serves. JM employs approximately 7,000 people and operates 45 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China. Additional information can be found at www.jmeurope.com and www.jm.com.

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