Graftech Inc.'s New Advanced Flexible Graphite Line Proceeding On Schedule

DaimlerChrysler NECAR 5 and other DCX fuel cell prototypes make use of Grafcell advanced flexible graphite materials.

Published: 21-Dec-2000

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 21, 2000--Graftech Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of UCAR International Inc. (NYSE: UCR), announced today the installation of its $9 million production process line to manufacture GRAFCELL(TM) advanced flexible graphite materials for flow field plates, eGraf (TM) electronic thermal management solutions as well as other natural graphite applications is proceeding on schedule.

Ballard Power Systems uses GRAFCELL advanced flexible graphite material, in the manufacture of flow field plates, a key component in the Mark 900 fuel cell. Prototype fuel cell vehicles introduced this year, which utilize a fuel cell stack supplied by Ballard Power Systems containing GRAFCELL products, included the Ford FC5 and FCV, and DaimlerChrysler's NECAR 4A, Jeep Commander and most recently NECAR 5.

The eGraf product line is designed to aid the cooling of chip sets and other heat generating components in computers, telecommunications equipment and other electronic devices. The new manufacturing line will help enable commercialization of this new product line.

John Wetula, President of Graftech stated, "All process equipment has been delivered to the Parma, Ohio manufacturing site and we plan to be operational by the end of the first quarter 2001. This installation will allow us to provide a stable supply of high quality GRAFCELL advanced flexible graphite materials for flow field plates to our strategic partner, Ballard Power Systems Inc., as they prepare their initial fuel cell manufacturing facility, Plant 1, for volume manufacturing."

The new manufacturing line will employ proprietary production processes to produce advanced flexible graphite, which is a high quality, lightweight and cost effective product. The new manufacturing line will employ the most modern manufacturing, environmental and control equipment as well as proprietary technology for the production of advanced materials made from natural graphite for use in fuel cells, computers, communications and other applications.

Graftech Inc. develops and manufactures flexible graphite for gasket and sealing applications, for use in the manufacture of flow field plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, for thermal applications in computer and other electronic devices, fire protection applications, energy management applications in devices such as batteries and supercapacitors, and furnace insulation applications. GRAFCELL(TM) and eGraf(TM) are trademarks of Graftech Inc.

UCAR International Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of high quality graphite and carbon electrodes and cathodes. It sells products in more than 80 countries and owns manufacturing facilities located on four continents. Graphite electrodes, its principal product, are consumed primarily in the production of steel in electric arc furnaces, the steelmaking technology used by all "mini-mills," and for refining steel in ladle furnaces. Carbon electrodes are consumed in the manufacture of silicon metal. Cathodes are used in the production of aluminum. It also manufactures other graphite and carbon products.

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