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Owens Expands Portfolio in Europe

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Global producer of glass fiber reinforcements, Owens Corning (OC - Free Report) , is geared to expand the distribution network of its tailor made glass-based solution for construction, transportation and pipe rehabilitation to Europe.

Owens exhibited the product during the Techtextil trade show in Frankfurt, held between Jun 11 and Jun 13 this year. The company is displaying samples of veils, fabrics, mats as well as end-use applications at the fair.

The new Sustaina surfacing and reinforcing glass non-woven solution is one of the products displayed by the company. It contains a bio-based, formaldehyde-free binder system and performs far better than traditional products. Moreover, the product meets the legislation requirements for indoor air quality (IAQ) in product-applications.

The other product, Ultrapipe long oriented chops (LOC) fabrics, is claimed to provide high stretch-ability for all liner types manufactured through the folding, stitching & winding processes, as it gives room for larger diameter and thicker laminate constructions.

Owens is focused on innovation and is geared to use tailor-made technologies and, in this regard, the company is using the expertise of other companies in the field. In Mar 2013, Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning entered into a strategic alliance with the leading chemical company, BASF, and a multi-national thermoplastic producer, TenCate Advanced Composites.

Under the alliance, the two companies will work together to develop thermoplastic composites for mass production of automobiles in an attempt to make vehicles lighter, durable, environment friendly and more fuel-efficient.

Recently, Owens Corning also took over the mineral wool commercial and industrial insulation products manufacturer, Thermafiber Inc. The acquisition includes a 145,000 square foot manufacturing facility of Thermafiber, located in Wabash, IN. The buyout provides Owens Corning with a broad insulation portfolio of fiberglass, foam and mineral wool insulation products.

Owens Corning, which produces residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems, is slowly gaining momentum with improving new home demand.

With the home construction market improving steadily, building and other construction material companies, like Vulcan Materials Company (VMC - Free Report) and Eagle Materials Inc. (EXP - Free Report) , as well as building product makers, such as Masco Corporation (MAS - Free Report) are witnessing a corresponding rise in demand and volume.

The housing market has steadily made a comeback from the severe and widespread downturn witnessed in mid-2006. The stability in the home buying market, combined with low interest rates and increased rentals, has increased the affordability of homes.

The U.S. housing market has seen significant upside in new home sales volume in 2012 with industry-wide sales increasing roughly 25% from the prior-year levels. New home construction activity improved 25% in 2012. Faced with the fiscal cliff at 2012-end combined with the threat of sequestration and a mounting national debt, the recovery of the housing market was one bright spot on the U.S. economic horizon.

Currently, Owens Corning carries a short-term Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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