06/01/2004

Rhodia

PROBAN® - Safety with comfort

PROBAN® is a world leading textile flame retardant. Part of the Rhodia range it is a product which provides peace of mind to both industrial and consumer markets. PROBAN® has been developed to give fabrics made from natural fibres reliable flame retardant properties durable to modern day living.

Since the implementation of stricter regulations regarding fire safety most responsible fabric producers are more aware of specialist solutions available on the market. This increase in demand has created a competitive market, of which Rhodia holds a share of flame retarded protective wear.

Gerard Lenotte, Global PROBAN® Market Manager comments "PROBAN® is unique, there is no other product on the market that can guarantee the quality, durability and comfort of PROBAN®. Because of these quality's PROBAN® treated fabrics are consistently finding new market applications. Rhodia is committed to helping it's PROBAN® Licensees to sell PROBAN® treated fabrics and goes along way toward marketing on their behalf."

What is PROBAN®?
PROBAN® is both a chemical and a quality controlled, technological process. Treatment takes place at the finishing stage of the cotton and cotton blended textile manufacture. The PROBAN® process involves chemical drying and curing with ammonia gas using Rhodia's patented licensed technology, followed by oxidation and final neutralisation.

The polymer formation process is irreversible. Embedded in the body of the fibre, the polymer is inert, completely insoluble and cannot be removed by washing. The only way to remove the polymer is through mechanical abrasion.

Iain Morrison , PROBAN® Business Development Manager, adds "PROBAN® has come a long way since it was first developed in 1955, we hope to see continued investment in the research and development of PROBAN® and the further growth of this market."

Unique distribution
PROBAN® is sold on a licensee only basis to companies generating incremental business.

To obtain a licence textile companies must demonstrate the have the necessary technical skills and marketing capabilities in line with PROBAN® plans. Only then will Rhodia supply the technology, chemicals, training and ongoing technical support.

Quality control
An integral part of the PROBAN® brand is the quality control guarantee. Licensees are required to submit samples from specific areas of production, on a regular basis. This is to ensure Rhodia can guarantee PROBAN® treated fabrics continue to meet fire safety regulations and provide superior durability and comfort.

Rhodia is one of the world's leaders in specialty chemicals providing products and services to the automotive, health care, fragrance, apparel, electronics, personal care and environmental markets. Rhodia generated net sales of €7.2 billion in 2001 and employs some 27,000 people worldwide. Rhodia is listed on the Paris and New York stock exchanges.

Rhodia's Phosphorus & Performance Derivatives (PPD) enterprise is a dynamic technology-driven business serving customers in the agriculture, automotive, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, textiles and water treatment markets. By working closely with clients and possessing detailed understanding of their processes, PPD develops new products and technologies and provides innovative solutions to meet customer needs.