Saflex(R) Launches 2nd Generation Encapsulant for Photovoltaic Market

New thin gauge encapsulant reduces material use by 33%!

Jan 19, 2010, 08:00 ET from Solutia Inc.

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As solar module manufacturers strive to realize cost structures meeting grid parity, Saflex®, a unit of Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOA), recently announced the commercial availability of a new thin gauge polyvinyl butyral (PVB) based encapsulant designed specifically for photovoltaic applications. The new product, Saflex PA41, significantly reduces encapsulant usage while maintaining module durability and processing performance. The global launch of Saflex PA41 comes shortly after successful completion of IEC 61646 certification testing on thin film photovoltaic modules manufactured with the Saflex encapsulant.


"We developed a robust PVB-based encapsulant that passed a rigorous reliability and durability test program including tests that went beyond standard industry testing. Module manufacturers can continue producing high quality photovoltaic modules with significantly reduced encapsulation usage," reports Matt Rose, Saflex Market Development Manager. "For over 80 years, Saflex has driven PVB-based product and process advancements in the automotive and architectural markets. We're now leveraging that expertise to develop innovative solutions for photovoltaic applications," continues Rose.  

Saflex's PA41 is a second generation photovoltaic product designed specifically to reduce encapsulant thickness by 33% (from 1.14mm to 0.76mm). To accomplish this, properties of the Saflex PA41 formulation were optimized to improve encapsulating flow around bus bars and other critical components. "A primary objective throughout the development process was to ensure that a thin gauge encapsulant could provide the same performance and long term durability of thicker gauge encapsulants while maintaining high encapsulation yields," comments Francois Koran, Saflex Photovoltaic Development Manager.

In addition to the successful IEC and UL testing, Saflex developed a rigorous testing regimen which included a series of natural and accelerated weathering tests that go beyond photovoltaic industry standards. Saflex also partnered with module manufacturers to confirm that handling, processing and throughput of Saflex PA41 met or exceeded expectations compared to thicker gauge PVB encapsulations. To that end, Saflex provided on-site education and trial processing guidance to fine-tune the encapsulation process and ensure that high yields were realized. "With eight decades of experience in manufacturing PVB products for glazing applications, we understand that testing, education, and technical support are as critical as producing a high quality product," said Matt Rose.  

The new Saflex PA41 is the latest addition to a growing portfolio of innovative encapsulants designed specifically for photovoltaic applications. Saflex, a business unit of Solutia, provides solar encapsulants to the solar energy market supported by an 80 year history of manufacturing excellence, global technical support, and the world's largest PVB manufacturing base for glazing applications. To learn more, please go to .

Notes to Editor:  Saflex is a registered trademark of Solutia Inc.  

About Saflex Solar Encapsulants

Saflex, a business unit of Solutia, serves the photovoltaic sector by developing durable encapsulating solutions for solar module production. With proven 3G PVB technology, an extensive global network of technical specialists, and the world's largest PVB manufacturing base for encapsulants, Saflex is uniquely positioned to help solve the challenges of a fast-growing, and ever changing, solar energy market.

About Solutia Inc.

Solutia is a market-leading performance materials and specialty chemicals company. The company focuses on providing solutions for a better life through a range of products, including: Saflex® PVB interlayer for encapsulated solar modules; CPFilms® aftermarket window films sold under the LLumar® brand and others; and technical specialties including the Flexsys® family of chemicals for the rubber industry, Skydrol® aviation hydraulic fluid and Therminol® heat transfer fluid. Solutia's businesses are world leaders in each of their market segments. With its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the company operates globally with approximately 3,100 employees in more than 60 locations. More information is available at .

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which can be identified by the use of words such as "believes," "expects," "may," "will," "intends," "plans," "estimates" or "anticipates," or other comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions.  These statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions about the industries in which Solutia operates.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or achievements to be materially different from the future results or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.  These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those risk and uncertainties described in Solutia's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, including under "Cautionary Statement About Forward Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors", and Solutia's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.  These reports can be accessed through the "Investors" section of Solutia's website at .  Solutia disclaims any intent or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in response to new information, unforeseen events, changed circumstances or any other occurrence.

SOURCE Solutia Inc.