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Local Tech Wire

BURLINGTON, N.C. — A new Burlington Technologies subsidiary, VitaFlex LLC, is manufacturing non-woven elastic fabrics and products in the first factory built by the former Burlington Industries.

VitaFlex uses a proprietary process to create the latex-free elastic fabric, the company said in announcing the start of operations in Burlington’s Pioneer Plant. Officials said they expect to add 100 jobs next year.

The company said its market advantage is that its process lets a domestically made product compete with foreign-made ones. The fabric is targeted to medical, pharmaceutical, food-processing, aerospace, clean room, paint and construction, and bio-laboratory users, VitaFlex said.

Non-wovens have been favored for their lower weight, lower cost, and the ability to provide filtration capabilities far superior to traditional woven fabrics, VitaFlex said, but adding elasticity had driven up costs and forced manufacturing to lower-priced foreign markets.

ViatFlex’s process was developed by De-Sheng Tsai, who is VitaFlex president and chief scientific officer. He had been a research fellow at DuPont de Nemours & Co.