Carbone Lorraine, a manufacturer of graphite materials and solutions, announced the acquisition of Calcarb, the second largest manufacturer of rigid graphite felt for the solar industry. This venture complements Carbone Lorraine’s position as a provider of graphite solutions for solar, industrial, semiconductor and high-temperature furnace components. Carbone Lorraine, based in France, acquired 60% of Calcarb’s shares Dec. 31, 2008, and has an option to increase its stake to 100% at any time in 2009. Calcarb’s rigid graphite complements Carbone Lorraine’s rigid and flexible graphite felts. Rigid felts are used as a form of insulation in extremely high-temperature furnaces and offers exceptional thermal properties.

Calcarb is a subsidiary of Inductotherm Group, which specializes in vacuum and induction furnaces. Calcarb Ltd., headquartered in Scotland, manufactures high-purity carbon bonded carbon fiber (CBCF)-based rigid insulation and precursor materials for vacuum and controlled atmosphere furnaces. In 2008, Calcarb moved into a new manufacturing facility, doubling its annual production capacity of low- and medium-density carbon-based products.