HOT STUFF: BASF Corp. said it is building an $18 million manufacturing facility at its Enka, N.C., site to begin the first commercial production of Basofil, a heat- and flame-resistant fiber aimed at the industrial fibers market.

The plant, slated to come on line in the first quarter of 1996, will have a capacity of 3 million pounds per year. The move will create about 40 jobs, said Werner Burgert, president of BASF's fiber products division.

Among the technical properties of Basofil are high thermal insulation characteristics, no melting point and no shrinkage.

The primary uses for the fiber are in protective clothing, heat- and fire-barrier fabrics for the airline industry, friction linings, seals and filtration applications.

Burgert said research on the fiber began in the early Eighties at parent company BASF AG in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF Corp.'s industrial fibers group, based in Charlotte, N.C., will handle worldwide marketing of Basofil.

A REGAL DEAL: Regal Manufacturing Inc., the U.S. covered elastic yarn manufacturing subsidiary of Worldtex Inc., said it has acquired the covered elastic yarn manufacturing operations of Ithaca Industries Inc., at Wilkesboro, N.C.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Barry Setzer, Worldtex's president and chief executive officer, said the acquisition's nearly 100 employees will become part of Regal, which has been manufacturing covered elastic yarn for about 40 years at its Hickory, N.C., plant.

Ithaca's two other plants, at Robbins, N.C., and Gastonia, N.C., are not affected by the sale. Ithaca is primarily a manufacturer of women's underwear and hosiery, as well as men's and boys' underwear.

Worldtex, which had 1993 sales of $152.7 million, is also a holding company for covered elastic yarn producers Rubyco Inc., Montreal, and Filix Lastex SA, Troyes, France.

Regal's 1993 sales were $71.8 million.

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