Toray has developed a new variety of regular tow carbon fiber and has decided to build a new carbonization facility for mass production at the Mexico Plant (Jalisco) of its US subsidiary Zoltek to cater to the strongly growing carbon fiber demand. The new plant is expected to start production at the end of 2018.
Tokyo/Japan — The overall global carbon fiber market is expected to continue growing at a rate exceeding 10 % annually as the material is utilized in various industries. Market needs are diversifying along with demand growth.
Until now, Toray Group has lined up a wide range of products from ultra high performance carbon fibers for aerospace applications to high strength and average elastic modulus carbon fibers that are increasingly being adopted for industrial applications. This increase is led by the robust demand in the automotive industry. Carbon fiber needs are expected to diversify further, and the demand for overall industrial applications is expected to expand exponentially as electric and fuel cell vehicles begin adopting carbon fibers in full scale. To respond to this demand growth, Toray has been advancing the development of new varieties of regular tow.
Z600, a new variety developed by the company, has physical properties that are in between large tow, which Zoltek currently produces, and regular tow, which has a track record in applications such as pressure vessels. The company plans to promote the material for industrial applications such as use in the automotive industry, which is expected to drive carbon fiber demand.
The company aims to further expand the carbon fiber composite material business with its wide-ranged product lineup and global expansion of the vertically integrated business covering from upstream to downstream of the industry.