USA: Carbon Fibers Toray to Step-Up Production for Large Tow Carbon Fiber
Toray Industries is going to increase the capacity of its large tow carbon fiber production at their US-based subsidiary, Zoltek Companies.
Tokyo/Japan — The expansion will increase production capacity at Zoltek’s Hungarian facility (located in Nyergesújfalu) by 50 % from 10,000 tons to 15,000 tons annually, the company announced. The investment exceeds $ 130 million and production will start in early 2020.
Zoltek is currently implementing enhancements to equipment to raise the capacity of their Mexican facility from 5,000 tons per year to 10,000 tons per year. Once the current enhancements at the Hungarian facility are in place, the company’s total annual production capacity will reach approximately 25,000 tons.
Demand for wind energy turbine blades, the main application of Zoltek’s large tow carbon fiber, is expanding in South America as well as in Asia, particularly China and India. Due to the large size of the turbines, the manufacturer expects an increase in demand for large tow carbon fiber, which would likely result in further expansion. Additionally, in Europe, where the use of carbon fiber for automotive structural applications is taking precedent, the company has established a supply chain from the Hungarian facility, which is currently expanding its production capacity. By rapidly responding to future demand increases, Toray Group, including Zoltek, aims to become the global standard for automotive structural applications.