Carbon Composites Players Build Technology Positions

The big players continue to make moves to further develop their carbon composite manufacturing capabilities, signaling a growing future for the high-priced, light weighting material.

This month, Toray Industries takes over Dome Carbon Magic Ltd (DCM), a Japanese producer of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts for racing cars. The new name for the company is  Toray Carbon Magic Co Ltd. Toray  also acquired a 75% stake in Dome Composites (Thailand) Co.

In 2008 Toray developed  a position in CFRP transfer molding with   a stake in ACE Advanced Composite Engineering GmbH. Resin ransfer molding  (RTM) is the future for manufacturing complex CFRP parts that do not require Class A surface finish. Automotive structural parts that replace metal assemblies will be a key target.

tpreg inage

TPreg from Chomarat.

Another company actively conducting research in RTM is Plasan Carbon Composites, the U.S. unit of the Israeli composite juggernaut. PCC has an RTM machine in its Wixom, MI R&D center and is expected to make announcements of breakthroughs within a year.

Separately, Magna International Inc. announced that its Magna Exteriors and Interiors (MEI) operating unit, together with strategic development partner Zoltek, have developed what they call  best-in-class capabilities in providing carbon fiber composite parts and systems for high-volume automotive applications.

Specifically, MEI and Zoltek developed a low-cost carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) that uses Zoltek’s Panex 35 commercial carbon fiber combined with Magna’s EpicBlendSMC formulations and proprietary production capabilities.

Chomarat announced TPreg, a continuous thermoplastic pre-impregnated reinforcement.

 

About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News
Africa/MidEast, Automotive, Carbon Fiber, Europe, North America, Resin Transfer Molding ,

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