Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2014 --- Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of the Teijin Group’s carbon fibers and composites business, announced today that it has developed a new prepreg, or carbon fiber sheet pre-impregnated with matrix resin, that achieves rapid curing for increased productivity and features excellent surface texture and formability.
The new prepreg cures in three minutes at 150 degree and minimizes resin being expelled from the prepreg due to molding pressure. The result is an increase in production efficiency by a factor of many dozens, which will allow the company to raise annual production capacity to 50,000 carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) sets.
Toho Tenax has developed its new prepreg initially for automotive applications, but will explore opportunities for aircraft and other fields to further expand its carbon fibers and composites business. Possible new fields include sports and general industry fields thanks to formability at low pressure of around 0.5Mpa. A flame-resistant feature now under development is expected to further expand applications to consumer electronics, vehicles and other general applications.
Prepregs are intermediate materials of thermoset CFRPs used mainly for aircraft and automotive applications. They generally are molded by a curing process with pressure equipment called an autoclave. Prepregs are layered in the mold, covered by baggings, vacuumed and then pressurized at high temperature. Autoclaved CFRPs have high strength, but they require a long manufacturing cycle time and incur high production costs.
About the Teijin Group
Teijin (TSE: 3401) is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the areas of sustainable transportation, information and electronics, safety and protection, environment and energy, and healthcare. Its main fields of operation are high-performance fibers such as aramid, carbon fibers & composites, healthcare, films, resin & plastic processing, polyester fibers, products converting and IT. The group has some 150 companies and around 16,000 employees spread out over 20 countries worldwide. It posted consolidated sales of JPY784.4 billion (USD 7.7 billion) and total assets of JPY 768.4 billion (USD 7.5 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
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