Japanese Tier 1 boosting output for plastic fuel filler pipe systems

Toyoda Gosei will invest about 2 billion yen ($1.9 million) to expand production facilities at its Heiwacho Plant (Aichi, Japan) and at one of its U.S. manufacturing subsidiaries, TG Kentucky, LLC. The production capacity of the two plants combined will be increased to 2 million pipes annually by 2020, about four times the current level. Similar investments are planned in China, the Czech Republic, and other locations to meet OEM demand for the product.

Toyoda Gosei will eventually add capacity for plastic fuel pipes in China, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere, in addition to initial investments in Japan and the U.S.

Fuel filler pipes have long been made mainly of metal. Toyoda Gosei was the first to succeed in fabricating these pipes of plastic with its extrusion process. The pipes, which are about 50% lighter than conventional metal pipes. The company received a Superior TNGA Promotion Award (Toyota New Global Architecture) in February 2015 from its main customer, Toyota Motor Corporation, for developing a product that contributes to improved automobile fuel efficiency.

Fuel pipe systems typically employ multilayer structures consisting of specialty polyamides and other barrier resins such as ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) to conform with fuel permeation regulations. Toyoda Gosei’s plastic fuel filler pipes also meet stricter emission constraints in North America, China, and Europe, and are thereby expected to come into wider use.