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New capacity will primarily target wind turbine blade applications.

Stephen Moore

April 6, 2018

1 Min Read
Toray increases production capacity for large tow carbon fiber in Europe

Japan’s Toray Industries, Inc. has decided to increase large tow carbon fiber production capacity at the Hungarian facility of its US-based subsidiary, Zoltek Companies, Inc. (Saint Louis, MO). With this expansion, production capacity will be increased from 10,000 tonnes to 15,000 tonnes annually at the plant in Nyergesújfalu. The entire investment exceeds $130 million and production will start in early 2020.  Zoltek is also currently implementing enhancements to equipment to raise the capacity of its Mexican facility from 5,000 tonnes per year to 10,000 tonnes per year.

New large tow carbon fiber capacity in Hungary will target wind turbines and industrial applications.

Demand for large tow (carbon fiber having more than 40K filaments (40,000 fibers)) carbon fiber is rapidly expanding for industrial applications. The carbon fiber type is a relative low-priced product that satisfies the required characteristics for industrial applications such as wind turbine blades and reinforcement for resin compounds.

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. Furthermore, due to the large size of the turbines, there is an expected increase in demand for large tow carbon fiber, which will likely result in further expansion.

Additionally, in Europe, the use of carbon fiber for automotive structural applications is taking precedent, and the Toray Group, including Zoltek, aims to become the global standard for automotive structural applications. To this end, further expansions are on the card in Hungary as well as in Mexico.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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