Advanced Material Carbon Fiber is Expanding with Toray, SGL and China
Carbon fiber is quickly becoming the new generation reinforced fiber. It is mostly utilized in various fields of auto parts, car accessories, motorcycle parts, wind power, aerospace and sports and leisure.
In 2013 industrial applications such as automobiles, auto parts and wind power are in high demand for carbon fiber. This is more than 60% and is being followed quickly by aerospace. With this increased demand for carbon fiber in many applications, the numbers are on an upward swing.
The global quantity of carbon fiber totaled over 230,000 tons in 2013. The main contributors were Japan and the United States and the top companies were Toray, Teijin, Zoltek, Mitsubishi Rayon and Formosa Plastics came in with a 55% capacity.
Toray Industries, Inc. is a Japan based manufacturer of fibers, resins, plastics, carbon fiber and textiles has selected Moore, South Carolina for its newest carbon fiber facility. An investment of $1 billion over the next 10 years is expecting to create 500 new jobs in Spartanburg County.
Toray acquired approximately 400 acres in Spartanburg for its future expansions. The facility will offer a convenient closeness to major customers in both the United States and Latin America.
Akihiro Nikkaku, President of Toray Industries, is looking forward to being a part of South Carolina's business community. It is an ideal location for major customers and their markets and Toray has developed a great working relationship with the state and local officials.
Toray sees the United States as a major expansion for the company in part due to the resurrection of manufacturing of this highly demanded carbon fiber for aerospace and the energy industry.
SGL and BMW:
Meanwhile, SGL Carbon SE and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) are building a second production plant to meet the needs and demands for carbon fiber. Both of these companies are presently running a carbon fiber factory in Washington State.
This is on the wings of BMW's introduction of the new i3 electric car and the i8 hybrid sports car. Both of these vehicles have carbon fiber chassis to improve their fuel effectiveness and reduce overall weight. BMW has already received 11,000 orders for the compact i3 which will cost approximately $41,350 in the United States. They are expecting to sell over 10,000 i3s this year alone. With carbon fiber moving into accessories, spoilers, bumpers and hoods, manufacturing should be on a considerable rise.
Munich based BMW is also preparing to introduce carbon fiber materials in various models beyond the “i” model range.
China and Carbon Fiber:
China's carbon fiber industry had developed rather rapidly over the past few years. Unfortunately, because of limited technical knowledge, China's productions are of a much lower quality and their production costs are through the ceiling.
As this has led to very poor profits, there are a few proposed projects being planned for the carbon fiber industry. In 2014, both Jiangcheng Carbon Fiber Project Phase II and Shanghai Petrochemical will be going into production.
Global investors are quite confident that carbon fiber, as a technology for car manufacturers and other industries is heading in a positive direction.
Carbon Fiber is the growing technology that will be heading into bigger endeavors over the next 10 years. From auto parts and accessories to motorcycle accessories and parts, the automotive industry has big plans for this light-weight, durable material.