Toray Industries, Inc., headquartered at Chuo-ku, Tokyo, has developed a new variety of regular tow carbon fiber with an outstanding combination of cost and performance. The company has decided to construct a new carbonization facility for mass production at the Mexico Plant (Jalisco, Mexico) of its U.S. subsidiary Zoltek Companies, Inc. to meet the strongly growing carbon fiber demand, which is expected to continue growing at a rate exceeding 10% annually as the material is utilized in various industries, especially in the robust demand in the automotive industry. Carbon fiber needs are expected to diversify further, and the demand for overall industrial applications is expected to expand exponentially as electric and fuel cell vehicles begin adopting carbon fibers in full scale. The new plant is expected to start manufacturing at the end of 2018.
Toray has expedited the development of new varieties of regular tow, which has impressive cost and performance characteristics. Toray’s new product, Z600, has physical properties that are in between large tow, which Zoltek currently produces, and regular tow, which has a track record in applications such as pressure vessels. In addition to the new Z600 variety, Toray Group will continue to develop next-generation, high-performance carbon fibers to widely respond to the expanding carbon fiber demand.
In the medium-term management program, Toray plans to expand the business in growth fields to create new demand through development of new products as an important task of the carbon fiber composite material business. The company aims to further expand the carbon fiber composite material business with its wide-ranged product lineup and global expansion of the vertically integrated business covering from upstream to downstream of the industry.