Cytec evaluating manufacture of large-tow, industrial-grade carbon fiber

Cytec Industries has entered into strategic discussions with German acrylic manufacturer Dralon GmbH regarding potential supply of precursor for the manufacture of large-tow, industrial-grade carbon fiber.

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Cytec Industries Inc. (Woodland Park, N.J., USA) announced on July 8 that it has entered into strategic discussions with Dralon GmbH (Dormagen, Germany), a manufacturer of acrylic fibers, to support the exploration and development of large-tow, industrial-grade carbon fiber.

Cytec says demand for large tow-carbon fiber is projected to grow significantly in the coming years, driven by increasing use in industrial markets such as automotive, whereby OEM manufacturers are actively researching the technology to help them achieve lighter-weight vehicles with greater fuel efficiency.

Shane Fleming, chairman, president, and CEO of Cytec Industries, says, “Cytec offers a strong channel to market given our position today of supplying high-performance automotive applications, as well as our decades of experience supplying carbon fiber composite technology to the aerospace industry. We are actively pursuing the development of carbon fiber based composites for the next addressable serial automotive market. Large-scale adoption will necessitate the need for a robust supply chain of industrial-grade, or high-tow fibers, that offer low cost supply and continuity. We are therefore working with Dralon to evaluate the most appropriate solution to address this market, including potential joint investment. Dralon’s manufacturing experience in acrylic fiber production, its rich brand identity, and ideal location relative to the target market make for a good strategic partner to explore the possibilities together, including conversion of an existing facility from acrylic to carbon fiber production. As of now we envision operating the carbon fiber production as a separate entity with opportunities to seek additional external partners.“

Stefan Braun, Dralon’s CEO, adds, “We are excited to develop a precursor and carbon fiber business by leveraging our strong asset base, together with Cytec, a global leader in carbon fiber-based materials. We are investigating conversion of existing Dralon acrylic fiber production lines for the manufacture of high-quality, heavy-tow precursor as well as investment in new carbon fiber lines. With our local footprint, we will be able to offer superior security of supply of high quality large tow carbon fiber to the European market. ” 

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