Toho Tenax Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; Wuppertal, Germany), the core company of the Teijin Group’s carbon fibers and composites business, announced on Sept. 18 that its German subsidiary Toho Tenax Europe GmbH received the 2013 AVK Innovation Award in the category of Innovative Products for its newly developed high-efficiency production technology for thermoset carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
The technology, called Part via Preform (PvP), is based on a one-step “bobbin to preform” process. Toho Tenax Europe developed its PvP technology by using Tenax binder yarn, which combines carbon fibers with binder resin. This yarn allows the automated manufacturing of preforms directly into the 3-D geometry of the final component. By combining randomly orientated carbon fibers with unidirectional carbon fibers, Toho Tenax says preforms achieve a tradeoff between mechanical properties and cost.
Since this automated technology allows preforms to be manufactured in any desired geometry or form, it significantly reduces both the amount of carbon fiber waste and the amount of manual labor required compared to conventional preform production. The result is a highly efficient, cost-effective solution enabling optimal manufacturing of components with the required shapes and properties.
The PvP technology can be used in conjunction with high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) process, in which resin is injected and cured in less than two minutes, leading to shorter cycle times than conventional low-pressure RTM.
The annual AVK Innovation Award is organized by Germany’s Federation of Reinforced Plastics and recognizes outstanding innovations in the composites industry. The award was presented at the 2013 International AVK Conference held from Sept.16t-17 in Stuttgart, Germany, in conjunction with the 2013 Composites Europe trade fair.