TenCate to use Toray carbon fiber in manufacture of thermoplastic prepregs

TenCate will use Toray carbon fiber to manufacture thermoplastic prepregs for current aerospace applications and emerging automotive applications.

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TenCate Advanced Composites (Nijverdal, The Netherlands) and Toray Industries Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) on June 21 announced that the two companies have signed a long-term agreement for the supply of Toray carbon fibers to TenCate for the production of thermoplastic TenCate Cetex RTL composite materials. These fibers will be used for the growing amount of composite laminates that TenCate produces for the aerospace industry. In the near future these light weight and high-strength composite materials could also be used for automotive applications.

Under the new supply agreement over five years through 2015, Toray Industries will supply high-performance carbon fiber to TenCate Advanced Composites in support of growing thermoplastic prepreg demand from the aerospace industry.

Frank Meurs, director TenCate Advanced Composites EMEA, states, "Thermoplastic materials are rapidly establishing a meaningful position in a growing amount of aircraft applications, and are also used in structural parts of the latest aircraft. This long-term supply agreement fits to our needs, because it covers our long-term needs based on our contracts with for instance Airbus for the production of the Airbus aircrafts. TenCate Cetex has been used in aircraft applications for more than 10 years. TenCate will continue to focus on the market for large commercial aircraft and regional jets with its TenCate Cetex product line."

TenCate Advanced Composites and Toray Industries also agreed to study a joint market-product development in thermoplastic composites used for automotive applications.

Meurs explains: "TenCate Cetex thermoplastic composite materials are suitable for volume markets like automotive, where low-cost materials and processing are of critical importance. With the growing need for weight savings in trucks and automobiles, these markets offer great potential. Joint development programs will accelerate the introduction of new applications. Because Toray Industries is strategically developing carbon fiber in automotive use in addition to aerospace, there is a strategic and technological link with our future developments in this respect. We see a need to cooperate within the value chain in order to speed up the time to market for new materials and processing technologies."