Toray wins 15-year Airbus carbon fiber supply contract

Toray Industries will directly supply carbon fiber prepreg materials for future aircraft developed by Airbus.

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Toray Industries Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) on May 10 announced that it has signed a long-term basic supply agreement with European aerospace and defence company EADS to supply carbon fiber prepreg for aircraft application primarily for Airbus (Toulouse, France) over 15 years through 2025.

Until now, Toray has been supplying high-quality and high-performance carbon fibers to EADS through prepreg manufacturers. The agreement enables a framework for Toray to directly supply a wider range of products, including its high-performance carbon fiber prepreg to EADS.

Toray says demand for carbon fiber for aircraft application had been stagnant since 2008, but that there are signs of recovery and expansion of the market as major aircraft manufacturers revise up the number of aircraft production.

Airbus has been using carbon fiber composite materials in primary and secondary structural material of A320 Single Aisle Family, A330/A340, Long Range Family and A380. With the A350 XWB, carbon fiber composite materials will be used in a significant scale in wings and fuselage. The production of this new aircraft is expected to dramatically increase the use of carbon fiber composite materials at Airbus.

Toray reports that it is currently in the process of qualifying its intermediate-modulus carbon fiber prepreg, and that it will also work to make sure its prepreg will be adopted for existing and new aircraft models that Airbus may develop in the future.