Cytec restarts carbon fiber expansion

Cytec Industries has approved restart of carbon fiber manufacturing expansion at the company's Piedmont, S.C., USA, facility as well as start of a prepreg manufacturing expansion project at the company's site in Greenville, Texas, USA.

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Cytec Industries Inc. (Woodland Park, N.J., USA) reported on June 5 that has approved restart of a carbon fiber manufacturing expansion project at the company’s Piedmont, S.C., USA, facility as well as commencement of a prepreg manufacturing expansion project at the company’s site in Greenville, Texas, USA. Both projects support growing demand for Cytec’s composite materials in the aerospace industry.

The project in South Carolina will provide additional capacity for manufacture of polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fiber production, including precursor manufacturing and carbonization. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 with industrial fiber production expected in 2015 and aerospace-qualified fiber production expected in 2016.

The Greenville, Texas, project includes a building expansion and associated infrastructure to support a new impregnation line, which will increase the site’s prepreg capacity by 20 percent. Commercial production in the new facility is expected to begin in 2015. David Snyder, vice president of operations for Engineered Materials, adds, “We are excited about the growth of our production capabilities in Greenville and Piedmont and what it means for both our customers and the communities in which our facilities operate. We look forward to continuing our strong relationships and to continued growth and success of our operations at both sites.”

In addition, Cytec’s Michigan site is increasing its KM polymer capacity, a raw material used in the production of certain prepregs. The first phase of this project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and will increase capacity by 25 percent. A second phase of expansion is also planned which will double the capacity for this material by early 2014.

The combined expansions will provide capacity for growing demand from the F-35 Lightining II, new Boeing progams such as 787 and 747-8, new Bombardier programs and general build rate increases in Cytec’s legacy civil transport, business jet, and helicopter businesses. “Aerospace manufacturers are increasingly turning to composite materials to reduce aircraft weight and improve fuel efficiency. Our investments in carbon fiber and prepreg show our commitment to supporting the industry growth by optimizing supply capability for our customers,” says Bill Wood, president, Engineered Materials.