MRC acquires German fabric manufacturer

MRC acquires European manufacturer of non-crimp fabrics, in a bid to pursue automotive composite contracts.

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Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. (MRC, Tokyo, Japan) announced Nov. 14 that all procedures required for the purchase of TK Industries GmbH (Bayern, Germany), a manufacturer of carbon fiber-based multi‑axial noncrimp fabric (NCF) in Germany, were completed on October 31. MRC will expand its carbon fiber intermediate materials business in Europe with the acquisition, and 100 percent of the equity stake in TK Industries GmbH will be held by MRC.

TK Industries, established in 2008, has developed carbon fiber NCF specifically tailored for developmental projects and has established a very good reputation through automotive and industrial projects. The two companies have jointly worked to develop NCF utilizing large-tow carbon fibers supplied from MRC’s new factory (2,700 metric tons per year) which started production in 2011 July. In the European market (especially in Germany), increased usage of CFRP is expected in automotive parts as new projects are introduced, such as the “BMW i3” electric vehicle, which uses CFRP in its structural parts and scheduled for release in 2013.

RTM (resin transfer molding), which is suitable for mid‑scale volume production of composites parts and uses mainly NCF, is expected to be one of the main technologies for automotive applications. In addition to automotive, RTM is expected to be applied in many projects in renewable energy industries, such as highly efficient wind blades. MRC has developed premium large tow carbon fibers and PCM (prepreg compression molding) technology enabling the fast cycle times and quality composite parts manufacturing required for automotive and industrial applications. The inclusion of TK industries GmbH into MRC Group will enable development of new materials and molding technology to be proposed to OEM car manufacturers and assist the expansion of MRC’s carbon fiber and composites
business in Europe.