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SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers expanding Washington State facility

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SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, which is providing 50k carbon fiber for the BMW i3 and i8, is adding a 1,500-ton carbon fiber line to its facility in Moses Lake, Wash., USA.

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SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, the joint venture of SGL Group (Wiesbaden, Germany) and BMW Group (Munich, Germany), reported at JEC Europe 2012 on March 26 that it has begun expansion of its carbon fiber manufacturing facility in Moses Lake, Wash., USA. Expected to be complete by summer 2013, the additional carbon fiber line will add 1,500 tons of capacity to the plant, bringing total capacity to 3,000 tons.

The 50k tow standard modulus carbon fiber produced at the facility is captive to production of structural composite parts for the forthcoming all-electric BMW i3 (2013) and hybrid-electric BMW i8 (2014). Carbon fiber from the plant is sent to Germany for weaving, preforming and resin transfer molding (RTM) of passenger cell structures for the vehicles.

The cars, when introduced, will represent the first use of carbon fiber composites in chassis components in a production automotive application. SGL officials noted that the Moses Lake site includes 60 acres of land and that further expansion is possible.

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