TRB Lightweight Structures to open U.S. manufacturing facility
Lexington, Kentucky. Source | TRB Lightweight Structures
TRB Lightweight Structures (TRB; Cambridgeshire, U.K.) has announced that it will soon be opening a composites manufacturing center in Richmond, Ky., U.S., as a joint venture with Toyota Tsusho America (New York, N.Y., U.S.). According to TRB, the 40,000-square-foot facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art robotics to allow high-volume production of carbon fiber components using TRB’s press-forming process.
The initial focus for the facility, TRB says, will be production of carbon fiber components for automotive applications, particularly for electric vehicles (EV). TRB says it has developed a production process that allows carbon fiber to be press-formed using advanced industrial robotics, allowing components to be manufactured at a similar price point to equivalent aluminum parts. The Richmond facility will complement TRB’s U.K. manufacturing operations, providing greater access to these materials for the North American market.
“We are delighted to announce the creation of TRB Lightweight Structures America together with Toyota Tsusho America. The U.K. is a global leader in composites, and we are very excited to bring our technology and expertise to the rapidly growing EV sector in the USA,” says Richard Holland, managing director of TRB.
As the wind energy market continues to grow, competition heats up between glass and carbon fiber composites for turbine blades.
The matrix binds the fiber reinforcement, gives the composite component its shape and determines its surface quality. A composite matrix may be a polymer, ceramic, metal or carbon. Here’s a guide to selection.
Tried-and-true materials thrive, but new approaches and new forms designed to process faster are entering the marketplace.