Toho Tenax, the core company of the Teijin Group's carbon fibres business, announced today the conclusion of a long term framework agreement with EADS and its subsidary Airbus SAS regarding the direct supply of carbon fibre and carbon fibre-based materials for a range of Airbus aircraft. In line with the agreement, a specific contract has been signed to cover the supply of Tenax(r) thermoplastic consolidated laminates, which currently is under quqlification for the new Airbus A350 XWB.
Toho Tenax expects this award to be the first of many in the thermoplastics field. To underline this strategy, Toho Tenax is presently investing in a new Tenax(r) Thermoplastic Unidirectional Prepreg line within its German operational facility, which is expected to commence production in early 2011.
Toho Tenax also is in discussion with Airbus to provide other new carbon fibre-based material solutions for other aircraft and future A350 XWB versions. One possible agreement is the supply of woven Tenax(r) carbon fibre-reinforced benzoxazine prepreg with potential application in the Airbus A380 Auxillary Power Unit (APU) housing. The material is part of a new family of carbon fibre reinforced prepregs based on novel resin systems.
Toho Tenax and Airbus have been building a strong relationship since 1989, during which time Toho Tenax has supplied Tenax(r) carbon fibre filament yarn for a variety of Airbus aircraft Families, including the A320, A330 and A340, as well as the A380. They expanded the relationship with an agreement for the joint development of advanced materials in early 2008 resulting in Toho Tenax developing novel carbon fibre-based materials to meet Airbus' future requirements.
The two companies intend to continue strengthening their relationship to realize further weight reductions and to enhance the energy efficiency of aircraft. Going forward, Toho Tenax aims to accelerate expansion of its aircraft materials business - one of the core objectives of the company - by developing increasingly advanced carbon fibre and carbon fibre-based products.