Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of the Teijin Group’s carbon fibers and composites business, announced today that its German subsidiary Toho Tenax Europe GmbH received the 2013 AVK Innovation Award in the category of Innovative Products for its newly developed high-efficiency production technology for thermoset carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
The technology, called Part via Preform (PvP), is based on a one-step “bobbin to preform” process. Toho Tenax Europe developed its PvP technology by utilizing Tenax® binder yarn, which combines carbon fibers with binder resin. This yarn allows the automated manufacturing of preforms directly into the three-dimensional geometry of the final component. By combining randomly orientated carbon fibers with unidirectional carbon fibers, preforms achieve a tradeoff between mechanical properties and cost.
Since this automated technology allows preforms to be manufactured in any desired geometry or form, it significantly reduces both the amount of carbon fiber waste and the amount of manual labor required compared to conventional preform production. The result is a highly-efficient, cost-effective solution enabling optimal manufacturing of components with the required shapes and properties.
The PvP technology can be used in conjunction with the high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) process, in which resin is injected and cured in less than two minutes, leading to shorter cycle times than the conventional low-pressure RTM process.
The Teijin Group has also developed the world’s first mass-production technology for thermoplastic CFRP, which improves production efficiency by significantly reducing molding time. Such efforts are among the ways the Group is utilizing its all-round capabilities to develop advanced CFRP solutions and become a leader in the global carbon fibers and composites industry. The Group is aiming at annual sales of JPY 150 to 200 billion (USD 1.5 to 2.0 billion) for carbon fiber composite products by around 2020.
The annual AVK Innovation Award is organized by Germany’s Federation of Reinforced Plastics and recognizes outstanding innovations in the composites industry. The award was presented at the International AVK Conference held from September 16th to 17th in Stuttgart, Germany, in conjunction with the Composites Europe trade fair.