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New carbon fiber fabrics reduce weight of composite products
Mar '10
Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of Teijin's carbon fibers business, will begin selling this March a carbon fiber fabric that is less than half the weight of conventional lightest carbon fiber fabrics. The new fabric, which has been developed with Sakai Ovex Co., Ltd. and is used for forming prepregs, will help further reduce the weight of composite products, making it ideal for high-strength, low-weight applications where design and style count, ranging from golf club and tennis racket shafts to personal computer casings.

Toho Tenax targets annual sales of more than 300,000 m2 at a value of more than 1.8 billion by its fiscal year ending in March 2013, aiming to expand the carbon fibers business for prepreg use.

The fabric is made with Toho Tenax's new carbon fiber yarn designed for making ultra-thin fabrics. Using Sakai Ovex's yarn-spreading technology, development of a thin fabric measuring just 0.06 mm in thickness has been achieved. The new fabric weighs only 60g/m2, or about half the weight of the lightest carbon fiber fabrics currently available.

A fabric prepreg is typically used on top of a prepreg layer for a composite product in order to maintain performance and prevent cracking during drilling and other machining. Reducing the weight and thickness of such fabrics helps to lower the composite product's weight as well as allows the original prepreg layer to be thicker and thereby enhance the entire rigidity without increasing the total thickness of the product. Moreover, thinly spread yarns generate less waviness in the fabric, which improves translation of fiber strength into the composite product.

Teijin Limited

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