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New Challenges and Developments for Soficar

24 April 2002

Soficar has recently settled carbon fibre rods which constitute the cables of the pedestrian suspension bridge in Laroin (village located close to the plant site).

This bridge is the very first in France for which carbon-fibre composites are ever used. Carbon Fibre cables (a proved light, corrosion-free and resistant material) allow to extend the bridge span by avoiding the addition of further piles to support traffic and roadway load.

Soficar, with its partners, Freyssinet International, but also IFP (French Institute for Petroleum), Doris Engineering and AtoFina (through Bostik Findley resins) intends to show thanks to this first life-size test the reliability of its products to find new markets and broaden its activity, specially in the offshore industry.

Confident in its developments, Soficar invests in a new production line on its plant site in Abidos to manufacture composites through pultrusion process (carbon fibre rods), thermoplastic ribbons (carbon fibre impregnated with thermoplastic) and to carry on with efficiency Research & Development on composites for pipes and rigid risers for offshore applications.

Besides, Soficar with is mother company, Toray, has finalized a new fibre called T800S, selected by Airbus as one of the supplying sources for the A380. To be compared with the 5 to 6 ton of carbon fibre currently used in most modern civil aircraft today, 40 ton will be needed for this outstanding plane.

Regarding the industrial field, environmentally friendly applications with clean energy use concern are expanding: wind turbines, natural gas pressure vessels for vehicles, fuel cells, automotive, etc.

In 2002, supported by French regional and local authorities, Soficar is going to invest globally for all these projects more than 6 M€. These new developments strengthen the position of Soficar and Toray group in carbon fibre world.





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