16 December 2007
16 December 2007
Having invested ¥700 million in expanding its Vectran polyarylate superfiber manufacturing facilities, Kuraray Co., Ltd. commenced full-scale operations last month.
With the facility expansion, Vectran’s annual production capacity was raised from 600 tons to 1,000 tons.
Vectran fiber is commonly portrayed as a super-high-performance fibre with ultra-high strength and a high Young’s modulus. Vectran is characterized by its low creep, low moisture absorption properties, high tenacity at extremely low temperatures and abrasion resistance in wet conditions.
In addition to its existing applications, such as its use in the fisheries industry, Vectran is increasingly employed in new applications in various industries in Japan. New applications include earphone cables, tension members for stratospheric airship sheathing, volleyball and tennis nets and ropes, plastic reinforcement Materials, ropes for marine research and experimental sacks for transporting water by sea. Overseas, Vectran fiber was selected for the special airbags used on NASA’s 1997 Mars landing vehicle, and then again in 2004 for the special airbags used on the Mars rovers. Recently, Vectran fiber has also been used for protective gloves, ropes and ground fabric for sheathing, all of which require Vectran’s very high performance attributes.
The acquisition of the Vectran high-performance polyarylate fiber business of Celanese Advanced Materials Inc. (CAMI), based in South Carolina in the United States, allowed Kuraray to directly participate in the large-scale European and U.S. markets, which significantly helped the Company’s information-gathering activities in terms of meeting market needs in a more timely and accurate fashion. In addition, thanks to the integrated manufacturing and sales structure that Kuraray has established over the years, it is now possible to accelerate the expansion of its Vectran business, based on the geographical centers of Japan, the United States and Europe.
With the 400-ton increase in its annual production capacity, Kuraray is aiming for further growth in the civil engineering, construction material and fiber optic cabling industries as well as in new areas of application.
NTPT is collaborating with the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - Swiss Centre of Technology (EPFL) and other partners to research discontinuous fibre composite tubes for high performance applications.
Hexcel is promoting its range of composite materials for skis, snowboards and other high performance winter sports equipment at ISPO Munich 2018 on 28-31 January.
The use of composites within the rail industry is predicted to grow by up to 40% between 2015 and 2020 according to the Composites Leadership Forum, reports Fibrelite, a UK manufacturer of composite trench covers.