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Tokyo-headquartered Toho Tenax is to acquire Fortafil Fibers, the US PAN carbon fibre business of Acordis, providing a manufacturing base in North America to expand its US sales.
Toho Tenax has been supplying carbon fibres and carbon fibre related products worldwide from its manufacturing bases in Japan and Germany, but the absence of a manufacturing base in North America has kept is sales share there relatively small. This acquisition is a logical step towards expanding its share.
Within a year, the company will convert part of Fortafil’s current 3,500-ton large-tow capacity into a 700 ton regular-tow capacity and a 1,400 ton oxidized PAN fibre capacity. A 1,300-ton large-tow capacity will remain.
Regular tow fibres have a higher mechanical performance and go into aerospace, sports and industrial uses. Large tow fibres are lower cost and generally go into industrial applications.
The demand for carbon fibres is expected to continue growing at an annual rate of approximately 10%, informs Toho.
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