Cytec has approved the restart of a carbon fibre manufacturing expansion project at the company’s South Carolina facility as well as a prepreg manufacturing expansion project at the company’s site in Texas. Both projects support growing demand for Cytec’s composite materials in the aerospace industry.
The project at the South Carolina facility will provide additional capacity for manufacture of Cytec’s polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN-based) carbon fibre production including precursor manufacturing and carbonisation. Cytec uses these fibres in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced composite prepregs which are used in both commercial and military aerospace applications. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 with industrial fibre production expected in 2015 and aerospace qualified fibre production expected in 2016.
The Texas project includes a building expansion and associated infrastructure to support a new impregnation line which will increase the site’s prepreg capacity by 20%. Commercial production in the new facility is expected to begin in 2015.
In addition to the above, Cytec’s Michigan site is also increasing its KM polymer capacity, an important raw material used in the production of certain prepregs. The first phase of this project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and will increase capacity by 25%. A second phase of expansion is also planned which will double the capacity for this material by early 2014.
The combined expansions will provide capacity for growing demand from the Joint Strike Fighter, new Boeing progams such as 787 and 747-8, new Bombardier programs and general build rate increases in Cytec’s civil transport, business jet, and helicopter businesses.
Bill Wood, President for Engineered Materials said;
Aerospace manufacturers are increasingly turning to composite materials to reduce aircraft weight and improve fuel efficiency. Our investments in carbon fiber and prepreg show our commitment to supporting the industry growth by optimising supply capability for our customers.