Toray Industries have announced that it has purchased a 20% stake in Plasan Carbon Composites a U.S. manufacturer and distributor of auto parts based on carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), in a bid to strategically expand its carbon fibre composite material business globally in the automotive field.
Established in 2006, Plasan, leveraging its proprietary high-speed Pressure Press moulding technology, is the sole U.S. Tier 1 supplier of CFRP-based exterior body panels for Performance and Luxury cars of U.S. automobile manufacturers. Plasan uses Toray’s rapid curing, thermoset resin prepreg based on carbon fibres produced by Toray’s U.S. subsidiary Toray Carbon Fibres America, Inc. for its high-speed Pressure Press moulding.
Toray has been working on enhancement of its business bases around the world to create a carbon fibre market for automotive applications. In Japan and the rest of Asia the company has been designing CFRP products and developing manufacturing technologies and products.
In Europe, which is quite advanced in the adoption of CFRP auto parts, Toray in 2008 took a stake in ACE Advanced Composite Engineering GmbH, a manufacturer and distributer of CFRP parts, and in 2011 established Euro Advanced Carbon Fibre Composites GmbH jointly with Daimler AG to drive forward development of market and applications.
The capital participation in PCC completes Toray’s automobile application supply chain starting from carbon fibres to intermediate base materials to moulded components in the major markets around the world.
Under Toray’s medium-term management program, which positions automobiles and aircraft as one of the major growing business fields, the company aims to significantly expand its business in the field by proactively allocating business resources. The carbon fiber composite material business is at the heart of the endeavor and Toray will expand the use of CFRP in the automobile field, which is expected to be a major application following the aerospace industry.