A Boeing 787 vertical fin made by STRATA Manufaturing PJSC in India
A new report published by Rnrmarketresearch.com says that Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market for the top 10 high growth composite materials in the next five years. Elsewhere, Allied Market Research states that Asia-Pacific is expected to lead the global green building materials market. Fiber-cement composites are just one of the new materials coming onto this market, which is driven by emission reduction potential, lower operating costs, and the high asset value of green buildings.

 

Japan

Silicon carbide fibers developed by companies in Japan are helping improve the fuel efficiency of General Electric’s new GE9X aircraft engines, which will be mounted on next-generation Boeing 777X jets. The silicon carbide fiber composites will replace nickel alloy in four parts, including turbine blades. Silicon carbide fibers weigh one-third that of nickel alloy and can withstand temperatures up to 2000°C. Nickel alloy, a mainstay material in engine production, offers less heat resistance than silicon carbide fibers and requires air cooling.

Ube Industries plans to add a silicon carbide fiber production wing by 2025 at a plant in Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture. It intends to invest tens of billions of yen to lift annual production capacity 20-fold to 200 tons.

Nippon Carbon recently increased silicon carbide fiber capacity at its Toyama Prefecture plant by 10 times to 10 tons per year, and will take a stake in a General Electric plant in the US expected to begin production by 2019.

Lehmann&Voss&Co. has opened a 2,500 m² production facility and application technology center in Kunshan, China. Operating under LEHVOSS New Material (Kunshan) Co., Ltd, this specialty compounding and masterbatch factory focuses on LUVOCOM® high-performance compounds as well as LUVOBATCH® additives and masterbatches.

Toray is to acquire 55% of outstanding shares of Italian prepreg manufacturer Delta Tech S.p.A., thus reinforcing its carbon fiber business in Europe.

 

China

ELG Carbon Fibre (Coseley, UK) and Adesso Advanced Materials (Wuhu, China) have concluded a MOU regarding cooperation to develop lightweight composite components for the automotive industry based on ELG’s recycled carbon fibre materials. The objective is to investigate applications which have been identified by Chery New Energy Automobile Technology Co. Ltd (Wuhu, China) on the Chery eQ1 electric vehicle. The goal is to further reduce the weight of the eQ1, which already makes extensive use of aluminium technology, through selective use of carbon fibre composites.

LM Wind Power (Denmark) has announced a strategic collaboration with Chinese wind turbine manufacturer CSIC HZ Windpower. The first result will see LM Wind Power deliver blades produced at its plant in Jiangyin, China, for the Rudong wind farm.

Zhongzhi Qiche, a company based in Chengdu, China and specializing in new energy vehicles, is developing a bus made of carbon fiber, which will significantly reduce weight and allow a 500 km drive without refueling. Thanks to the use of carbon fiber, body weight can be reduced by 23% compared to a bus whose body is made of steel, while further weight savings are possible by using carbon fiber in the interior.

Glass fiber producer Taishan Fiberglass, a wholly owned subsidiary company of China National Materials Co., Ltd., is to construct a glass fiber production facility in the western India state of Gujarat by 2019. Planned annual capacity is of 80,000 tonnes. The investment is prompted by the huge increase in demand for reinforcing materials for the plastics and composites industry over the past few years.

 

India

Strata Manufacturing PJSC, the advanced composite aero-structures manufacturing company owned by Mubadala Development Company, and Reliance Defence Limited (RDL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on advanced aerospace manufacturing capabilities between India and the United Arab Emirates. The partnership is looking at opportunities in the production of carbon fiber composites aerostructures, prepegs as well as 3D printing of aerospace components and airframe panels.

The first prototype of the light utility helicopter from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited made its public debut at Aero India in February. The helicopter uses 90% composites by surface area, or 30% composites by weight, according to the manufacturer.

 

Singapore

Singapore will be the manufacturing base for the world’s first elevator made of composite materials such as fiberglass and CFRP. The elevator will be 10 times lighter than a normal elevator of the same capacity. This lightness will mean a counterweight to help its motor move the lift is not necessary. As counterweights can take up to a third of the space in an elevator shaft, the composite lift will save shaft space. The Singapore Lift Company (SLC) hopes that the time and labor savings and the bonus of maximizing lift shaft space will appeal to property developers.

 

Written by Denzil Walton

Denzil Walton is a technical copywriter, editor and conference reporter. He has over 30 years’ experience writing on a variety of industrial and high-tech topics.

 

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