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Aramid fiber fabrics for protection from airborne volcanic fragments

News International-French

2 Feb 2016

Teijin announces that it has developed two new fabrics of Twaron and Technora para-aramid fibers to protect facilities such as lodges and evacuation shelters from airborne volcanic fragments measuring as much as about 10cm.

The new fabrics are designed and produced in accordance with the Japanese Cabinet Office Opening a new window’s new regulations for strengthening evacuation facilities located near volcanos. The Ministry of the Environment Opening a new window is now using the fabrics to refurbish the roof of the Ebino Eco Museum Center Opening a new window in Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park Opening a new window on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan.

The company developed its Twaron and Technora para-aramid-fiber fabrics in consultation with the Cabinet Office, the National Defense Academy Opening a new window, the Mount Fuji Research Institute of the Yamanashi prefectural government. In simulation tests held at a National Defense Academy facility in September 2015, the fabrics demonstrated their capacity to withstand fist‐sized airborne fragments similar to those produced during the September 2014 eruption of Mt. Ontake, located some 200 kilometers west of Tokyo.

Teijin manufactures two types of lightweight, strong and heat-resistant para-aramid fibers. Twaron offers six times more tensile strength than steel of the same weight, as well as superior heat resistance and elastic modulus. Technora boasts even greater tensile strength and resistance to impact, fatigue and chemicals.

The choice of which para-aramid fiber to use depends on the envisioned level of protection required for each facility, based on a specific volcano’s activity level, altitude and local weather patterns. Teijin will focus marketing activities on local municipalities and private enterprises in areas prone to volcanic activity, with sales expected to reach 50,000 square meters by the fiscal year ending in March 2017.

Protecting evacuation facilities and other structures from large airborne fragments is an important issue in Japan, one of the world's more active volcanic regions. While materials such as reinforced concrete and steel offer required levels of strength and durability, transporting heavy materials and large equipment to highlands can lengthen the construction period and raise construction costs. The deteriorating effect of severe weather on steel is another problem.

High-performance composite materials that offer new value are one of the four business pillars in the transformation and growth strategies of Teijin’s current medium-term business plan. Promising fields for Teijin’s high-performance fibers include safety, infrastructure and energy, functional paper and filters, and mobility. The company is putting a high priority on leveraging its high-performance materials in advanced solutions to meet diverse demands in the global market.

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