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Zoltek Corporation, one of the largest global supplier of commercial carbon fiber, announces that it has been awarded by Frost & Sullivan the “2013 Best Practices Award” for its automotive carbon fiber products and technologies innovation.
In addressing the key challenge of lightweighting vehicles in the automotive industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes that Zoltek offers all the features and benefits desired by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs): low-cost and stable pricing, product consistency at high-volume, and superior performance properties.Panex 35, Zoltek’s primary carbon fiber product, is the main driver for the company’s automotive business. Zoltek’s carbon fiber commercialization strategy operates outside the volatile aerospace market and positions their products to compete with other structural materials such as steel, aluminum and fiberglass. The Company provides a lower cost and more sustainable pricing model to its customers and is positioned to supply the high capacity required by automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seeking to manufacture low-cost, structurally optimized parts for lightweight vehicles. Furthermore, US and EU emissions and fuel economy regulations have accelerated lightweight vehicle development and pushed Zoltek’s innovative solutions to the forefront.This award also recognizes Zoltek’s new product and process technology development. Zoltek has partnered with Magna Exteriors and Interiors, a major global Tier 1 automotive supplier, to develop best-in-class carbon fiber sheet molding compounds (SMC) that can be used to mold large complex structural automotive parts using high rate, low cost manufacturing processes. Along with other technology partners, Zoltek is developing fabrics for high resin transfer molding (RTM) that produces “Class A” surface quality directly from the mold. Zoltek is also developing their own automotive prepreg products with rapid cure, high temperature resin formulations for high rate molding of external body structures. In addition to these thermoset polymer composites technologies, Zoltek is working with several partners to develop low-cost continuous fiber thermoplastic tape products combined with direct compounding injection and compression molding technologies for next generation low cost high rate automotive composite manufacturing Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which in turn, increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential. More information: www.zoltek.com