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18th November 2014, Tokyo

Toray to supply carbon fibre prepreg for Boeing 777X

Toray Industries has agreed to supply carbon fibre TORAYCA prepreg for the production of the new 777X aircraft by The Boeing Company.

Accordingly, the companies signed a memorandum of agreement confirming that the two companies will negotiate extension of the existing comprehensive agreement signed in November 2005 to supply prepreg for the 787 Dreamliner.

The 777X aircraft is a large-sized twin-engine passenger aircraft currently being developed by Boeing as a successor to the existing 777.

The goal is to extend its contract period for more than ten years and to include 777X to the supply scope, reaching a final agreement by the end of this year.

Joint development

The total value of prepreg Toray Group will supply for both 787 and 777X programmes for the contract period is expected to exceed 1 trillion yen. 

Under the memorandum, Toray and Boeing also confirm that the two companies would negotiate an agreement to promote joint development in a wide range of fields including design, materials and parts production to further increase application of carbon fibre composite materials in the aerospace field. 

Construction

The 777X aircraft is a large-sized twin-engine passenger aircraft currently being developed by Boeing as a successor to the existing 777, with a plan to deliver the first plane in 2020. The company is currently constructing a plant dedicated for manufacturing the main wings using carbon fibre composite material within the premises of its Everett plant in Washington, US.

Toray’s TORAYCA prepreg has been selected for these main wings.  As for 787, TORAYCA prepreg has been used from the beginning for part of the primary structural members, such as its main wings and body of 787.

With Boeing planning to raise the number of 787 aircraft being produced every month from the current 10 planes to 12 per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade, and the ratio of larger models also expected to increase, the demand for composite materials also is expected to increase, according to the manufacturer.

Expansion plans

In response to the planned 787 production increase to 12 planes a month, Toray has been working on expansion of TORAYCA prepreg production facilities at its US subsidiary Toray Composites (America), and the new facilities are expected to start operation in January 2016.

Given the order increase, Toray plans to soon finalise plans to construct a new integrated production line for yarn (precursor), carbon fibre TORAYCA and TORAYCA prepreg in the commercial premise it acquired in February 2014 in Spartanburg County, SC.

Under the new medium-term management programme Project AP-G 2016 launched in April 2014, the company also plans to drive forward exponential expansion of the aerospace applications in the composite materials business.

www.toray.com

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