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12th May 2010, Tokyo

Toray to supply carbon fibre prepreg to Airbus

Toray Industries, Inc. has announced that it has signed a long-term basic supply agreement with the aerospace and defence company EADS to supply carbon fibre prepreg for aircraft application primarily for Airbus S.A.S. over 15 years through to 2025.

EADS is Europe’s largest aerospace corporate group comprising the globally leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus as well as the helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter, the space provider Astrium and the EADS Defence & Security division.

Until now, Toray has been supplying high-quality and high-performance carbon fibres to EADS through prepreg manufacturers which produce and supply carbon fibre prepreg. The new agreement enables a framework for Toray to directly supply a wider range of products, including its high-performance carbon fibre prepreg to EADS.

According to Toray, demand for carbon fibre for aircraft application had been stagnant since 2008. However, there are signs of recovery and expansion of the market, as major aircraft manufacturers revise up the number of aircraft production. Airbus has been using carbon fibre composite materials in primary and secondary structural material of A320 Single Aisle Family, A330 / A340, Long Range Family and A380.

With the A350 XWB, a new generation Long-Range medium-sized jet airplane, carbon fibre composite materials will be used in a significant scale in wings and fuselage. The production of this new aircraft is expected to dramatically increase the use of carbon fibre composite materials at Airbus.

Toray says it is currently in the process of qualifying for its intermediate-modulus carbon fibre prepreg and will also make active efforts so that its prepreg will be adopted for existing and new aircraft models that Airbus may develop in the future.

Toray positions aircraft application as the core application of its high-performance carbon fibres and it boasts a roughly 60% market share in carbon fibres for aircraft application. The long-term basic supply agreement is expected to strengthen Toray’s relationship with EADS, in particular with Airbus, and to enable it to further increase the supply of high quality, high-performance materials for aircraft applications, thus cementing its position as the leading company in the said application.

 

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