Solvay today inaugurates a new carbon fiber production line at its U.S. Piedmont Facility, South Carolina, doubling production capacity of a key raw material to make carbon fiber reinforced composite materials and meeting increasing demand for lightweighting composite materials in the aerospace industry.
The new production line has won qualification by The Boeing Company to manufacture secondary structures such as wing movable flaps and engine nacelles, as well as interior applications.
The expansion covers the facilities and equipment to convert acrylonitrile monomers into standard modulus carbon fibers. This type of fiber is used to manufacture composite materials which have been pre-impregnated for use in applications on commercial and military planes.
“Through this strategic capacity expansion we offer our customers greater supply capabilities and contribute to their increased needs for reinforced composite materials to reduce weight and fuelconsumptionandto reduce assembly costs by integrated part design. For Solvay this production expansion results in greater flexibility to strengthen our growth ininnovative composite materials and our leading position in the industry,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.
Carbon fiber composite materials’ durability, strength and fatigue life allow them to increasingly and securely replace metals on aircraft, reducing their weight, noise and CO2 emissions. In addition, composites enable the molding of multiple sub-components into one assembly part, lowering the number of parts required as well as the assembly costs.