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Zoltek to increase large-tow carbon capacity

Demand for longer and lighter wind blades drives investment.

23rd November 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  St Louis, MI, USA


Zoltek, the US subsidiary of Toray Industries headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is to increase its capacity of large-tow (with more than 40,000 filaments) carbon fibre in a $130 million upgrade at its plant in Jalisco, Mexico.

This will lift the operation’s annual capacity by around 54%, to more than 20,000 tons, boosting the company’s overall combined capacity at its Mexican and Hungarian operations to about 35,000 metric tons.

Toray expects the market for this fibre to expand over the medium-to-long terms as a result of the growing deployment of wind power as an eco-friendly source of renewable energy. Rising demand for longer and lighter blades to boost generating efficiency will fuel the use of carbon fibre which is lightweight, strong and rigid.

“Demand for our industrial-grade carbon fibre in energy and transportation applications continues to grow at a rapid pace,” said David Purcell, Zoltek executive vice president, “and we are supporting this growth with a 6,000 tons installation in 2021, and again in 2023. More importantly, we have diversified our customer base to create a stronger foundation for future growth.” 

Zoltek’s PX35 carbon fibre is the preferred option for industrial applications due to its balance of cost competitiveness and delivered performance.

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