Cytec adds that this mechanical completion is a major milestone for the company, as it demonstrates its focus on growth in the aerospace market.
The new carbon fibre facility will provide additional capacity for manufacture of polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN-based) carbon fibre production including precursor manufacturing and carbonisation. Carbon fibres act as a reinforcement material and offer advantages such as lightweight, high tensile strength, durability and resistance to corrosion and high temperatures.
Cytec uses these fibres, such as THORNEL® carbon fibres, in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced composites that are widely used in commercial and military aerospace applications. This facility is intended to double Cytec’s carbon fibre manufacturing capacity and provide additional capability to meet the demand for next-generation carbon fibres.
“I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish in South Carolina and excited about the growth this project represents for the customers we serve and communities where our employees live,” said Shane Fleming, Chairman, CEO and President, Cytec Industries Inc.
The new facility will support the expected build rate increases in Cytec’s commercial transport, business jet, and rotorcraft market segments. Cytec will be conducting commissioning and qualification activities on the new production line ahead of its expected aerospace certification and qualified fibre production in early 2016.
“Aerospace manufacturers are increasingly turning to composite materials to reduce aircraft weight and improve fuel efficiency. Our investments in carbon fibre and advanced composite materials are a clear demonstration of our commitment to the industry’s growth and its need for optimised production and supply capacity,” added Bill Wood, President Aerospace Materials.