Cytec Industries's Board of Directors has approved restart of a carbon fibre manufacturing expansion project at the company's South Carolina, US, facility as well as commencement of a prepreg manufacturing expansion project at the company's site in Texas, US.
Cytec explains that both projects support growing demand for their composite materials in the aerospace industry.
According to Cytec, the project in South Carolina will provide additional capacity for manufacture of our polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN-based) carbon fibre production including precursor manufacturing and carbonisation. Cytec uses these fibres in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced composite prepregs which are widely used in both commercial and military aerospace applications. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2013 with industrial fibre production expected in 2015 and aerospace qualified fibre production expected in 2016.
They explain the Greenville, Texas project includes a building expansion and associated infrastructure to support a new impregnation line which will increase the site's prepreg capacity by 20%. Commercial production in the new facility is expected to begin in 2015. David Snyder, Vice President of Operations for Engineered Materials, added, "We are excited about the growth of our production capabilities in Greenville and Piedmont and what it means for both our customers and the communities in which our facilities operate. We look forward to continuing our strong relationships and to continued growth and success of our operations at both sites."
In addition to the above expansions, Cytec says their Michigan, US, site is increasing its KM polymer capacity, an important raw material used in the production of certain prepregs. The first phase of this project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and will increase capacity by 25%. A second phase of expansion is also planned which will double the capacity for this material by early 2014.
The combined expansions are expected to provide capacity for growing demand from the Joint Strike Fighter, new Boeing progams such as 787 and 747-8, new Bombardier programs, and general build rate increases in Cytec's legacy civil transport, business jet, and helicopter businesses. "Aerospace manufacturers are increasingly turning to composite materials to reduce aircraft weight and improve fuel efficiency. Our investments in carbon fibre and prepreg show our commitment to supporting the industry growth by optimizing supply capability for our customers," said Bill Wood, President, Engineered Materials.