In recent weeks, BMW has announced its intention to make extensive use of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic in its next luxury car model, the 7 Series sedan. The growing use of carbon fibre in several high-volume industries (including automotive, building and construction, wind-power energy generation, and military and defence) has long been monitored by those sensing a potential opportunity to become or to extend their influence as manufacturers of carbon fibre.
Praedium's purchase of a majority share in Montefibre Hispania SA will lead to the re-opening of this 45.6-kt-a-year acrylic fibre plant, and later the new owner plans to convert part of it to making 3kt a year of carbon fibre.
The investments needed to increase capacity for the manufacture carbon fibre are huge, but there are a growing number of companies now willing to spend money on at least the next tentative steps towards doing so. In just the last few days: the Spanish investment company Praedium has taken control of Montefibre Hispania and announced it is looking for partners to build a production line for carbon fibre with a capacity of 3 kt a year; a private investor with a long history in carbon fibres, Jan Verdenhalven, and an investment company, WHEB Partners of London, UK, have jointly purchased Dolan GmbH, with a view to exploiting its acrylic fibres as carbon precursors.
To keep up to date with these developments, as well as browsing our archive to research the background to them, keep coming back to Technical Textiles.Net (and its sister site—Performance Materials.Net).
Other recent highlights include:
TenCate adapts military fabric for firefighters' turnout gear
Freudenberg adds surface textures to microfilament fabrics
Suominen's new wetlaid line in USA to focus on added-value products