Carbon Fiber Applications
TORAYCA® carbon fiber has excellent processability and performance in filament winding and towpreg winding applications. Filament winding is used to make composites for a variety of applications, such as composite-overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), rocket launch vehicle fuel and pressure-management tanks, and missile casings. It was integral in the development of the first composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) and continues to serve as the industry standard in many filament winding applications today.
Toray offers a range of products including high-strength fibers to meet both performance and budgetary requirements.
Contact our Sales and Technical Service teams to work together to find the optimal fiber for your process and application. Whether the application is a gas transport COPV, high-pressure hydrogen tank, pressure vessel in a rocket launch vehicle, or defense application, Toray can offer a competitive solution. Available with ample production capacity are standard modulus fibers like the industry-standard T700S, our highest tensile strength intermediate modulus plus fiber T1100, and high modulus fibers like M55J. TORAYCA® carbon fiber shows robust processability properties, such as low susceptibility to fuzz generation, consistent tow width, and predictable spreadability and resin pickup, and the fiber performance properties give it a high performance-to-cost ratio with excellent quality and supply ability.
Wet Filament Winding
- Toray carbon fiber, such as T700S, has been successfully applied in wet winding for decades and continues to serve as the industry standard. Further, Toray continues to develop fibers with an excellent performance-to-cost ratio in gas transport and other pressure vessel applications.
- For large volume programs, Toray offers the highest production capacity with fiber manufacturing in four countries, positioning Toray to provide material to a just-in-time world.
- For high-pressure tanks like those for hydrogen storage and vehicles, higher strength fibers are available with the same great processability and availability. Contact us to learn more.
- As performance requirements increase such as those in space and rocket launch applications and defense applications such as rocket motor casings, Toray’s wide range of fiber products continue to meet requirements. Especially exciting is the intermediate modulus plus fiber T1100 which offers the highest tensile strength fiber available today with US domestic supply at ample capacity.
- Towpreg winding allows for the fiber impregnation (wetout) to be accomplished in advance to the winding process, typically improving the composite quality and enabling high winding speeds. This is proving to be more and more important in applications such as hydrogen tank fabrication for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and defense & space applications.
- TORAYCA® carbon fiber has a legacy of good performance in towpreg winding applications, and it has been selected for many high-performance programs. Contact us for more information to help choose the right fiber for your application.
- Toray strives for continued product improvement and development of new products that keep up with the fast pace of innovation in the composites field. One new area is called 3D winding, which consists of winding impregnated fiber around nodes to create very low weight and high-performance structures. Toray’s high-performance fibers such as T1100 are well positioned to be applied in new areas like this.
Weaving & Other Fiber Re-Formatting
TORAYCA® carbon fiber has excellent processability and performance in re-formatting applications. Fiber reformatting includes weaving, braiding, multiaxial non-crimp fabrics, and nonwovens. It has a long history of being successfully applied in weaving and similar re-formatting processes to make intermediate materials that can be used in prepreg, resin transfer molding (RTM), and other subsequent processes.
TORAYCA® carbon fiber has good processibility as characterized by susceptibility to fuzz, consistency of tow width, and tow spreadability, and the resultant composites parts have good and predictable performance based on the high-level and consistent properties of the fiber.
All products are able to be woven, but the characteristics of each fiber, such as tow size (filament count), twisting (twisted, untwisted, or never twisted), sizing type, etc., affect the optimal application space and processing of each product. Several of our products were developed specifically for weaving and similar processing, for example carbon fibers using Type 4 sizing.
Please reach out to our excellent Sales and Technical Service teams to find the best fit for your application.
- Highly drapable woven products that are easily shaped to fill molds and part cavities are made using products with small tow sizes, such as 1K, 3K, and 6K, with T300, T700S, T800H, T830H, M35J, M40J, M46J, M55J, and M60J.
- Fiber areal weight (FAW) can be tailored based on the predictable and consistent spreading of the tow. This allows for relatively low FAW fabrics even with tow sizes like 12K. Ultralow FAW, spread tow intermediate materials may even be made.
- All loom types and fabric types are applicable, including plain weave, satin weaves, etc.
- Braiding allows tubular and unique woven product forms to be made. Many TORAYCA® carbon fiber products work well in braiding, including horizontal and vertical braiding processes.
Multiaxial Non-Crimp Fabrics (NCF)
- Multiaxial fabrics are made by knitting multiple layers of fabric together with polymer thread, where the fibers of each ply are no longer crimped like they are in traditional woven fabrics, or by 3D weaving using structural fibers and complex 3D architectures. These multiaxial fabrics allow multiple layers of a composite layup to be processed at a time, and they are well suited for applications like resin infusion/resin transfer molding (RTM) and other processes.
- Many TORAYCA® carbon fiber products work well in stitching and multiaxial fabric manufacturing.
Nonwoven Fabrics & Felts
- TORAYCA® carbon fiber can be processed to make nonwoven fabrics or felts using continuous fiber or after chopping.
TORAYCA® carbon fiber has excellent processability and performance in prepregging applications.
While Toray is a world leader in high-quality prepreg products, our carbon fiber is used by many prepreggers to make specialty prepregs and thermoplastic prepregs. Toray supplies high-quality prepreg intermediate products in its TORAYCA® series; for more information, see the Prepreg Products Page.
Prepreg refers to the intermediate material consisting of carbon fiber pre-impregnated (hence “prepreg”) with resin, usually supplied in sheet or slit-tape format. The excellent processability, performance, consistency in quality, and availability of TORAYCA® carbon fiber contribute to its use in many prepreg applications.
Our Sales and Technical Service teams can help you choose the optimal carbon fiber for your application and direct you to the appropriate organization in the overall value chain.
- Sometimes a unique fiber/resin combination is required for a specific application, such as hybrid materials using various fiber types in one application or highly optimized resin formulations. Toray has a broad range of carbon fiber products to choose from for your application.
- Specialty prepregs may be prototype or low-volume runs, very low or very high fiber areal weight (FAW), exotic thermoset resin matrices, or even ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) or carbon-carbon composites (pyrolyzed and/or CVD carbon matrix).
- Contact us to discuss the effects of parameters such as fiber type, tow size, and fiber/resin compatibility.
Thermoplastic Prepreg & Unidirectional Tape
- Thermoplastic matrix materials are valued for their high performance such as impact resistance, fast processing rates, low processing cost, recyclability, and other characteristics. TORAYCA® carbon fiber is applicable in melt impregnation, slurry impregnation, blown powder impregnation, commingled fibers, film impregnation, and other thermoplastic composite processes.
- Contact us for more information about which fiber products are best suited for your application, including the effects of fiber type and fiber/resin compatibility with thermoplastics such as Nylon, PPS, PEI, PEEK, PEKK, LM-PAEK, and others. We offer fiber solutions for a range of markets, including commercial aerospace, oil and gas including down-hole and off-shore, and other high-end markets.
TORAYCA® carbon fiber has excellent processability and performance in pultrusion applications. Pultrusion is commonly used to make composites with constant cross-sections and very long length, such as cable core and wind turbine blade skeletal structures. It performs well in pultrusion processing and final product applications.
CMA offers a range of products to meet both performance and budgetary requirements. Fiber products are available to suit many pultruded composite use cases, including cable core and other stringent industrial applications, and ample production capacity in the US and across the globe is available to support programs of any size.
- T700S is an industry standard fiber in pultruded cable core applications for existing and new long-range power grid applications. CMA also offers other high strength fibers when factors like ice load are important.
- TORAYCA® carbon fiber processes well in pultrusion applications thanks to its low fuzz generation, tow width consistency, and other factors.
Discontinuous Fiber Applications
TORAYCA® carbon fiber has excellent processability and performance in discontinuous fiber applications. Carbon fiber may be chopped and processed in sheet molding compound (SMC), injection molding grades, direct long-fiber thermoplastic (DLFT), etc. It is supplied in continuous fiber format on bobbins or spools, and it is easily processed into discontinuous fiber formats, including long-fiber, standard chopped fiber, and milled fiber applications.
The processability and performance of our products make it a good choice in a variety of demanding industrial applications, including in the automotive, consumer and industrial products, infrastructure, energy, and aerospace sectors.
Contact the Sales and Technical Service teams to help choose the optimal product for your application.
Sheet Molding Compound (SMC)
- TORAYCA® carbon fiber, such as T700S-12K, can be chopped and impregnated to make sheet molding compound (SMC) which can be applied in application areas like automotive, infrastructure, energy, and aerospace.
- Contact Sales and Technical Service teams for help choosing the appropriate fiber product for your application.
Chopped Fiber Injection Molding
- TORAYCA® carbon fiber may be chopped using standard fiber chopping equipment, such as standard lengths of 6 mm (1/4 inch) or 12 mm (1/2 inch). Contact Sales and Technical Service teams for help choosing the appropriate fiber type and sizing type for your application.
Direct Long-Fiber Thermoplastic (DLFT)
- The direct long-fiber thermoplastic (DLFT) process can be applied to carbon fiber and even hybrid material systems to give performance improvements compared to standard-length chopped fiber.
Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing
TORAYCA® carbon fiber has excellent processability and performance in additive manufacturing/3D printing applications. Carbon fiber reinforcement helps drive additive manufacturing/3D printing to higher performance application areas.
Toray is a market leader and innovator in the carbon fiber composite field. The proven history, performance, and processability of TORAYCA® carbon fiber continue to make it a natural choice for innovative technologies as they are being developed and matured. Additive manufacturing, a.k.a. 3D printing, is a growing field with enormous potential to improve upon and even disrupt composites application areas such as those in commercial aerospace, urban air mobility, space and defense, automotive, and other markets.
For more information about how Toray’s carbon fiber may be applied in additive manufacturing/3D printing, please reach out to the Sales and Technical Service teams. Toray’s wide range of fiber offerings allows us to find an appropriate fiber for even the most challenging application, and innovative fiber products like the intermediate modulus plus T1100 fiber, with its high tensile strength, have the potential to enable unique solutions that otherwise may not be possible.
Material Extrusion-Based Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) with Continuous or Discontinuous Fiber-Reinforced Filament
- TORAYCA® carbon fiber has been successfully implemented in FFF processes with both continuous and discontinuous fiber.
- Our wide range of fiber types including standard-modulus/high-strength fibers and high-modulus fibers, along with a range of tow sizes and surface treatments, allow for fiber compatibility in a variety of process types and resin matrices.
Powder-Based Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) with Milled Carbon Fiber
- Powder-based polymer additive manufacturing/3D printing systems often incorporate milled carbon fiber for improvements in laser or other types of heating, mechanical and thermal performance, and process stability.
Layered Object Manufacturing (LOM) with Carbon Fiber Sheets
- Carbon fiber sheets consisting of long fiber fabrics or mats can be used in layered object manufacturing (LOM) additive manufacturing/3D printing processes.