In line with the agreement, a specific contract has been signed to cover the supply of Tenax® thermoplastic consolidated laminates, which currently is under qualification for the new Airbus A350 XWB.

Toho Tenax expects this contract to be the first of many. To underline this strategy, it is presently investing in a new Tenax® Thermoplastic Unidirectional Prepreg line at its German facility. This is expected to start production in early 2011.

Toho Tenax says it is also in discussion with Airbus to provide carbon fibre-based materials for other aircraft and future A350 XWB versions. This could include the supply of woven Tenax® carbon fibre-reinforced benzoxazine prepreg with potential application in the Airbus A380 Auxillary Power Unit (APU) housing. This material is part of a new family of carbon fibre reinforced prepregs based on novel resin systems.

Carbon fibre development

Toho Tenax and Airbus have been building a strong relationship since 1989, during which time Toho Tenax has supplied Tenax® carbon fibre filament yarn for a variety of Airbus aircraft families, including the A320, A330 and A340, as well as the A380. They expanded the relationship with an agreement for the joint development of advanced materials in early 2008 resulting in Toho Tenax developing carbon fibre-based materials to meet Airbus’ future requirements.

The two companies intend to continue strengthening their relationship to realise further weight reductions and to enhance the energy efficiency of aircraft. Going forward, Toho Tenax aims to accelerate expansion of its aircraft materials business – one of the core objectives of the company – by developing increasingly advanced carbon fibre and carbon fibre-based products.

Toho Tenax

Toho Tenax is the core company of the Teijin Group's carbon fibres business. The Toho Tenax Group is a leading carbon fibre manufacturer with an annual production capacity of 13 500 tons in Japan, Germany and USA. Toho Tenax Europe GmbH is an affiliate located in Germany and responsible for the European market.