EADS is Europe’s largest aerospace group, and includes aircraft manufacturer Airbus as well as helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter, space provider Astrium and the EADS Defence & Security division. Until now, Toray has been supplying carbon fibre to EADS through prepreg manufacturers which produce and supply carbon fibre prepreg.

The new agreement enables Toray to directly supply a wider range of products, including its carbon fibre prepreg, to EADS.

According to Toray, demand for carbon fibre for aircraft applications had been stagnant since 2008. However, there are signs of recovery and expansion of the market. Airbus has been using carbon fibre composites in primary and secondary structural material of A320 Single Aisle Family, A330/A340, Long Range Family and A380. In the new A350 XWB, a significant amount of carbon fibre composites will be used in wings and fuselage. The production of the A350 is expected to dramatically increase the use of carbon fibre composites at Airbus.

Toray positions aircraft application as the core application of its high-performance carbon fibres business and it claims a roughly 60% market share in carbon fibres for aircraft applications.