Reserch & Development Organization
Automotive & Aircraft Center
The A&A Center was established at our Nagoya Plant in April 2009, with the aim of effectively concentrating in one location all of the development facilities for advanced materials for automobiles and aircraft which were previously dispersed at business sites and plants in Shiga, Ehime and Nagoya.
The A&A Center is a comprehensive technology development facility comprised of the Advanced Composite Development Center (ACC; a technology development center for composite (carbon fiber composite) substrates molds), the Automotive Center (AMC; a comprehensive development center for automotive advanced materials and components) and the Plastics Application Technology Engineering Center (PATEC; a technology development center for engineering thermoplastics). Through mutual, organic collaboration and complementary activities, the A&A Center is able to propose solutions integrating the advanced materials and technologies of the Toray Group to more customers. The Nagoya Plant is exploiting its favorable location nearby key firms in the automobile and aircraft industry, and working to strengthen joint development with customers and speed up development.
Structure and Functions of the A&A Center
"TEEWAVE® AR1" is a Toray's concept EV. The use of CFRP and our unique molding technology has made it possible to reduce the weight of the vehicle body to a light 846kg. And included are not only CFRP but also new materials and technologies such as high-function films and bio-plastics.
*TEEWAVE® AR1 : Toray Eco Efficient Wave Advanced Roadster 1
The Boeing 787, which Toray's CFRP is used as 50% of the airframe structural weight.To improve the manufacturing technology of CFRP, which is necessary for airplane manufacturing, the technology of integrating advanced material with process is always deepen and pursued.
Automotive Center (AMC)
The Automotive Center (AMC) opened in June 2008 as a comprehensive automotive technology development center playing a key role within the A&A Center. The AMC is conducting development with the aim of offering innovative solutions such as: weight reduction technology using carbon fiber composites and resins to help solve the issue of global warming (an urgent issue in the automobile industry), NANOALLOY® resin based shock-absorbing materials, and interior and exterior components made with PICASUS® metal-free multi-layer laminate film with metallic luster. We provide not only materials, but general capabilities combining processing methods, design technology and evaluation/analysis technology, and we have a system and facilities for promoting technology development while working closely with the customer.
In July of 2011, we established the Automotive Center (in China) (known as the AMCC; see page 47). We will be putting our efforts into expanding business in the Chinese automobile market by leveraging the total competencies of the Toray Group to the maximum in the field of automobiles.
Concept EV TEEWAVE®
AMC played a central role in pushing forward the concept EV TEEWAVE®, which was designed by Gordon Murray.
- Cartridge bell type painting robot
We develop resin components with highquality appearance by using full-scale painting equipment.
- Pedestrian protection testing equipment
We have equipment to evaluate the dynamic impact behavior of resins and carbon fiber composites.
Advanced Composite Development Center
The Advanced Composite Development Center was established in April 2009 to expand our carbon fiber composite business, and create/improve innovative substrate and molding technology. Particularly in the fields of automobiles, aircraft and clean energy, where the need for composites will continue to grow in the future, we are accelerating our basic technology development and specification consultation activities for customers by using the various prototyping and development systems and evaluation/analysis equipment we have installed in the center, and collaborating with leading partners both inside and outside Japan.
Technologies relating to automobile components
- High-cycle RTM molding technology
- High-speed Automatic Preforming Technology
- High-speed Resin Infusion and Impregnation Technology
- Prototyping of CFRP materials for vehicles
- Substrates for thermoplastic CFRP molding and Molding Technology
- Fabric Manufacturing Technology (Uni-direction tape fabric, Short fiber nonwoven sheet fabric, long fiber pellet)t
- Stampable Press Molding Technology
- CAE simulation technology
- Resin filling of substrates
- Pedestrian head protection function for car hoods
Technologies relating to aircraft components
- A-VaRTM molding technology
- High-performance matrix resins(collaboration with Composite Materials Research Laboratories)
- High-functionality carbon fiber substrates(collaboration with Prepreg Technical Department)
- Innovative molding processes (collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries)
- Prototyping of Empennage Box Structure made from CFRP for MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet)
- Production technology development for next generation carbon composite airplanes (Integration of Advanced materials and Fabrication process technologies)
Photo: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
MRJ Empennage using CFRP Developed jointly with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.