Composite Materials Research Laboratories

The Laboratories dated from 1990, unifying the Ehime Research Laboratory of the Fibers and Textiles Research Laboratories and the Composite Research Laboratory of the Polymer Research Laboratories. Research targets the carbon fiber TORAYCA™, matrix resins and other composite materials, fabric, prepreg and other intermediate materials, composite materials processing, design and analysis.

Composite Materials Research Laboratories conducts advanced and vertically integrated R&D activities from carbon fibers and matrix resins to composite materials.

Carbon fiber development

By establishing new technologies enabling precise control of carbon crystalline structure as well as nano-scaled surface structure, we have commercialized TORAYCA™ carbon fiber “T800S” having high strength and intermediate modulus. This fiber has been applied to major aircraft in recent decades such as the Boeing 777 and 787, and Airbus A380. Further development of these cutting-edge structure control technologies has led us to commercialize our latest TORAYCA™ carbon fiber “T1100G” having 10% improvement on both tensile strength and elastic modulus. We are committed to continue our carbon fiber R&D activities creating higher performance carbon fibers.

Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 using TORAYCA™ carbon fiber

ボーイング777X

The Boeing 777X, a next generation, large-scale aircraft, which is under development
(Toray is scheduled to supply TORAYCA™ prepreg) ©Boeing

Matrix resin and prepreg development

Our interlayer toughening technology using thermoplastic particles in interlayer regions of laminated prepreg sheets enables improvement of impact resistance. This approach has led us to commercialize TORAYCA™ prepreg “T800H/3900-2” which was qualified as the first carbon fiber material for primary structures of Boeing’ s civil transport aircraft in 1990 and applied to Boeing 777 aircraft. Contracts for supply of our prepreg to Boeing 787 and Boeing 777X aircraft were signed in 2005 and in 2015, respectively. In 2011, Boeing 787 entered in service. Besides aerospace applications, we have also commercialized TORAYCA™ prepreg products for sporting goods applications by applying NANOALLOY™ technology. The material exhibits both high strength and high impact-resistance of composites and furthermore enables designs of very light golf club shafts and bicycles.

Development of TORAYCA™ T1100G with high tensile strength and high modulus

Tensile modulus

Reduction of nano-sized surface defects that are fracture initiating points

Composites development

We have developed innovative resin transfer molding technologies enabling molding of an automobile platform (chassis) in less than 10 minutes. In addition, we have developed innovative press molding technologies enabling molding of high strength parts in less than 1 minute by use of stampable sheets consisting of uniformly dispersed short individual carbon fibers. These are some of our efforts to develop carbon fiber reinforced composite technologies for full-scale automotive structural components through a number of national projects. We also developed TORAYCA™ prepreg ET40 which has slits in controlled manner drastically improving formability from conventional prepregs while maintaining good mechanical properties, and CFRF™ which has 3D network structure of carbon fiber enabling ultra-light-weight and high rigidity. Moreover, we have developed hybrid moldable materials by combination of light-weight high modulus carbon fiber laminates made from prepregs and high throughput injection molding method. The materials have been successfully used in laptop housing products.

Composite materials which exhibit both good formability and good mechanical properties

Composite materials which exhibit both good formability and good mechanical properties

* ET40 is winner of the technology award of the Japan society of composite materials in 2015

ノートパソコン筐体

Plastic materials reinforced with carbon fiber filaments are used in lightweight and high rigidity PC chassis.
* Winner of the Prime Minister Prize of National Commendation for Invention in 2008
Photo : Lenovo (Japan) Ltd.

Milestones in Toray R&D

1971 Commenced production of TORAYCA™ carbon fiber.
1977 Established Ehime Research Laboratory of the Fibers and Textiles Research Laboratories.
1987 Established Composite Research Laboratory of the Polymer Research Laboratories.
1990 Established Composite Materials Research Laboratories.
1992 Commenced production of TORAYCA™ carbon fiber prepreg T800H/3900-2 for use as primary structural material in civil aircraft.
1996 Commenced production of carbon-fiber-reinforced PC chassis with superior electromagnetic wave shielding properties.
2003 Developed super-lightweight and high rigidity PC chassis.
2008 Developed high-cycle molded components for automobiles.
2011 Boeing 787 using Toray CFRP came into service.
2014 Commenced production of high strength and high modulus TORAYCA™ carbon fiber T1100G.
2017 Developed next generation TORAYCA™ carbon fiber prepreg T1100G/3940 for aircraft and space applications.