In 1961, inorganic fibers garnered attention as reinforcement materials in fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) for aerospace applications. In that year, Toray started research in this area, and successfully developed polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fiber in 1970. In 1971, test production (1 t/month) was started in Shiga and sales began under the name TORAYCA™. Then, in 1973, the operation of a full-scale production facility (5 t/month) was launched in Ehime. Initially the main applications were fishing rods, golf-club shafts and other sporting goods, but we built up trust in our product as a secondary structural material in aircraft applications, and in 1990, Toray prepreg was certified for the first time as a primary structural material (in tail assemblies) for the Boeing 777. In response, we established a presence in the U.S.: a prepreg production company in 1992 and a raw-fiber production company in 1997. In the Boeing 787, which entered service in 2011, TORAYCA™ prepreg and cloth are used throughout all primary structural elements, including the main wings.
Boeing 777 ©Boeing
Boeing 787 Photo All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.
TORAYCA™ carbon fiber