JP

Better Energy Efficiency with Carbon Fiber Composite Materials

Toray Industries, Inc.

* LCA data is based on calculations by the Japan Carbon Fiber Manufacturers Association.

Outline

Carbon fiber materials have excellent specific strength and modulus of elasticity. These characteristics can be used to improve the fuel efficiency of aircraft or to make energy use more efficient by boosting the efficiency of wind power generation.

Description

Light and strong, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is used in aircraft and automobiles to reduce their weight and improve fuel efficiency. Life cycle assessment (LCA), which evaluates the total environmental impact of a product from material production to product disposal, shows that the use of CFRP contributes significantly to CO2 emissions reduction. By utilizing its global development system to create high-performance and easily moldable carbon fiber composite materials, Toray aims to expand the scope of CFRP use in aircraft and further reduce CO2 emissions.

Wind is a leading form of clean energy, and wind turbines are being installed on a large scale in various regions, especially Europe. In order to increase wind power generation efficiency, larger turbine blades are needed. With conventional fiberglass composite materials, the blade is more likely to bend as it gets larger, and there is a risk that large blades could even hit the support tower and become damaged. However, by using highly-rigid CFRP to make the blades, both bending and weight can be reduced, and wind power generation with large and efficient blades can be realized. Toray aims to significantly reduce CO2 emissions during electricity generation by enabling this technology to be widely adopted and by promoting the use of highly efficient wind turbines.

Supplementary information

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