The company is supporting NASA’s HiCAM Project with thermoset and thermoplastic prepreg technologies

 June 28, 2022

TACOMA, Wash.—Toray, a developer and manufacturer of advanced high-performance materials, is among the shortlist of composite material suppliers that are members of the Advanced Composites Consortium (ACC) and are supporting NASA’s Hi-Rate Composite Aircraft Manufacturing (HiCAM) project. the company said in a release.

The ACC is a public-private partnership that supports the HiCAM project. Its members include NASA, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), academia, and select aerospace and materials companies.

The HiCAM project seeks to dramatically improve the manufacturing rates of composite airframe structures for future single-aisle commercial aircraft manufactured in the United States. Its approach includes the use of high-rate composite technologies to improve production rates and cost without sacrificing weight and performance attributes, according to the release.

“The HiCAM project has completed tasks supporting formulation and is entering the next phase for technology development,” said Richard Young, HiCAM project manager, in the release.  “We are pleased to have Toray as one of the members representing raw material suppliers.”

The Toray companies participating in the project are Toray Composite Materials America, Inc.  (TCMA), and Toray Advanced Composites.

Toray Composite Materials America is the manufacturer of TORAYCA™ carbon fiber and aerospace-grade thermoset prepregs. The company is involved in three sections of the project’s current phase, supplying TORAYCA™ carbon fiber and next-generation thermoset prepregs. Toray Composite Materials America also provides process guidance for the materials’ use in automated fiber placement (AFP) process development, rapid cure, and resin infusion for wing and fuselage structures.

The thermoset prepregs use intermediate modulus plus (IM+) carbon fiber with a toughened epoxy resin system, a combination that is reported to provide structural performance, low resin content, and tight physical property manufacturing tolerances.

“We’re proud to participate in the ACC’s effort to reduce cost, improve performance, and increase delivery rates of single-aisle commercial aircrafts to retain the United States’ competitive advantage in aircraft manufacturing,” said Jeff Cross, director of business development for aerospace at TCMA, in the release.

Toray Advanced Composites (TAC) manufactures a broad range of thermoset and thermoplastic composite technologies. The company is directly involved in four additional sections of the program, offering a range of Cetex® thermoplastic UD tapes and material science input. These materials are said to represent state-of-the-art structural thermoplastic composites on standard, intermediate, and intermediate modulus plus (IM+) TORAYCA carbon fibers, and are being used in innovative part fabrication and assembly processes.

“Toray is honored to support this holistic material and process technology initiative, helping U.S. aerospace manufacturing achieve an unprecedented 4-to-6x production rate increase,” said Steve Cease, vice president of technology at Toray Advanced Composites, in the release.

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