By Liz White, ERJ staff
Tokyo-Teijin Ltd and Teijin Twaron BV are to raise capacity for the high-performance para-aramid fibre Twaron by 20 percent, at plants in Emmen and Delfzijl.
Work on the expansion began in March 2005 and the extra yarn and pulp capacity will be available in the second half of 2006, said an announcement from the Tokyo-headquartered firm.
The expansion of fibre and pulp production will cover monomer and polymer capacity in Delfzijl and spinning capacity in Emmen. The total investment is about Euros 140 million, and includes de-bottlenecking of existing production lines. Nameplate capacity will rise to some 23 000 tonnes.
Teijin plans to meet rising demand of about 10 percent annually for the aramid fibre in traditional markets such as ballistics, rubber, optical fibre cables, friction, composite materials, ropes & pipes. New product developments in para-aramid markets such as fire-resistant mattresses, blast mitigation materials and fabrics for asphalt reinforcement are also pushing demand up, Teijin indicated.
Ballistics uses and friction (automotive brake pads, gaskets and sealing) are the fastest growing uses for Twaron, while steady growth is being seen in use in tyres, hose and belting as well as in cut resistant gloves.
This expansion in fibre and pulp production is the third major capacity increase since the take-over by Japanese firm Teijin of Twaron at the end of 2000. A 50-percent capacity rise was completed in 2003, and addition of a further spinning line will be completed in the third quarter of this year, which will increase capacity with 5-10 percent, depending on product mix.
Teijin's Industrial Fibers Group makes two para-aramid fibers: Twaron and Technora, as well as a meta-aramid fiber: Teijinconex. It also offers carbon fibre, and PEN (polyethylene naphtalate) fibre.