AIST Stories No1
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From AIST to the Innovative World32lives.Carbon fiber first came to be used in sporting goods in the 1970s, thereby becoming a familiar material to consumers. It was applied in various products, including fishing rods, golf shafts, tennis rackets, and skis, and played a major role in light weighting and performance enhancements. Currently, it is an indispensable material in sporting goods. Utilization in large passenger aircraft fuselages started from the 1980s and its use has since spread to other applications that currently include rollers for printing presses, high-pressure tanks, earthquake-resistance reinforcement, wind turbine blades, building and construction, industrial machinery, and space and aerospace development. More than half a century has passed since the invention of PAN-based carbon fiber. However, this technology that was born in Japan continues to support the lives of people through the world to this day.Carbon fiber market transitionMarket ripple effect of carbon fiber research (1000 t/yr)Industrial applicationsAerospace and space applicationsSports applicationsIntroduction phase(1971-1983)Growth phase(1984-1993)Expansion phase(1994-2003)Fully-fledgedexpansion phase(2004-2011)Rapid expansion phase(2012-)19701501005001975198019851990199520002005201020152020SatellitesIndustrial applications ramp upFully-fledged expansion ofautomobiles applicationsProduction of Torayca® carbon fiber commencesTennis rackets and golf club shaftsAirbus A320 primary structural materialBoeing 777 primary structural materialAirbus A380 primary structural materialBoeing 787 projectBoeing 737 secondary structural material Boeing 757 and 767 secondary structural materialApplications●Limited fieldsFishing rods Aircraft secondary structural material●Expansion of applicationsTennis racketsGolf club shaftsAircraft primary structural material●Industrial applications ramp upPressure vesselsIndustrial machinery, shipsCivil engineering and construction, repair and reinforcement●Rapid expansion of aerospace applications, ramping up of automobile applicationsLarge-scale aerospace programsWind power generationAutomobile applications, deep-sea oilfieldsCommentsHigh qualityProduct type expansionProgress in processing technologyCost reductionLarge structural materialsDiversification of processing techniquesResponding to demands for recyclingSource: TorayInvestment valuedat JPY300 million($3 million)Cumulative market rippleeffect is equivalent tomore than JPY300 billion(approx. $3 billion)

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