Fiberforge announces an Industry-Academia-Government collaboration with MRC, NEDO and University of Tokyo in Japan

Dec 04 2009


Fiberforge announces an Industry-Academia-Government collaboration with Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd,  New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, and the University of Tokyo to develop reinforced thermoplastic composites for automotive applications.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO— December 1, 2009.   Fiberforge announces today that Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. (MRC), New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO- a government organization of Japan) and the University of Tokyo has purchased a Fiberforge RELAY® Station along with an R&D license to develop reinforced thermoplastic composites for automotive applications. The effort is supported by NEDO as part of its “Development of Sustainable Hyper Composite Materials Technology” initiative. The RELAY (Rapid, Efficient Layup) Station will be installed at the University of Tokyo to develop materials that can be processed rapidly as a fundamental technology for realizing high-strength carbon-fiber composites. The key objectives are to reduce the weight of automobiles with lightweight and recyclable thermoplastic advanced composites.
The RELAY Station creates tailored multi-ply preforms from unidirectional thermoplastic prepreg tape that can then be formed into the final part. Unidirectional tape can comprise a wide variety of fiber reinforcement (e.g., glass, carbon fiber, or aramid) and resin types (e.g., polypropylene, nylon, and PEEK). Tailored blanks can vary in thickness and fiber orientation to maximize structural performance. A high degree of automation reduces the labor intensity of advanced composite part manufacturing, thus expanding the commercial reach of these materials into higher volume markets and products.
“Fiberforge is honored to have been chosen as a partner with MRC, NEDO, and the University of Tokyo to reach the shared goal of building an advanced energy saving society,” says Jon Fox-Rubin, Fiberforge CEO. “This work exemplifies Fiberforge’s Technology Partner Initiative, which aims to accelerate the pace of commercialization of thermoplastic advanced composites across industry sectors and regions. By establishing a global network of development centers within existing leading research institutions, we will increase access to and knowledge of thermoplastic advanced composite processing.”
Kyokuto Boeki Kaisha Ltd. (KBK) of Japan, Fiberforge’s trading agent, has been instrumental in forming this partnership.
Fiberforge is a technology company commercializing breakthrough manufacturing systems that enable the affordable production of lightweight advanced composite parts at high volumes. Fiberforge’s proprietary RELAY Station—protected with multiple patents and trade secrets—produces parts with high fiber alignment, high fiber fraction, and long fiber length at high speed with minimal scrap. Fiberforge’s technology and its tailored blanks are protected by US patents (6,607,626, 6,939,423 and 7,235,149), US patents pending, and International patents granted and pending.
Any projections and forward-looking statements in this release are based on best practice analysis and research from independent advisors to Fiberforge. The conclusions drawn, while the result of the best efforts of the staff of Fiberforge, are in no way a promise of delivery, and can, and will, be changed according to future input.
For further information, please contact Susan Goldberg ( at Fiberforge, Akihiko Nogiwa ( at KBK, Koichi Akiyama, ( at MRC, and Jun Takahashi,
 ( at the University of Tokyo.
About Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. (MRC)
Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. is a diversified manufacturer of chemicals, plastics, textile fibers, and consumer products, and it is global No. 1 MMA (Methyl methacrylate) monomer and polymer manufacturer. MRC also manufactures carbon fiber in Japan and the United States via its Grafil division and is tracked by the Nikkei 225 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
About NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization)
NEDO is a Japan's public management organization promoting research and development as well as the dissemination of industrial, energy and environmental technologies. NEDO’s crucial missions are enhancement of Japan's industrial competitiveness and addressing energy and global environmental problems
About the University of Tokyo
The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. As a leading research university, the University of Tokyo offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels and conducts research across the full spectrum of academic activity.
About Kyokuto Boeki Kaisha, Ltd. (KBK)
In addition to offering Fiberforge’s technology in Japan, KBK offers other products and services covering a wide range of the composite industry; from key materials such as carbon fibers, prepreg with both thermoset and thermoplastic matrices to various technical approaches and machines for making composite part with filament winding, RTM, tape placement, etc.


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