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Toray Develops Flame Retardant CFRP Material Using Materials Informatics

Published on 2021-12-03. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:   Thermoplastic Composites    Automotive     High Heat Materials   

toray-carbon-fiber-plastics Toray has developed a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for advanced aerospace applications. The company leveraged materials informatics technology to swiftly achieve exceptional flame retardance and mechanical performance for this material. The company will push forward with demonstration testing to broaden CFRP applications and demand to encompass aircraft, automobiles, and general industrial usage.

Overcoming CFRP Shortfalls

CFRP is reliable because it delivers a high specific strength and specific modulus of elasticity and offers excellent fatigue and environmental resistance. Aerospace applications are expanding.

Although mechanically superior to metals, CFRP does have some functional drawbacks. They include flame retardance and electrical conductivity. Additional materials and processes are accordingly necessary to cover that shortfall. Improving fire resistance is particularly desirable. The challenge has been that engineering and optimizing different flame retardance and mechanical properties entails huge amount of experimental data. It has accordingly been hard to slash development lead times.

Materials Informatics for CFRP Engineering

As a part of its digital transformation initiatives, which draw on data and digital technologies to become more competitive, Toray deployed materials informatics in CFRP engineering and established a technology to develop materials swiftly by harnessing inverse problem analysis to refine materials designs based on the properties required.

The company used a self-organizing map deployed in joint research with Tohoku University as a tool for this analysis. It was thus able from a handful of experiments to identify suitable combinations from a range of materials groups to achieve the desired properties and develop a material that is flame-retardant and offers the right mechanical properties, successfully engineering a matrix resin for CFRP and quickly develop a prepreg (the intermediate material of CFRP).

Prepreg with Improved Properties

The prepreg provides the equivalent compressive strength, heat resistance, and other mechanical properties as current aerospace materials. At the same time, it delivers a 35% lower heat release rate, which is the rate of heat generated from fire, than those materials. Toray plans to additionally apply inverse problem analysis to thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and other elements to help engineer highly functional prepreg that diversifying needs in aircraft, automobile, and general industrial usage components.

Some of Toray’s progress through this development effort was as part of “Materials Integration” for Revolutionary Design System of Structural Materials under the Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) of the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation CSTI) of the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, which the Japan Science and Technology Agency oversees.

Source: Toray Industries

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