Mitsubishi Chemical setting up SMC facility in Italy
July 17, 2019 - Italy
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation is setting up its European carbon fibre sheet moulding compound (SMC) production facility in Italy. The facility, to start operations in September 2020, will be located on a site adjoining CPC SRL, in which MCC holds a 44 per cent equity. SMC can be processed into components in about two to five minutes by press moulding.
SMC developed by MCC is a type of intermediate material for carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs) and a sheet-shaped material in which carbon fibres cut into several-centimeter lengths are dispersed in resin. The SMC can be processed into components in a short period of time, roughly 2 to 5 minutes, by press moulding. In contrast to prepreg intermediate materials (uncut carbon fibre fabric impregnated with resin), this SMC features high formability for moulding complicated shaped parts.
In Japan, MCC produces SMC at its Aichi Plant (Toyohashi-shi, Aichi). Automakers in Japan have already adopted SMC for automobile door and luggage compartment inner panels and structural components for rear doors. Through CPC, MCC has developed its mobility business in Europe, using CFRPs as the main structural material. It has moved ahead with the development of SMC to gain certification for automotive applications, mainly from several European luxury automakers, anticipating wider adoption in the future.
To meet such strong demand, MCC will start up its new SMC production facility in Modena, Italy to offer increased production capacity. Modena offers a tradition of cutting edge engineering, a smooth access to MCC’s customers in the automotive market, as well as skilled labour. The new production facility, in addition to MCC’s current facility in Aichi, will bolster SMC production and contribute to further expansion of MCC’s global sales.
MCC will proactively offer optimal solutions in the mobility field, which shows significant technological innovation, by combining its carbon fibre production sites in Japan, the US, and Europe, CPC’s molding technologies, and the marketing capabilities of Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials. (SV)