SGL Carbon AG of Germany has started a joint venture with Samsung Petrochemical Co. in South Korea for marketing and sales of carbon fiber composites.
Wiesbaden, Germany-based SGL said in a statement: "The cooperation is expected to provide a stable long-term supply of carbon fiber materials for Samsung and promote its use in various Samsung products and applications such as consumer electronics, medical devices and engineering applications. Carbon fiber materials from SGL Group will be preferred by the joint venture. In the mid-term, the joint venture will aim for business expansion over the rest of Asia."
SGL said the carbon fiber market is expected to grow by 20 percent annually in South Korea and China. Currently the Korean market focuses on prepreg and sporting goods.
The joint venture will target applications in the markets for electronic products, wind blades, pressure vessels, automotive and household appliances.
The automotive industry has shown increasing interest in SGL and its products. In 2009, BMW started a joint venture with SGL to develop series production of carbon fiber car parts, the fruits of which will be seen first in the passenger compartment of the BMW i3 electric car, which is due for launch later this year. In 2011, BMW and VW bought strategic shareholdings in SGL Group.
Juergen Koehler, member of the board of management of SGL Group, said: "Our joint venture [with Samsung] underlines our strategy to enter new markets and develop innovative applications for our high-performance materials."
Yoosung Chung, President and CEO of Samsung Petrochemical: "Lightweight materials have become an important factor not only in industrial applications but also the consumer end markets such as digital media. This partnership will position Samsung as a leading player in the development and application of carbon fiber-based products."