TOKYO-By the end of June, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.'s carbon fiber and advanced composite material department and Fiberite Inc. expect to complete their agreement to manufacture seismic retrofit and structural reinforcement materials jointly. The California Transporta-tion Department is considering qualification of Mitsubi-shi's trademark Replark unidirectional carbon fiber prepreg for use in structural reinforcement and retrofit.
``We expect that our product will be qualified by Caltrans, hopefully in this summer,'' Yasu Ohtani, Mitsubishi carbon fiber production's assistant manager, said May 22.
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi, Japan's largest chemical company, developed the material in 1983 and, with contractor Ohbayashi Corp., created the installation method called Replark.
U.S. patents for the system were granted in 1988 and 1995. The 1994 Kobe, Japan, earthquake accelerated demand for the material, which has been applied at about 400 infrastructure and building sites in Japan and Korea.
Tempe, Ariz.-based Fiberite will manufacture Replark in its Greenville, Texas, plant, and Mitsubishi will market the material through applicators. The 10-year agreement, initially announced March 29, covers markets in North America and Europe.