Materials supplier Toray Advanced Composites (TAC) is building a 74,000-square-foot facility at its Morgan Hill, Calif., campus to increase production capacity of thermoplastic and thermoset composite materials by 50 percent.
The new plant will "dramatically increase" capacity for aerospace, urban air mobility, defense, commercial and industrial markets worldwide, Scott Unger, chief technology officer for U.S. and global operations, said in a news release.
The company's material offering includes prepregs in fabric, unidirectional tape, bulk-molded compounds and reinforced thermoplastic laminate formats.
Unger described the Morgan Hill project as an "accelerated expansion" that will support production of materials like Cetex — a line of lightweight materials with the durability and strength to meet aircraft manufacturers' specifications — and also improve supply chain readiness and increase laboratory capabilities and capacity in preparation for an expected surge in demand.
In March, TAC announced it became the first advanced composites company awarded with new accreditation from the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program for non-metallic materials manufacturing.
TAC staff already formulated a material (TC420) that displaced heavy and costly titanium sheet skin for the Orion spacecraft's back shell and heat shield structures.
The subsidiary of Toray Group also has facilities in Europe and Asia.