History of Carbon Fiber

Do you know Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan invented a light bulb at the end of the 19th century using carbon fiber made from burning cotton and bamboo? This is the beginning of carbon fiber. With the development of tungsten filament, however, carbon fiber was soon forgotten.

It made a comeback in the 1950s as a material for jet orifices of rockets requiring heat resistance. This time, carbon fiber was made from cotton and viscose rayon textile.

Around 1957 Barnaby Cheney and National Carbon in the U.S. made prototype carbon fibers.
1961 Dr. Akio Shindo of Osaka Technical Research Institute premiered his version of carbon fiber. This is the beginning of PAN high-performance carbon fiber.
1967 The U.K.'s Rolls Royce premiered its CFRP and revealed that the company was adopting the material for jet engines.
Toray has also been studying carbon fiber, starting from its acrylic fiber "Toraylon."
Around 1970 Toray shared carbon fiber technology with Union Carbide in the U.S.
Dr. Shindo of Osaka Technical Research Institute was granted a patent license.
1971 Toray began manufacturing/selling its PAN high-strength carbon fiber TORAYCA® yarn T300. The production capacity of T300 was 12 tons/year. It was the largest production capacity for this type of product at the time. In the U.S., Union Carbide sold their T300 counterpart, Thonel300.
1972 Carbon fiber was adopted for sweetfish fishing rods.
1973 Carbon fiber was adopted for golf club shafts.
1976 A energy-saving aircraft development program began in the U.S. to counter escalating crude oil prices. T300 was adopted by this program.
1977 The Japan Carbon Fiber Discussion Group was established as an industry body of carbon fiber manufacturers.
1978 Exported carbon fiber manufacturing technology to Union Carbide.
1979 T300 was adopted for the radio telescope at Tokyo Planetarium.
1981 TORAYCA®'s cumulative production volume hit 1,000 tons.
1982 Boeing 757, 767 and Airbus A310 planes using T300 parts made virgin flights.
The Space Shuttle Columbia using T300 for its cargo doors was launched.
SOFICAR, a carbon fiber manufacturing joint venture, was established in France.

Boeing 757

1985 TORAYCA®'s cumulative production volume hit 5,000 tons.
SOFICAR began production of T300.
1986 Toray developed T1000, a carbon fiber TORAYCA® yarn with tensile strength of 7000 MPa.
1988 TORAYCA®'s cumulative production volume hit 10,000 tons.
The Carbon Fiber Discussion Group expanded and renamed itself as the Japan Carbon Fiber Manufacturers Association.
1990 Boeing's commercial passenger aircraft 777 adopted the TORAYCA® prepreg P2302-19 combining T880H offering high strength and moderate modulus of elasticity with high-performance epoxy resin 3900-2.

aircraft 777

1992 Toray Composite America was established in the U.S. to manufacture prepreg materials for 777s, etc.
1994 TORAYCA®'s cumulative production volume hit 20,000 tons.
Adoption of carbon fiber expanded in civil engineering applications for restore/reinforcement purposes due to relaxation of the truck gross weight regulation.