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ZOLTEK to Showcase Latest Carbon Fiber Developments in Automotive, Wind Energy at JEC 2014

PRESS RELEASE – PARIS, France – At this year’s JEC Europe, visitors to the ZOLTEKbooth (Hall 7.2, D19) will see the latest innovations and technologies for applying ZOLTEKcarbon fiber – product displays will range from “Class A” surface and structural parts for automotive, wind energy spar caps constructed from pultruded plates, prepreg, or fabrics, hydrogen and compressed natural gas tanks filament wound with Panex® 35, and carbon fiber clutch plates for automotive and aircraft braking. Additionally ZOLTEKCorporation will display its full range of carbon fiber intermediate products – pultruded profiles, rapid-cure and flame retardant prepregs, chopped & milled carbon fibers, fabrics, thermoplastic products, and more.

Automotive

The automotive section of ZOLTEK’s JEC booth will showcase the latest innovations in the application of ZOLTEKcarbon fiber into the automotive industry, intermediate carbon fiber products specifically formulated for use in automotive, and a variety of commercial-ready surface and structural carbon fiber automotive parts.

Among the automotive parts on display, will be a carbon fiber roof panel with a premium and paintable surface manufactured via a new process called “Surface RTM”. This process is the result of a year-long industry partnership using the latest KraussMaffei RTM technology, Henkel PU chemistry, Chomarat C-Ply fabrics, Ruhl PU coatings, and ZOLTEK’s specially-sized Panex® 35 50K carbon fiber. The partnership resulted in an impressive carbon fiber roof panel for the Roding Roadster that is ready to paint directly out of the mold and suitable for structural and semi-structural parts. Surface RTM eliminates the primer and sand process to hide print-through, which has the potential to significantly reduce final part costs.

ZOLTEKAutomotive will also be showcasing advanced carbon SMC molded parts produced by Magna Exteriors using ZOLTEK’s Panex® 35 carbon fiber. ZOLTEKand Magna have worked closely to develop this low-cost carbon SMC product, which is now sold under Magna’s EpicBlendSMCTM product line. Designed to mold and flow in a traditional SMC compression process, this carbon SMC product provides automotive parts with lightweight, high mechanical properties, and high heat resistance.

Additionally, ZOLTEKAutomotive has made significant progress developing a prepreg material suitable for class-A automotive body panels. During this event, ZOLTEKwill introduce a new fast-cure automotive-grade prepreg capable of producing premium and paintable “class-A” automotive body panels. Painted and unpainted body panels created from this new prepreg material will be among the many carbon fiber parts on display in the automotive section of ZOLTEK’s JEC booth.

ZOLTEK’s full line of intermediate products for automotive applications will be on display – Fast Curing Automotive Prepregs, Pultruded Profiles, Infusible Fabrics (UD, MD, Glass Hybrid), Chopped & Milled Fibers, and commercial-ready Thermoplastic Tapes co-developed with TCG.

Wind Energy

At JEC 2013, ZOLTEKintroduced pultruded profiles into wind energy. This was to advance the trend within the wind industry to use pre-cured carbon composites as the structural member of turbine blades. Since then, ZOLTEK’s pultruded profiles have been successfully tested and are currently being used for that purpose. At JEC 2014, visitors to the ZOLTEKbooth can see segments of wind blade spar caps built with pultruded profiles and view the high fiber volumes, nearly zero void content, and the locked-in filament alignment which has made this product a wind energy success. Spar caps built with Panex® 35 Prepregs and Fabrics will also be on display during the event. ZOLTEK’s leading position in the wind energy market has been marked by success, with over 20,000 metric tons of carbon fiber installed in wind turbines worldwide, and the Company believes their expansion into pultrusion has further secured its place in the market.

Pultrusion

In addition to wind energy, many more markets are beginning to develop now that ZOLTEK’s pultruded products are fully commercialized. The high strength and stiffness, as well as lightweight and corrosion resistant properties of carbon fiber pultruded profiles are performing and testing well in offshore drilling, infrastructure, and other industrial markets.

These pultruded rods, plates, and complex shapes are manufactured by ZOLTEKusing their Panex® 35 continuous tow carbon fiber. ZOLTEK’s pultruded profiles are available in various profiles and resin chemistries, and represent the lowest cost way to continuously make a CFRP part.

Prepregs for Wind, Automotive, Consumer Electronics

ZOLTEKwill also display newly-formulated Panex® 35 Prepregs with specific resin formulations available for wind energy, automotive, marine, medical, and consumer electronics. Recent expansion into a new 12,500 m2 prepreg manufacturing facility, has positioned the company to manufacture the capacity required for large-scale projects, specifically in the wind energy and automotive sectors. ZOLTEK’s prepreg tapes are formulated for rapidly building up part thickness and allow for higher manufacturing throughput at lower costs. Together with the prepreg product, ZOLTEKcan deliver a cost effective process technology to manufacture spar caps up to 90 meters long. The company believes that these factors will redefine the industry price point for carbon fiber prepregs going forward.

Full Range of Carbon Fiber Intermediate Products on Display

ZOLTEK’s full range of carbon fiber products and intermediate products will be on display at the 2014 JEC, which includes: Panex® 35 Continuous Tow, Short Fibers (Chopped and Milled), Carbon Fabrics (Uni- and Mulit-Axial), Glass-Hybrid Fabrics, Prepregs, Carbon Felts, Pultruded Profiles, and Thermoplastic Products.

About ZOLTEK: ZOLTEKCorporation develops low-cost carbon fiber and carbon fiber application solutions used in wind turbines blades, automotive parts, thermoplastic compounding, compressed natural gas (CNG), offshore drilling, infrastructure, marine, and various other commercial products. To find out more, please visit http://www.ZOLTEK.com.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with a ZOLTEKrepresentative, please call John Kowalik at (314) 291-5110 or email John at john.kowalik@ZOLTEK.com