TOKYO - Toray Textiles Central Europe (TTCE) and Toray Advanced Materials Korea (TAK) have set up a new facility in the Czech Republic to expand the Airlite automotive interior sound acoustic Insulation business in Europe.
This material enhances passenger comfort by suppressing noise from driving, vibrations, and from outside vehicles. This new facility, located at TTCE’s existing site in Prostějov will go on line in October this year, with an annual production capacity of 1,200 metric tons.
As Toray notes, Europe has spearheaded efforts in the developed world to steadily tighten automotive noise regulations, including for internal combustion engine models. Demand for electric vehicles is now expected to surge in the next few years. These automobiles are essentially free of engine sounds, so drivers and passengers are more likely to notice road and tire noises. Quieter cabins feel more comfortable and luxurious. Markets for top-performance sound absorbing materials should therefore continue to grow. Moreover, as the growth of the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry using propellers is expected in the future, the lightweight sound-absorbing application field will be further expanded.
Airlite is a meltblown nonwoven sound-absorbing material made of lightweight polypropylene and polyester. Melt-blowing extrudes melted polymers through nozzles and sprays them to form a nonwoven fleece. The fabric is designed to deliver exceptional sound absorption across a broad frequency range. It is lighter than conventional counterparts, thereby reducing energy consumption from driving.
The new Airlite facilities will also complement TTCE’s existing airbag fabric operations, helping it to expand its automotive materials business. "TAK is looking to leverage the new facilities to bolster its automotive interior sound-absorbing materials business in Europe and step up efforts to serve automakers and leading parts manufacturers as Europe’s electric vehicle market grows," the company said. "Toray will develop products incorporating recycled materials and other eco-friendly offerings to add value and match customer needs. It will collaborate with customers in its drive to reduce environmental impact and materialize a sustainable economy, transforming societies in keeping with its commitment to innovating ideas, technologies, and products that deliver new value."
Under the Toray Group Sustainability Vision, the company aims to leverage its technologies and advanced materials in creating solutions that are essential for the international community to overcome the challenges of pursuing sustainable development. The Group is hoping to become carbon neutral by 2050.