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Dow Chemical Partners with Turkish Company on Carbon Fibers

Carbon fibers (Oak Ridge National Lab)

(Oak Ridge National Lab)

Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan and the industrial fiber company Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii in Istanbul, Turkey have formed a joint venture to produce carbon fiber and derivative materials. The venture, known as DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV (DowAksa), will be formed through Dow’s subsidiary Dow Europe Holding BV, with each party owning 50 percent. No other financial details of the deal were disclosed.

Carbon fiber is a high-strength, durable, lightweight material used in a variety of products, both industrial and consumer. The fibers are used in composite materials for cars and aircraft, as well as reinforced plastics, batteries, fuel cells, wind turbine blades, concrete and asphalt reinforcements, and soil erosion barriers.

Dow Chemical estimates the current market for carbon fiber composites industry at $10 billion globally and is expected to reach $40 billion by 2022. The companies say DowAksa will concentrate on solutions that reduce overall costs, to encourage adoption in a broader array of markets. The venture expects to initially target global energy, transportation, and infrastructure sectors.

Aksa says it has been conducting research and development on carbon fibers since 2006. The company says its R&D facility has 71 researchers, 10 of whom hold doctorates. The venture plans to expand Aksa’s existing carbon fiber production facilities in Yalova, Turkey.

Aksa chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman says, “Carbon fiber composites, which are expected to replace metal as the material of the future, have significant importance in Turkey and around the world for fundamental industries such as transportation — automobile, high-speed train, vessels, heavy vehicles, etc. — wind energy technologies and construction, particularly for earthquake-resistant buildings.”

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