TOKYO -- Teijin has ramped up production of carbon fiber at a German subsidiary, the Japanese materials maker said Friday, partly in response to growing demand for the strong yet lightweight material for use in medical devices amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Teijin Carbon Europe has increased production capacity for carbon short fiber by 40% by upgrading production lines to improve employee productivity as well as extending operating hours.
The medical industry is among the alternative markets Teijin looks to cultivate as production cuts at Boeing and other aircraft makers send aviation-related demand for carbon fiber plunging. Teijin has also seen growing demand for carbon fiber from other industries, such as electronics.
To make such medical devices as X-ray machines and ventilators, the material is often blended with plastic or rubber.
Another Teijin subsidiary, Teijin Frontier, has begun producing medical gowns to meet the massive demand generated by the coronavirus outbreak.