Mitsubishi Chemical in detail
Carbon fibres and composite materials
At the beginning of April 2018, Wethje became a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical. The parent company had already had shares in Wethje for four years. One business unit of Mitsubishi is the production and processing of carbon fibres and composite materials, and it is Wethje Carbon Composites GmbH’s job, as well as other companies, to bring such products to the end customer. Mitsubishi Chemical covers markets involved in the automotive industry, manufacturing, aerospace and sports with the following business units for example:
- Advanced polymers
- High-performance chemicals
- Electronics & displays
- Environment & living solutions
- MMA (Methyl methacrylate – e. g. to produce acrylic glass)
- High-performance films
- Advanced moulded parts & composite materials
- New energies
In the area of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics, the corporate group covers the entire value creation and uses various technologies to produce carbon parts. To produce small quantities, autoclave technology, oven forming, or hydroforming are used.
Since carbon has not been in use for very long as a material, new technologies are being developed and successfully introduced, for example PCM (Prepreg Compression Moulding), RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding) and SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound). These processes make series production possible as well. SMC is cost-efficient and mainly used to produce structural components for the automotive industry. Otherwise, PCM technology is used for car body and structural components. PCM usually provides a good surface quality and is therefore preferred to the RTM process. The suitability of PCM for series production could also be proven successfully with the production of the Audi RS5 roof in close cooperation with Wethje Composites GmbH.
Furthermore, current technologies are continuously optimised with the support of Mitsubishi Chemical and new ideas to produce CFRP components are incorporated to ensure that we continue to supply high-quality materials from the raw material to the finished composite.