Brazil: RadiciGroup focuses its development work on carbon-fibre precursor.

RadiciGroup, a leading producer of nylon fibres in South America and Europe, is carrying on research and development on the production of polymer fibre precursor (PAN – polyacrylonitrile) for carbon fibre at its Radici Fibras Ltda production site in Brazil.

The Brazilian plant, located in São José dos Campos, was acquired by RadiciGroup in 1998. Following the recent suspension of acrylic fibre production, the Brazilian site is now focusing on the production of nylon 6 synthetic fibres, while continuing its experimental development work on the production of special technical fibres, such as cement fibre, and PAN carbon-fibre precursor.

“Our experience and know-how in the production of synthetic fibres, from polymerization to spinning,” said Maurizio Radici, vice president and COO of RadiciGroup, “have allowed us, over the years, to carry on fruitful research on the development of high-performance technical fibres, particularly precursor fiber  for carbon fibre.”

“Because of the sharp drop in domestic acrylic fibre consumption that has taken place in the Brazilian market since 2010,” Mr. Radici continued, ”we were forced to suspend the production of this product, but at the same time we have continued to strengthen our core businesses, nylon fibres and engineering plastics, and to focus on the development of specialty fibres. We are the only ones in Brazil with the facilities and qualified personnel needed for the experimental production of carbon fibre precursor polyacrylonitrile fibre, which we already produce for third parties in small quantities in our pilot plants at Radici Fibras. With the know-how acquired in this field, we are now evaluating projects for the conversion of the part of the site formerly used for acrylic fibre production, aimed to an industrial production of PAN carbon-fibre precursor.”

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