Taekwang Industry's board endorses new investment to boost aramid production

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : May 13, 2022, 10:03 | Updated : May 13, 2022, 10:03

[Courtesy of Taekwang Industry]

SEOUL -- Taekwang Industry, a chemical and textile company in South Korea, will invest 145 billion won ($112 million) to boost the production of aromatic polyamide (aramid), a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers, from 1,500 tons to 5,000 tons per year by 2025 in response to a fast increase in global demand.  

Taekwang Industry said its board has endorsed the expansion of aramid production to strengthen competitiveness. "This investment decision is to preemptively respond to expansion by global competitors and the entry of new companies into the market," an unnamed Taekwang official said on May 13. 

Due to their outstanding thermal and mechanical resistance, aramids are used in advanced technologies and have been transformed into high-strength and flame resistant fibers and coatings, with applications in aerospace, military and other industries, such as bullet-proof body armor, protective clothing, sport fabrics, electrical insulation, asbestos substitutes, and industrial filters. Research efforts are underway to take advantage of their properties and expand their applicability.

The utilization of aramid is increasing with the spread of eco-friendly vehicles such as electric vehicles which have the task of maximizing driving performance by reducing weight. The global aramid market has been dominated by U.S. and Japanese companies. 

As a latecomer, South Korea led by Kolon Industries, a chemical and textile manufacturing company, is actively expanding the production of aramid fibers to increase its market share. Kolon's work is underway to double aramid production from 7,500 tons to 15,000 tons per year. Hyosung Advanced has expanded its aramid production capacity to 3,750 tons.
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