Author Topic: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX  (Read 73941 times)

Online docmordrid

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #40 on: 08/17/2016 07:43 am »
ISTM, if they plan an uncrewed BFS landing in 2022 at least 1-2 LEO/cislunar checkout flights are in order starting around 2020. That leaves ~1 year from when the USAF RaptorVac engine is due per contract (Dec 31, 2018) to test a pathfinder. I'm betting on straight to BFS.
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 07:50 am by docmordrid »
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Offline jpo234

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #41 on: 08/17/2016 09:07 am »
Found this overview about advanced carbon fiber producers for aerospace applications.
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 09:08 am by jpo234 »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #42 on: 08/17/2016 10:54 am »
Yeah, it's definitely for BFR/BFS tanks - at least partially. I wouldn't be surprised if we see test articles of both of those before 2020.

Bloody hell, I'm shocked by the schedule aggression.
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 10:55 am by The Amazing Catstronaut »
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Offline AncientU

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #43 on: 08/17/2016 11:32 am »
Yeah, it's definitely for BFR/BFS tanks - at least partially. I wouldn't be surprised if we see test articles of both of those before 2020.

Bloody hell, I'm shocked by the schedule aggression.

...and the scale of the undertaking.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline tea monster

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #44 on: 08/17/2016 12:04 pm »
Elon dosen't have to go cap-in-hand to Congress, or work with entrenched aerospace contractors. He also dosen't have to deal with as much red tape. There are also no other centres who are trying to pull the project to their own advantage, or constantly add in stuff that will give them something to do.

One man, one vision, one plan. When the boss-man says build a rocket, it happens.

What really gets me is that if one of those 90's rocket companies had got things going, we would have been on Mars by now.   :'(

Offline jpo234

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #45 on: 08/17/2016 12:24 pm »
What really gets me is that if one of those 90's rocket companies had got things going, we would have been on Mars by now.   :'(

Things had to wait until after today's dotcom billionaires got rich (Paypal Musk, Amazon Bezos, Microsoft Allen).
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 12:25 pm by jpo234 »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #46 on: 08/17/2016 12:27 pm »
SpaceX didn't contradict the article, either.

The article says they're still hammering things out, so SpaceX 's response makes total sense.

SpaceX may also be courting multiple players still, at least to improve its bargaining position.

And given the high price of carbon fiber, one expects Musk to be at least mentally calculating what's needed to pull some of it in-house once they're using thousand of tons of it for MCT...

I suspect that the agreement has options that would allow it to be as high as 2 to 3 billions but that these are only options.

Offline jpo234

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #47 on: 08/17/2016 12:34 pm »
And given the high price of carbon fiber, one expects Musk to be at least mentally calculating what's needed to pull some of it in-house once they're using thousand of tons of it for MCT...

Is this possible at all? Can you go to somebody and order a carbon fiber manufacturing plant? My suspicion is, that carbon fiber production is very proprietary and requires years of material science research to get right.
If it was easy, everybody would do it and it wouldn't be expensive.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline joncz

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #48 on: 08/17/2016 01:15 pm »
Just add a SolarCity-powered plant to crack the carbon out of CO2 and you'll discover Musk's ultimate goal.

 ;) ;) ;)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #49 on: 08/17/2016 01:46 pm »
And given the high price of carbon fiber, one expects Musk to be at least mentally calculating what's needed to pull some of it in-house once they're using thousand of tons of it for MCT...

Is this possible at all? Can you go to somebody and order a carbon fiber manufacturing plant? My suspicion is, that carbon fiber production is very proprietary and requires years of material science research to get right.
If it was easy, everybody would do it and it wouldn't be expensive.
Youre absolutely right, but Musk.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline chalz

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #50 on: 08/17/2016 01:48 pm »
And given the high price of carbon fiber, one expects Musk to be at least mentally calculating what's needed to pull some of it in-house once they're using thousand of tons of it for MCT...

Is this possible at all? Can you go to somebody and order a carbon fiber manufacturing plant? My suspicion is, that carbon fiber production is very proprietary and requires years of material science research to get right.
If it was easy, everybody would do it and it wouldn't be expensive.

Then it might turn out more like the gigafactory partnership between Panasonic and Tesla. The next best thing to vertical integration is an intimate partnership with an expert supplier.

Online WmThomas

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #51 on: 08/17/2016 01:53 pm »
There is no news here.

Please, let's discuss the implications when there is news.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #52 on: 08/17/2016 01:53 pm »
And given the high price of carbon fiber, one expects Musk to be at least mentally calculating what's needed to pull some of it in-house once they're using thousand of tons of it for MCT...

Is this possible at all? Can you go to somebody and order a carbon fiber manufacturing plant? My suspicion is, that carbon fiber production is very proprietary and requires years of material science research to get right.
If it was easy, everybody would do it and it wouldn't be expensive.

Then it might turn out more like the gigafactory partnership between Panasonic and Tesla. The next best thing to vertical integration is an intimate partnership with an expert supplier.
That appears most likely. If Toray is willing to allow that much insight into their processes, which is not at all a sure thing.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online Eer

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #53 on: 08/17/2016 01:54 pm »
Just add a SolarCity-powered plant to crack the carbon out of CO2 and you'll discover Musk's ultimate goal.

 ;) ;) ;)
It's probably unrelated, but I seem to recall that carbon fiber also increases solar cell generation capacity, and Volvo is using it to merge battery functions with body panels.  Sounds like this could be a first play in EM's whole ecosystem of technologies and businesses - Tesla, GigaBattery, GigaSolar, as well as SpaceX.

Offline BobHk

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #54 on: 08/17/2016 04:05 pm »
Quote
Update: On Tuesday evening SpaceX would not confirm that a large deal had been reached. "Toray is one of a number of suppliers we work with to meet our carbon fiber needs for Falcon rocket and Dragon spacecraft production, and we haven’t announced any new agreements at this time," a company spokesman told Ars. "As our business continues to grow, the amount of carbon fiber we use may continue to grow."

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/spacex-reportedly-signs-multibillion-deal-for-carbon-fiber-composites/

harrumph
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 04:07 pm by BobHk »

Online launchwatcher

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #55 on: 08/17/2016 04:13 pm »
EDIT: Just read this again.  "The U.S. company said in a statement, "Toray is one of a number of suppliers we work with to meet our carbon fiber needs for Falcon rocket and Dragon spacecraft production, and we haven't announced any new agreements at this time. As our business continues to grow, the amount of carbon fiber we use may continue to grow.""

In other words, where did this information come from, and is it even real?
That was a SpaceX response to ArsTechnica (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/spacex-reportedly-signs-multibillion-deal-for-carbon-fiber-composites/). It does bring the validity of the original article into question. Then again, the Nikkei Asian Review does seem to be a legitimate source... maybe SpaceX simply isn't ready to comment at this point.
I think it's likely that Toray was very close to a big deal with SpaceX, but someone couldn't keep his/her mouth shut...

If you want to be a trusted supplier, it's a bad idea to steal the customer's thunder.   Takes something away from their big splash, gives competitors more time to react, and also shows you can't be trusted to keep your mouth shut.
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 04:24 pm by launchwatcher »

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #56 on: 08/17/2016 04:23 pm »
Could this deal be in relation to SpaceX 4000+ satellite  constellation plans? Parts of those smallsats could be made of carbon fibre to keep down structural weight. 
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline vulture4

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #57 on: 08/17/2016 06:25 pm »
For electric cars the battery gigafactory makes sense because the batteries are a large part of the total vehicle cost and there are only one or two manufacturers, not a fully competitive market, so large scale in-house manufacturing could substantially lower the cost of the car.

The Falcon composite components are unique and it makes sense to fabricate them in-house rather than having a subcontractor make them. However the raw carbon fiber from which they are made is essentially a commodity, available from a wide range of suppliers in a wide range of properties even for the high quality fiber used in the aerospace industry. Several manufacturers already make much more than the total SpaceX needs so both price competition and economies of scale have already been achieved. Moreover, the raw fiber is a small fraction of the total vehicle cost so its price has little impact

It would surprise me if SpaceX sees any advantage to manufacturing it in-house, it would be comparable to making their own integrated circuits. That said, if for some reason they cannot get the quality they want, they could buy the equipment and do it themselves.
« Last Edit: 08/17/2016 06:29 pm by vulture4 »

Offline Khadgars

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #58 on: 08/17/2016 10:46 pm »
Yeah, it's definitely for BFR/BFS tanks - at least partially. I wouldn't be surprised if we see test articles of both of those before 2020.

Bloody hell, I'm shocked by the schedule aggression.

...and the scale of the undertaking.

A bit melodramatic?  I will be the 1st to raise my glass as BFR takes off, but we got a long, long way to go before that happens.

SpaceX is already backing away from the claims in this article anyway.  I am quite curious what SpaceX long term plans are for carbon fiber.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Toray carbon fiber wins deal with SpaceX
« Reply #59 on: 08/17/2016 11:38 pm »
Yeah, it's definitely for BFR/BFS tanks - at least partially. I wouldn't be surprised if we see test articles of both of those before 2020.

Bloody hell, I'm shocked by the schedule aggression.

...and the scale of the undertaking.

A bit melodramatic?  I will be the 1st to raise my glass as BFR takes off, but we got a long, long way to go before that happens.

SpaceX is already backing away from the claims in this article anyway.  I am quite curious what SpaceX long term plans are for carbon fiber.
I wouldn't say "backing away." They're just not confirming it. Negotiations aren't finished according to the article.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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