Samsung forms JV with carbon fiber maker

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 24 Jun 2013

Samsung Electronics is the Samsung division we all know and love, but Samsung has several others that get far less attention. One of them is Samsung Petrochemical. They deal with materials, and I’m not just talking about what goes into the next Galaxy, I mean materials for construction, healthcare, and more.

Now you’ve probably never heard of SGL Group. It’s OK, neither have I. They call themselves “The Carbon Company”, and they’re one of the largest produces of carbon fiber in the world. Last Friday, while everyone was too busy writing planning their weekend, Samsung Petrochemical announced that they’ve formed a 50/50 joint venture with SGL Group.

Here’s the important quote from Yoosung Chung, President and CEO of Samsung Petrochemical:

“Our long-term cooperation with SGL Group will ensure the exclusive supply of carbon fiber composite materials to Samsung. We selected SGL Group as partner due to the company’s unique expertise along the entire value chain from carbon fibers to CFRP components. Lightweight materials have become an important factor not only in industrial applications but also the consumer end markets such as digital media. This partnership will position Samsung as a leading player in the development and application of carbon fiber-based products.”

I’m not going to speculate as to if or when Samsung will release a carbon fiber based consumer electronics product, but I would like to point out that Apple has been investing in the space for a while now. Last year, an Apple patent surfaced saying the company was interested in ways of using the material. Then there was a rumor that said in the spring of 2012, Apple requested large quantities of carbon fiber samples.

Why carbon fiber? It’s strong, easy to mold into just about any shape you want, it’s great for signal reception, it’s light as a feather, and it just plain looks cool.