Toray Industries

Last updated
Toray Industries, Inc.
Native name
Romanized name
Tōre Kabushiki-gaisha
Type Public (K.K)
TYO: 3402
TOPIX 100 Component
Nikkei 225 Component
Industry Chemicals
FoundedJanuary 1926;94 years ago (1926-01)
Headquarters5F, Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower 2-1-1, Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8666, Japan
Area served
Key people
Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman
Akihiro Nikkaku, president
RevenueIncrease2.svg $ 17.86 billion (FY 2014) (¥ 1,837 billion) (FY 2014)
Increase2.svg $ 579 million (FY 2014) (¥ 59.6 billion) (FY 2014)
Number of employees
45,881 (consolidated, as of March 31, 2014)
Website Official website
Footnotes /references
[1] [2] [3]

Toray Industries, Inc. (東レ株式会社, Tōre Kabushiki-gaisha) is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan that specializes in industrial products centered on technologies in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry.


Its founding business areas were fibers and textiles, as well as plastics and chemicals. The company has also diversified into areas such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and R&D, medical products, reverse osmosis bigmembranes, electronics, IT-products, housing and engineering, as well as advanced composite materials.

The company is listed on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the TOPIX 100 [4] and Nikkei 225 [5] stock market indices.


Toray Industries had been originally established as Toyo Rayon in 1926 by Mitsui Bussan, one of the two largest Japanese trading companies (sogo shosha) of the time (the other being Mitsubishi Shoji). The fact that Mitsui did not allow the company to be named as a Mitsui company indicates their skepticism of the risk on the business. Risk arose from the fact that, when it was established, the company did not have the right technology to produce Rayon. It had approached Courtaulds and then Du Pont to buy the technology but, because the price was too high, it decided to buy equipment from a German engineering company and hire about twenty foreign engineers to start the operation. [6]

When Nylon was invented in 1935 by Wallace Carothers of DuPont, Toray immediately got hold of a sample product through the New York City branch of Mitsui Bussan, and started research by dissolving this sample in sulfuric acid. Because of the patent protection, the company had to make its own effort to synthesize polyamide and make fibre out of it. In 1941, just three years after Du Pont's announcement of nylon, Toray completed the basic research on nylon and started building a small plant to produce Nylon 6. The operation started in 1943 and the product was sold, mainly to make fishing nets.

In 1946, following the end of World War II, Du Pont requested an investigation by GHQ (the General Headquarters of Allied Powers) of Toray's infringement of Du Pont's nylon patents but GHQ found no evidence of infringement, certifying that Toray's nylon technology was its own. [6]

Toray is currently the world's largest producer of carbon fiber, and Japan's largest producer of synthetic fiber. [7] Its carbon fiber is extensively used in exterior components of the Boeing 787 airliner. [8]

In 2014, as a major aerospace composites supplier, Toray opened a polyacrylonitrile (PAN), the carbon fiber precursor, production line in Lacq, south-western France. [9]


In 2013, Toray acquired an approximately 13% stake in Spectral Diagnostics, a Canadian pharmaceutical company focused on sepsis. [10]

In March 2018, Toray announced it would acquire TenCate Advanced Composites to advance carbon fiber production capabilities. [11]

See also

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  1. "Company Outline" . Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  2. "Financial Results 2014" (PDF). Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  3. "Company Board of Directors" . Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  4. "TOPIX Large70 Components" (PDF). Japan Exchange Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  5. "Components:Nikkei Stock Average". Nikkei Inc. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  6. 1 2 Odagiri, Hiroyuki (1996). Technology and Industrial Development in Japan. Clarendon Press, Oxford. pp. 88, 127–128. ISBN   0-19-828802-6.
  7. "Toray planning 50%-plus boost in carbon fiber capacity". Nikkei Asian Review. Nikkei Inc. December 18, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  8. Suga, Masumi (November 20, 2007). "Boeing, Toray in Talks to Expand $6 Billion 787 Deal (Update5)". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  9. Thierry Dubois (Oct 11, 2018). "New Carbon Fiber Factory In France Key For Airbus And Safran". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
  10. "Toray takes $5M Stake in Spectral Diagnostics". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (paper). April 1, 2013. p. 12.
  11. Sloan, Jeff. "Toray acquires TenCate Advanced Composites". Retrieved 2018-03-15.