SGL Group, also known as ‘The Carbon Company’, and Samsung have joined together in a strategic partnership, aiming to bring the use of carbon fiber into new industrial and electronic applications. Each company will own an equal 50/50 part of the deal, and will operate under the name “Samsung SGL Carbon Composite Materials”. Say that five times fast. The primary focus of the venture is to use carbon fiber in developing new industrial and electronic applications, for both Samsung and the Korean market.
I know this may come as a surprise because it sure was to me, but Samsung is way more than just electronics. They actually have 33 different affiliates, including electronics, chemical, financial services and more. So the Samsung that is actually involved in this deal is called Samsung Petrochemical. The President & CEO of Samsung Petrochemical, Yoosung Chung, had this to say about the joint venture:
“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.”
And Juergen Koehler, member of the Board of Management of SGL Group, said this
“In this partnership with Samsung, we combine our strengths and promote the use of carbon fiber materials in fast growing markets such as digital media. Carbon fiber materials play an increasingly important role in the material substitution process towards lighter products. Our joint venture underlines our strategy to enter new markets and develop innovative applications for our high-performance materials. We are proud to partner with Samsung.”
Samsung is not the first brand to team up with SGL looking for carbon fiber experts. A couple years ago, BMW teamed up with SGL as well. The two partners built a carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Washington state in order to further automate the production of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) for vehicle concepts. You may remember this from an article we previously wrote, covering our time at the Go Carbon Fiber Conference 2011.
Interestingly enough, Samsung has been criticized in the past for utilizing plastic for Android devices making them feel and even look cheap. Although it’s just speculation at this stage, how cool would it be if the next Galaxy S5 was carbon fiber? It would certainly up the ante in looking and feeling higher end, though I would imagine it would also be much more expensive to make. No word yet on when, where or how much. But you can be sure we will keep you updated!