Motors and Teijin Limited, a manufacturer of carbon fiber and
composites, have announced they will co-develop advanced carbon fiber
composite technologies for potential high-volume use globally in GM
cars, trucks, and crossovers.
co-development pact involves use of Teijin’s
innovative carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) technology, a
faster and more efficient way to produce carbon fiber composites. This
potentially enables GM to introduce CFRTP components on mainstream
vehicles. For Teijin, the arrangement could lead to widening its
portfolio beyond specialty and high-end automotive carbon fiber
support the relationship, Teijin will establish the Teijin Composites
Application Center, a technical center in the northern part of the
United States early next year.
carbon fiber is 10 times stronger than regular-grade steel yet only
one-quarter of the weight, carbon fiber composites used as automobile
components are expected to dramatically reduce vehicle weight. Consumers
could benefit from lighter weight vehicles with better fuel economy and
the safety benefits that come with vehicles of greater mass.
proprietary breakthrough is its ability to mass-produce carbon
fiber-reinforced thermoplastic components with cycle times of under a
minute. Conventional carbon fiber-reinforced composites use
thermosetting resins and require a much longer timeframe for molding.
This time factor has limited the use of carbon fiber in high-volume
recently received a 2011 Global Automotive Carbon Composites Technology
Innovation Award by Frost & Sullivan. The technology also was
selected by ICIS Innovation Awards 2011 as the overall winner and the
recipient of the Best Product Innovation award.
strict global environmental standards and fuel economy regulations have
intensified the need to reduce vehicle mass by using lightweight
materials in place of high-tension steel or aluminum.
Teijin Group, which has identified automobiles as a key growth market,
accelerated the new technology development through collaboration by the
Teijin Composites Innovation Center and Toho Tenax Co. Ltd., where the
mass-production technology for carbon fiber reinforced plastic
components using thermoplastic resin was successfully developed.
innovative CFRTP technology, which promises to realize revolutionarily
lighter automotive body structures, will play an important role in GM’s
initiative to bring carbon fiber components into mainstream vehicles,”
says Norio Kamei, senior managing director of Teijin. “We believe our
visionary relationship with GM will lead the way in increased usage of
green composites in the automotive industry.”
launch of any carbon fiber-intensive vehicle applications resulting
from the relationship would be announced closer to market readiness. The
agreement does not involve an exchange of equity between the companies.