General Motors and Teijin Limited will produce carbon fibre components

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Lightweight and impressively rigid, carbon fibre is the material of choice for premiere racing cars and expensive performance cars, but its high production costs mean that it has proved far too expensive to put to large-scale use in mainstream vehicle production. That may change, however, thanks to a recent partnership between General Motors and Teijin Limited aimed at increasing the use of carbon fibre in high-volume vehicle production.

As automakers put an increasing emphasis on fuel economy, innovative lightweight materials are becoming more and more popular. Carbon fibre, which is several times stronger than regular-grade steel yet much lighter, is one of the most useful new materials and can be used in many applications including structural components.

"Teijin's 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," said 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."

Established in 1918, Teijin Limited produces high-performance fibres, films and plastics and also mass-produces carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic components. The cycle time for producing carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic components at Teijin is under a minute, while conventional carbon fibre-reinforced composites typically require much more time for the moulding process.

Teijin was awarded a 2011 Global Automotive Carbon Composites Technology Innovation Award by Frost & Sullivan and won the Best Product Innovation award at the 2011 ICIS Innovation Awards. In its partnership with General Motors, Teijin Limited will establish the Teijin Composites Application Center in the United States early in 2012.
"Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionize the way carbon fibre is used in the automotive industry," said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. "This technology holds the potential to be an industry game changer and demonstrates GM's long-standing commitment to innovation."

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: GM / GM Canada, General Motors, Teijin Limited, Partnership, Composite Materials,

Organizations: General Motors, Teijin Limited, GM Canada

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