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GM and Teijin to Develop Carbon Fibre Composite Technologies

13 December 2011

General Motors and Teijin will co-develop advanced carbon fibre composite technologies for potential high-volume use globally in GM cars, trucks and crossovers.

The co-development pact signed last week involves use of Teijin’s innovative carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) technology, claimed to be a faster and more efficient way to produce carbon fibre composites. Teijin say that this potentially enables GM to introduce CFRTP components on mainstream vehicles, and the arrangement could lead to widening its portfolio beyond specialty and high-end automotive carbon fibre applications.

 “Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionize the way carbon fiber 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.”

To support the relationship, Teijin will establish the Teijin Composites Application Center, a technical centre in the northern part of the United States early next year.

According to Teijin, their proprietary breakthrough is its ability to mass-produce carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic components with cycle times of under a minute, compared to thermosetting resins which require a much longer timeframe for moulding. 

The 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 fibre reinforced plastic components using thermoplastic resin was successfully developed.

”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 fibre 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.”

The launch of any carbon fibre-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.





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