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Teijin has developed Sereebo, a thermoplastic resin material ideal for mass production applications, which can also be recycled.
In 2011, Teijin built a four-seater concept car with Teijin’s Carbon Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRTP) body structure. The company claims the body was formed in one minute and weighs only 47kg, merely a fifth of a comparable steel structure, achievements that represent a new world of mass production applications for carbon fibre composites.
Teijin explains carbon fibre has 10 times the strength but just a fourth of the weight of steel. Composite materials made of carbon fibers and resins are already widely used to reduce the weight of aircraft and other industrial materials. However, conventional thermoset-formed carbon fibre composites are rarely seen in mass production.
According to Teijin it tackled this problem by developing a thermoplastic resin that softens when heat is applied and quickly hardens when it cools, without losing its desirable properties. Not only does that make the material ideal for mass production applications, it also means it can be recycled and reused. Teijin has branded this world’s first CFRTP technology as Sereebo, an acronym for Save the Earth, Revolutionary & Evolutionary Carbon, and is now bringing it closer to commercial use in high-volume production.
Teijin states it is currently working with automakers worldwide, including General Motors to accelerate development of Sereebo-branded composites for mass production of reduced-weight vehicles that meet demand for energy savings and CO2 reductions. Teijin is spearheading the collaborative effort, which involves technical facilities in both Japan and the USA and a pilot plant in Japan. Collaborative developments with consumer electronics makers and precision equipment makers are also in progress, and Nikon has already adopted Sereebo to manufacture structural parts for a digital SLR camera.
Photo provided by Teijin
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