Carbon Fiber Reinforced
Carbon Fiber Reinforced
Fibers that Create the
Future of Mobility
A new choice for automotive parts, replacing steel and aluminum. An outstanding weight reduction technologies for tomorrow's eco-friendly cars.
In 2011, Teijin built a 4 seater concept car. The body structure for this car was constructed with Teijin's thermoplastic CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), which weighs merely a fifth of a comparable steel structure. As carbon fibers have 10 times the strength yet a quarter of the weight when compared to steel, CFRP, a composite material made of carbon fibers and resins, has been used to date to reduce the weight of aircraft and other industrial materials such as wind generator blades.
The body structure built with Teijin's thermoplastic CFRP weighs a mere 47kg, which is light enough to be picked up with ease by 2 adults. If CFRP is chosen to build a car's body structure, the weight savings would enable the use of a lighter engine, brakes and suspensions, which would in turn result in even larger overall weight reductions that can improve fuel economy. So making a lighter body structure is the key to making a lighter car.
There was just one problem until now. CFRP took time to form, making it less than ideal for forming in large volumes, which was the reason it has not seen utilization in mass production vehicles. Teijin tackled this problem through the use of thermoplastic resin that becomes soft when heat is applied, and stiff again once it cools, allowing CFRP forming in just one minute for the first time in the world. Teijin has now brought its thermoplastic CFRP forming one step closer to commercial use in automotive vehicle mass production.
The significant weight savings in vehicles made using CFRP would result in lower fuel consumption, leading to a lower impact on our environment. Currently the use of CFRP is limited to a small number of sports cars and high-end luxury vehicles but if this could be expanded to mass production vehicles as well, it would have a significant impact on released CO2 and energy consumption on a global scale. Teijin supports the future of car manufacturing through the power of fibers.
International recognition of Teijin's thermoplastic CFRP mass production technologies:
- 2011 Global Automotive Carbon Composites Technology Innovation Award (Frost & Sullivan.)
- Overall Winner, ICIS Innovation Awards 2011 (ICIS)
- Award of Excellence; 2012 Nikkei Global Environmental Technology Awards (Nikkei Inc.)