Teijin Ltd. has announced that its mass production technologies for carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) have been recognized by Frost & Sullivan through their 2011 Global Automotive Carbon Composites Technology Innovation Award.
“Teijin’s new CFRP compression molding technology offers a low cost-to-performance alternative, which makes it ideal for metal replacement in large structural body-in-white components,” said Sandeepan Mondal, senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “The drastically reduced cycle times, along with the development of economical thermoplastic resin intermediate materials and high processability, which gives processors greater design freedom, have paved the way for Teijin to be a technology leader in automotive carbon composites.”
Teijin’s innovation enables a significant reduction in cycle times—to under one minute—required for molding automobile body structure. Conventional CFRP utilizes thermosetting resin and requires at least five minutes for this process, making it unsuited for mass production applications and limiting its use to high-end vehicles. Teijin’s breakthrough overcomes one of the biggest challenges in the industry and represents a significant leap forward in the use of carbon fiber in mass production of automobiles.
With increasingly strict environmental standards and regulations in the automotive industry, there is mounting pressure to reduce vehicle weights through the use of lightweight materials, such as CFRP, for components conventionally made from steel or aluminum.