Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic adopted by GM in high-volume production vehicles

Teijin Limited announced today that its Sereebo carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) has been selected by General Motors (GM) for use in select pickup box applications. This is the world’s first use of CFRTP for structural parts in a high-volume production vehicle. A weight saving of 60 lb. is delivered.

The CFRTP pickup box is 60 lb. lighter than its steel equivalent.

Sereebo will be used to manufacture the optional CarbonPro pickup box jointly developed by Teijin and GM for the GMC Sierra Denali 1500 and GMC Sierra AT4 1500. Specifically, the pickup box’s inner headboard, side and floor panels will be made with Sereebo. Besides the weight saving, dent, scratch, and corrosion protection are also cited.

Following production startup in early June, GMC Sierra CarbonPro Editions for both vehicles will begin appearing at select GMC dealerships in the US this summer. The CarbonPro panels will be produced at Continental Structural Plastics’ Huntington, Indiana, manufacturing facility.

Sereebo used for CarbonPro contains randomly-orientated, isotropic carbon fiber in a polyamide matrix resin. Manufactured using with the world's first mass-production technology for CFRTP, the molding time for Sereebo is approximately one minute, which is significantly shorter than the molding time for conventional carbon fiber reinforced thermoset plastics (CFRP). Compared to steel, CarbonPro is 40 percent lighter, offers 10 times greater impact resistance, is more corrosion-resistant, and is even more readily recyclable. Finally, because of its material characteristics, Sereebo offers extended design flexibility and freedom, which allowed GM engineers to mold in many of the unique features of the CarbonPro box.

Teijin has been developing leading-edge composite product technologies and applications since establishing the Teijin Composites Innovation Center in 2008. In 2011 the company developed the world’s first mass-production technology for CFRTP, realizing a production interval (takt: from the German word taktzeit meaning clock interval) time of just one minute. Teijin subsequently established a technical facility in the U.S. and a pilot plant for the fully integrated production of CFRTP in Japan.

Since branding its CFRTP product as Sereebo in 2012, Teijin developed high-volume production methods in collaboration with domestic and international partners, including GM. After acquiring CSP, a global leader in automotive lightweight composite technologies in 2017, Teijin established an organizational framework for composites production, sales, and evaluation in North America. GM’s adoption of Sereebo for CarbonPro is a momentous step forward for CFRTP’s use in high-volume vehicles.

 

 

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