Full CFRT bodies get boost

In 2011, Teijin (Osaka, Japan) built a four-seater concept car with a carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) body structure. The body was formed in one minute and weighs only 47 kg, merely a fifth of a comparable steel structure, achievements that represent a new world of mass production applications for carbon fiber composites..

Ultra-light car bodies close to commercialization.

Carbon fiber has 10 times the strength but just a fourth of the weight of steel according to Teijin 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 fiber composites are rarely seen in mass production due to its slow tack time.

Teijin tackled this problem by employing a thermoplastic resin ideal for real-world mass production applications and recyclable to boot. Teijin has branded this world-first CFRTP technology Sereebo, an acronym for Save the Earth, Revolutionary & Evolutionary Carbon, and is now bringing it closer to commercial use in high-volume production.

Teijin 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.

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