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Teijin carbon fiber composite auto component pilot plant starts up in Japan

A pilot plant for the fully integrated production of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) components has started operations at the Matsuyama Factory of leading Japanese carbon fiber manufacturer Teijin Limited (Tokyo).

The plant features Teijin's proprietary mass-production technology for CFRTP components, which significantly reduces cycle times required for molding composite products to under a minute, enabling rapid production of prototypes and performance evaluation tests, including complex-shaped molded products and large components.

Teijin's mass-production technology facilitates the integrated manufacturing process from carbon fiber to molded composite products within one minute, considered the ideal time required by automakers for vehicle mass production. CFRTP components, which have the potential to realize unprecedented weight reductions, are expected to find wide-ranging applications for automobiles and other industrial uses says Teijin. They also are highly recyclable, since the thermoplastic resins employed can be reheated and remolded into new shapes.

With its new pilot plant, Teijin aims to accelerate collaboration with automotive makers worldwide, as well as create markets for other applications. Continued developments are being spearheaded through a collaborative effort involving the Japan-based Teijin Composites Innovation Center (the company's R&D hub for its carbon fiber composites business), and Michigan-based Teijin Composites Application Center, a technical center opened in April 2012. As part of its development efforts, the carbon fiber supplier has inked a co-development pact with GM.

Teijin is targeting annual sales of $1.8-2.4 billion for carbon fiber composite products by around 2020.

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