Tokyo-based Teijin Ltd. and Detroit-based General Motors Co. (GM) have signed an agreement to
jointly develop advanced carbon fiber composite technologies that could be used worldwide in GM’s
high-volume cars, trucks and crossover vehicles.
The agreement involves using Teijin’s proprietary carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic
(CFRTP) technology — a method of producing carbon fiber composites more quickly and efficiently
than traditional methods that use thermosetting resins and require much longer molding times, which
until now has limited the use of carbon fiber in high-volume vehicles. The technology enables mass
production of CFRTP components with cycle times of less than one minute, Teijin reports.
“Teijin’s innovative CFRTP technology, which promises to realize revolutionarily lighter
automotive body structures, will play an important role in GM’s initiative to bring carbon fiber
components into mainstream vehicles,” said Norio Kamei, senior managing director, Teijin. “We
believe our visionary relationship with GM will lead the way in increased usage of green composites
in the automotive industry.”
“Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionize the way carbon fiber
is used in the automotive industry,” said Steve Girsky, vice chairman, GM. “This technology holds
the potential to be an industry game changer and demonstrates GM’s long-standing commitment to
Teijin will set up the Teijin Composites Application Center in the northern part of the
United States in early 2012 to work more closely with GM. The agreement could make way for Teijin
to expand its portfolio beyond specialty and high-end automotive carbon fiber applications.
December 13, 2011