New Technology in Carbon Fibers May Soon be Ready for Cars
This article looks at the new contract between GM and Teijin Limited. Together these two companies will develop a way to mass produce carbon fiber technology for standard use in vehicles.
GM has been working hard to develop new technologies in the automotive industry. Recently GM has developed new technologies in brakes, powertrain, Z-link suspension, and they are even working on developing the next generation in the small block engine. And now the most recent new development in GM engineering comes from a partnership with Teijin Limited which is a company that is making strides in the carbon fiber and composites industry. Together GM and Teijin will work to create a new carbon fiber composite technology that can be mass marketed for use in high volume GM vehicles.
Teijin has developed a very advanced technology in the world of carbon fibers which has led to this co-development pact. Teijin developed what is known as CFRTP, carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic technology. This technology is a quick and efficient way of developing carbon fibers which means it may now be able to be used in the development of mainstream vehicles.
Teijin currently works with very specialized and custom automotives, designing carbon fiber systems for these vehicles. But working only with custom made vehicles is limiting for the company, and this new pact may allow them to spread out their portfolio to develop something much more useful on a widespread scale.
“Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionize the way carbon fiber is used in the automotive industry,” said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. “This technology holds the potential to be an industry game changer and demonstrates GM’s long-standing commitment to innovation.”
Part of the development of this new technology for widespread use involves Teijin building new facilities near GM’s facilities which will bring new jobs in the automotive industry to America. Teijin plans to build a new facility in the northern U.S. early next year, which it will call the Teijin Composites Application Center.
The reason that this is such a great new development in the world of automotives is because of the fact that carbon fiber is ten times stronger than regular grade steel and is actually only one fourth of the same weight as steel. This means the development of light weight and still sturdy and hefty vehicles. This can bring about vast benefits to American consumers by providing them with the strength and durability that comes with high weight vehicles without the cars actually being very heavy. The lighter weight the vehicle actually is then the better fuel economy for the driver
Not only does the new carbon fiber technology produce this amazing material, but the main reason it may be able to be utilized in the manufacturing of cars is because of the fact that the material can be produced in under a minute using Teijin’s patented technology. All other methods currently available for the manufacture of carbon fiber vehicles take much more time to create.
The use of this new technology can also help GM to meet standards of fuel economy and environmental protection that are growing stricter and stricter as more and more awareness about the environment is being developed.
“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 of Teijin. “We believe our visionary relationship with GM will lead the way in increased usage of green composites in the automotive industry.”
Hopefully this new technology can be brought to the market sooner rather than later, but we’ll just have to see. GM and Teijin have said that they will announce the release of the new technology when they are closer to having it ready for market.
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Jessica Harmon is a staff writer for Scott McCorkle's Liberty Buick GMC Trucks. If you would like more information on how we can help you purchase a new vehicle, please visit our website!