Saturday, December 10, 2011
Official: GM gets serious about widespread use of carbon fiber
General Motors has announced a partnership with a leading carbon fiber producer in an effort to research the possibility of widespread use of the material in its vehicles. Teijin Limited has pioneered a new manufacturing process for carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic that allows for cycle times of under one minute. Typically, creating carbon fiber parts from molds requires the use of slow-setting resin that simply takes too long to be practical for use on a large scale. As part of the tie-up with GM, Teijin will set up a new technical center in the northern United States to support development.
Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics have the benefit of being up to 10 times stronger than conventional steel while offering one quarter of the weight. Of course, carbon fiber can also come with a suitably steep price tag, though Teijin's techniques will likely help curb costs significantly. As manufacturers continue to push for ever more efficient vehicles, ditching the weight will become increasingly important. Hit the jump for the full press release.Permalink | Email this | Comments