GM's Chevrolet Corvette is a well-established user of composites. The 2012 Z06  model features carbon fibre fenders and floor panels and optional carbon fibre roof. (Picture © GM Company.)
GM's Chevrolet Corvette is a well-established user of composites. The 2012 Z06 model features carbon fibre fenders and floor panels and optional carbon fibre roof. (Picture © GM Company.)

The co-development pact involves the use of Teijin’s carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) technology, which is said to reduce the cycle times required for moulding composite products to under 1minute.

Teijin Ltd recently announced plans to establish a ¥2 billion pilot plant based on this technology at its Matsuyama Factory in Ehime Prefecture, Japan. The plant is expected to operational in mid-2012.

To support the relationship with GM, Teijin says it will establish a composites technical centre in the northern part of the US early next year.

”Teijin’s innovative CFRTP technology, which promises to realise revolutionarily lighter automotive body structures, will play an important role in GM’s initiative to bring carbon fibre components into mainstream vehicles,” says 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.”

The launch of any carbon fibre-intensive vehicle applications resulting from the GM/Teijin relationship would be announced closer to market readiness, the companies say. The agreement does not involve an exchange of equity between the companies.

“Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionise the way carbon fibre is used in the automotive industry. This technology holds the potential to be an industry game changer and demonstrates GM’s long-standing commitment to innovation.”
Steve Girsky, GM Vice Chairman