Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (MRC, Tokyo, Japan) announced that its carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) has been adopted for the rear door frame of the new Prius PHV, which was launched by Toyota Motor Corp. on February 15.
SMC developed by MRC is a type of intermediate material for CFRPs and a sheet-shaped material in which carbon fibers cut into several-centimeter lengths are dispersed in resin. The SMC can be processed into components in a short period of time, in roughly two to five minutes, by press molding. SMC also features high formability for molding complicated shaped parts and it also exhibits close-to-uniform mechanical properties. This allows engineers to readily use the carbon fiber material by utilizing existing parts design know-how and achieve lighter components with higher strength.
MRC’s SMC has been adopted for Toyota’s new Prius PHV because its advantages have earned high recognition from the automaker, MRC stated. These advantages include a substantial reduction in the vehicle’s weight, the achievement of a great component performance, an excellent formability that enables production of complicatedly shaped components, and productivity necessary for manufacture of components for mass-produced vehicles.
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