Teijin opens thermoplastics composites pilot plant

Carbon fiber manufacturer Teijin Ltd. has begun operating a pilot plant for the production of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) components in cycle times of less than 1 minute.

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Carbon fiber manufacturer Teijin Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) announced on Dec. 4 that it has begun operating a pilot plant for the fully integrated production of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) components from carbon fiber on the premises of its Matsuyama Factory in Ehime Prefecture, Japan.

The plant features Teijin’s proprietary mass-production technology for CFRTP components, which the company says significantly reduces cycle times required for molding composite products to less than 1 minute, enabling rapid production of prototypes and performance evaluation tests, including complex-shaped molded products and large components.

Teijin’s mass-production technology facilitates the integrated manufacturing process from carbon fiber to molded composite products within 1 minute, the long-sought cycle time threshold required by automakers for vehicle mass production. CFRTP components, which have the potential to realize unprecedented weight reductions, are expected to find wide-ranging applications in automobiles and other industrial products. They also are highly recyclable, since used thermoplastic resins can be reheated and remolded into new shapes.

With its new pilot plant, Teijin aims to accelerate collaboration with automotive makers worldwide, as well as create markets for other applications. Continued developments are being spearheaded through a collaborative effort involving the Japan-based Teijin Composites Innovation Center, Teijin’s R&D hub for carbon fiber composites business, and Teijin Composites Application Center (Detroit, Mich., USA), a technical center opened in April 2012.

Teijin is also developing this high-speed manufacturing process in cooperation with U.S. automaker General Motors. See link at right for more information.