Toray Industries Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) announced that its carbon fiber material was adopted by Mirai, a fuel cell vehicle to be introduced in December 2014 by Toyota Motor Corp. (Toyota, Japan). Toray’s carbon fiber materials used in MIRAI are
- Carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) developed for automobile structural parts
- Carbon paper for electrode substrate of fuel cell stack
- High-strength carbon fiber for high-pressure hydrogen tank.
The CFRTP is used in a part called Stack Frame, or the vehicle floor. Toray, together with Toyota, has developed CFRTP that achieves short press molding time suitable for mass production by leveraging the characteristics of thermoplastic. It is the first time in the world that CFRTP is used in the structural part of a (mass) production vehicle.
The carbon paper Toray has been developing for more than 30 years was adopted for the electrode substrate of fuel cell stack, which is the heart of a fuel cell vehicle. This carbon paper meets prescribed properties such as gas diffusion and durability and contributes to improvement of the fuel cell stack performance and space saving.
Further, MIRAI’s high-pressure hydrogen tank uses the high-strength carbon fiber Toray has developed specifically for high pressure hydrogen tanks, which satisfies the safety, strength and light-weight requirements of such tanks.