Teijin goes public with long-awaited Sereebo molding process
Toho Tenax America Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) revealed in Paris for the first time many details about its Sereebo high-volume composites manufacturing process. First announced in December 2011 and designed specifically to meet the auto industry’s need to fabricate carbon fiber composite parts and structures at high volumes with short cycle times, it was developed in Tokyo and, in cooperation with General Motors (GM, Detroit, MI, US), at Teijin’s technology center in Auburn Hills, MI, US.
Eric Haiss, vice president of Auburn Hills-based Teijin Advanced Composites America Inc., told CW that the process combines a nylon 6 resin matrix with a mat of chopped carbon fibers (length ~20 mm). The mat is preheated and then molded/formed in a standard compres- sion molding machine in cycle times of 60-80 seconds. Haiss says Teijin cannot reveal the form the nylon 6 takes, except that it is integrated into the carbon fiber mat. In addi- tion, the carbon fiber is sized for the nylon 6 resin.
Parts on display at Teijin’s JEC stand indicated the Sereebo process is capable of producing structures with relatively deep draws and large curvatures, with no wrinkling (see image at top right). In addition, changes in mat thick- ness allow for tailored fiber reinforcement to meet specific mechanical load requirements. Further, says Haiss, the way the fiber is oriented in the mat, isotropic properties can be moderately controlled. Available data indicate that parts made with Sereebo exhibit significant energy-absorption properties: 70 J/g, compared to 59 J/g for continuous carbon fiber composites and 20 J/g for aluminum.
Haiss says the Sereebo process will be used by Teijin to fabricate structural parts for an undisclosed OEM automo- tive program and model year, but Teijin’s history of coopera- tion with GM makes that carmaker the most likely customer. Fabrication will be done in the US. A firm location has not yet been determined, but it won’t be Auburn Hills.
Teijin will discuss Sereebo on June 16 (8:00 a.m.), at CompositesWorld’s Thermoplastic Composites Conference for Automotive (TCCA), in Novi, MI, US: www.tccauto.com.
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