12/9/2011

GM, Teijin to Develop Carbon-Fiber Composite Production Methods

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General Motors Co. and Teijin Ltd. have agreed to look for ways to apply the Japanese company's carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic technology to high-volume car and truck production.

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General Motors Co. and Teijin Ltd. have agreed to look for ways to apply the Japanese company's carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic technology to high-volume car and truck production.

The partners say Teijin will support the initiative by setting up the Teijin Composites Application Center somewhere in the northern half of the U.S. in early 2012.

Teijin's proprietary processing technique could mass-produce carbon-reinforced components with cycle times of less than 60 seconds, according to the companies. They note that more conventional carbon-fiber molding processes take much longer, thus limiting the ability to use the light and super-strong material for vehicles made at high production rates.

The non-equity partnership is the industry's latest alliance among carmakers seeking breakthroughs to help reduce vehicle weight and boost fuel economy. Last month BMW AG bought a 15% stake in SGL Carbon SE, the German maker of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Volkswagen AG already owns nearly 10% of SGL.


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