General Motors announced today that it signed a deal with Teijin Limited, a Japanese company that is among the leaders in the carbon fiber and composites industry.
The two companies will cooperate in the development of carbon fiber and composite materials for future use in high-volume GM cars, trucks and crossovers.
“Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionize the way carbon fiber is used in the automotive industry”, said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky. “This technology holds the potential to be an industry game changer and demonstrates GM’s long-standing commitment to innovation.”
Carbon fiber is 10 times stronger than regular steel, but is 75% lighter. Its use in high-volume products is limited by the fact that conventional carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) use thermosetting resins and thus require a long time for molding.
Teijin, which will open a new technical center in the northern part of the U.S., has developed a revolutionary technology that allows it to produced CFRP components in less than a minute, resulting in a mass production suitable for use in high-volume models.
Its use has many benefits since it will drastically reduce the vehicles’ weight and therefore their consumption and emissions, while also improving safety.