Teijin Limited announced today 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 significantly reduces cycle times required for molding composite products to under a 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 one minute, the ideal takt time 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 for automobiles and other industrial uses. 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 Michigan, USA-based Teijin Composites Application Center, a technical center opened in April 2012.
Teijin, as a global leader in the field of carbon fibers and composites business, is aiming at annual sales of 150 to 200 billion yen (USD 1.8 to 2.4 billion) for carbon fiber composite products by around 2020.