This appears to be a significant commitment on GM's part to advance the use of carbon-fiber composites in their product development and manufacturing processes. At some point, it would seem logical that the other automotive giants will do the same. Perhaps then, it's the tipping point?
Ann, do you happen to know if this an exclusive partnership with Tejin or is that company able to forge similar partnerships with other auto makers?
Beth, Teijin didn't want to divulge any more details. However, reading between the lines, the fact that the company opened a separate pilot plant in Japan, mentioned in the last paragraph, not related to the GM deal, makes me think the GM pact is more of a co-development relationship and non-exclusive, although there's been no mention of either exclusivity or non-exclusivity. Other statements in press releases and on Teijin's site sound like they want to make their material in high volumes for the auto industry as a whole.
Got it. It would makes sense over time for auto makers like GM to make investments or go beyond non-exclusive partnerships at some point as the use of carbon-fiber becomes more prevalent in automobiles. Better economies, I would think.
TJ, I couldn't agree more. The potential volumes achievable from automotive manufacturing should help catapult carbon fiber composites into the mainstream for several industries, with potential applications in aerospace, military and naval vehicles and aircraft.
Please don't comment on this subject regarding aircraft and autos in the same breath. What works for cars at ground level doesn't always work for multi-passenger aircraft at 30,000 feet and above! Although thermoplastic vs themoset has advantages, the fibres being built into the matrix are the strength carriers....thermoplastics will become brittle at low temperatures and high altitudes, both circumstances that simply don't exist in the automobile use.Besides aircraft users are looking at 25 years minimum lifespan and a lot of pressurizing and depressurizing takes place over that period of time.
Chuck, I agree, I just noted in a different article's thread that It seems everyone I'm talking to lately, whether composite makers, adhesive makers, coatings suppliers or even machine vision hardware vendors, are mentioning this as the driving force behind the trends impacting their products. And I think this time the automakers really mean it.
There is an increasing demand that vehicles are designed with end-of-life recycling as a main driver. Europe is aiming at 95% recovery (by weight) by 2015. I am not a plastics expert so how does the carbon composite fit in here? Is it a recyclable material?
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
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