Monday, January 3, 2011

No. 222: New technologies to incorporate more carbon fibers in auto body (January 4, 2011)

New technologies have been developed in succession to increase the amount of carbon fibers to be used in auto body. Mitsubishi Rayon developed the technology to process carbon fiber to such figures as hollow tube and ball in collaboration with Toyobo and Tokyo University. One centimeter wide ribbon-shared carbon fiber is hardened by resin. It is possible to create a hollow tube by cutting, rranging, and rolling the ribbon-shaped carbon fiber and heating the resulting product in a few minutes. As the hollow tube can be applied to vehicles, the three organizations plan to put the technology into practical use by 2012. The research team made up of Toray, Tokyo University, Tohoku University, and Tagakiseiko developed carbon fiber that can be cast to a complicated and hubbly figure. The newly-developed technology entwines small carbon fibers uniformly in diverse directions to create bonded textile and hardens the resulting product in the form of plate. It is strong against strength coming from any directions. The new material makes it possible to create a complicate figure with a deep concavity and convexity and with bends with steep angles. Because the created parts can be united after processing, they can be applied to engine-related parts of vehicles. The technology is scheduled to be translated into practical application in 2013.

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