We love carbon fiber. There is just no way around it, and no one can argue that the Corvette would be better off without it. Not only is it lighter than regular steel, it’s also stronger – giving drivers a better overall package. But the Corvette may not be the only GM production vehicle to feature carbon fiber components in the future. According to GM News, a partnership with Teijin Limited, an award winning leader in carbon fiber production among other things, may make carbon fiber appear on even mainstream vehicles soon.
The partnership will include the use of Teijin’s new carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) technology to produce carbon fiber composites that could eventually lead to the use of carbon fiber on mainstream vehicles.
The CFRTP technology produces carbon fiber faster and more efficiently than other technology. This technology allows Teijin to mass produce carbon fiber composites, with a molding time of under a minute.
“Our relationship with Teijin provides the opportunity to revolutionize the way carbon fiber is used in the automotive industry,” GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky told reporters. “This technology holds the potential to be an industry game changer and demonstrates GM’s long-standing commitment to innovation.”
Although carbon fiber is 10 times stronger and four times lighter than regular grade steel, it is not widely used on ordinary vehicles because of the time it takes to produce the material. With the CFRTP technology cutting down on the time needed to produce carbon fiber, the material can be readied for high-volume vehicles more easily. If carbon fiber is introduced on mainstream cars, it will help GM increase gas mileage in their vehicles and comply with ever tightening global environmental standards.
There have not been any announcements made just yet for mainstream vehicles that will carry carbon fiber components, but there is a good chance we will see some in the near future. For now, however, if you want carbon fiber components on your vehicle, you’re just going to have to put them on yourself, or better yet, just buy a Corvette.