Tokyo, Japan, October 18, 2011 ---Teijin Limited announced today that its mass production technologies for carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) have been selected by this year's ICIS Innovation Awards as the overall winner, as well as the recipient of the Best Product Innovation award.
"The ICIS Innovation Awards continue to highlight the best the chemical industry has to offer in the way of innovation and solutions to society's needs. This year, there was a significant emphasis on technologies designed to reduce and replace fossil fuel usage and cut carbon emissions. Indeed, most entries focused on helping the environment and maintaining the sustainability of the chemical industry, while at the same time helping customers and driving bottom line growth. Teijin's entry was no exception," said John Baker, global editor at ICIS, who manages the ICIS Innovation Awards.
The award recognizes Teijin's innovative technologies, which significantly reduce the cycle time required for molding automotive body structures to under a minute, as a significant milestone and a big step towards the use of carbon fiber in the mass production of automobiles and other applications.
Teijin's new technologies include intermediate materials made of thermoplastic resin instead of conventional thermosetting resin for molding CFRP, and methods for welding thermoplastic CFRP parts together and for bonding CFRP with other materials such as steel.
Increasingly strict environmental standards and regulations in the automotive industry have intensified the need to reduce vehicle weights through the use of lightweight materials, such as CFRP, for components conventionally made from high-tension steel or aluminum.
In order for CFRP to be used in mass-produced vehicles, the manufacturing of CFRP must fit within a cycle time of less than a minute, and the cost, energy consumption as well as CO2 emissions associated with the whole process need to be reduced. The Teijin Group, which has positioned automobiles and aircraft as one of its key growth markets, has been accelerating the development of new technology solutions, through collaboration between the Teijin Composites Innovation Center and Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the world's second largest carbon fiber producer.
"We are delighted that the ICIS Innovation Awards have recognized our innovative automotive carbon fiber composite technologies," said Norio Kamei, general manager of Teijin's Carbon Fibers and Composites Business. "Our innovation originated from the idea of how we could expand the use of carbon fiber composites to mass-production industrial applications. We will further our development, aiming to expand the advanced carbon fiber composite market and help realize new vehicle architecture featuring significantly lighter bodies."
Teijin previously received an ICIS Innovation Award — Innovation with Best Environmental Benefit — for its ECO CIRCLE closed-loop recycling system for polyester in 2010.
The ICIS Innovation Awards (www.icis.com/awards), now in their eighth year, are organized by ICIS, the chemical publishing arm of Reed Business Information in the United Kingdom. The awards recognize companies that make significant contributions to the fields of technology and business. Each year, entries are judged by a panel of experts looking for innovative projects that solve problems or provide useful solutions for companies, their customers and society, as well as the environment.
About the Teijin Group
Based in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, Teijin is a global technology-driven group operating in eight main fields: aramid fibers, carbon fibers & composites, polyester fibers, plastics, films, medical & pharmaceuticals, fiber products marketing and IT businesses. Teijin Limited, the holding company for the Teijin Group, is listed on the Tokyo and Osaka stock exchanges. The group, comprising 150 companies and 17,542 employees worldwide, had consolidated sales of JPY 815.7 billion (USD 10.6 billion) and total assets of JPY 761.5 billion (USD 9.9 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011.
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