Mitsubishi Rayon’s carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) has been adopted for the rear door frame of the new Prius PHV, launched by Toyota Motor Corporation.
In line with the tightening of fuel efficiency regulations and carbon dioxide emission controls, interest in vehicle weight reduction has been growing in the automotive market, the company says. However, the scope of application of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) has been limited to models such as luxury cars.
Mitsubishi says that its SMC can be processed into components in a short period of time, i.e. roughly 2 to 5 minutes, by press molding. When compared to prepreg intermediate materials (uncut carbon fiber fabric impregnated with resin), this SMC features high formability for molding complicated shaped parts. It also exhibits close-to-uniform mechanical properties. This allows engineers to readily use the carbon fiber material and achieve lighter components with higher strength, according to the company.
This story uses material from Mitsubishi, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.