The companies want to start using the carbon fibre composite parts in Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz models within the next three years.
Toray will develop optimal CFRP materials, and handle the design and moulding processes. Daimler is responsible for developing technologies for joining of the parts.
By bringing together their respective technologies, the companies plan to develop a moulding method with significantly shorter moulding times.
Carbon fibre manufacturer Toray, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has identified the expansion of its Carbon Fiber Composite Materials Business in the automotive market as one of its top priorities. In June 2008, Toray established an Automotive Center (AMC), and in 2009 it formed an Advanced Composite Center (ACC) for developing technology and applications for CFRP products. These centres serve as the core entities of the A&A (Automotive & Aircraft) Center in Nagoya, its technology development centre for automotive and aircraft applications.
Daimler, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is actively promoting development of environment-friendly technologies. The company has set a target of reducing the weight of the body-in-white up to 10% for all models under its Mercedes-Benz series compared with existing models, with the aim of improving fuel efficiency and reducing exhaust gas emissions. Daimler intends to expand the use of CFRP parts and the range of vehicles using these parts.
- BMW and German carbon fibre supplier SGL are also pursuing the development of carbon fibre automotive parts as part of a joint venture announced last year. BMW plans to start using CFRP parts produced by the joint venture in its Megacity electric car scheduled for launch before 2015.
- USA headquartered carbon fibre supplier Zoltek is also forming a new subsidiary, Zoltek Automotive Inc, to develop high-volume applications for carbon fibres within the automotive industry.