The "Teewave AC1" concept car of Toray
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The front grille using a thermoplastic CFRP
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Toray Industries Inc showed new applications of plastics including CFRP (carbon finer reinforced plastic) by using a concept car.

The concept car, "Teewave AC1," was exhibited at Toray Advanced Materials Symposium 2016, a private show that took place Oct 6, 2016, in Tokyo. It was made under the theme, "Cars Will Evolve With Power of Materials."

As one of such new applications, Toray used a thermoplastic CFRP for the front grille of the car. Compared with metal products, it features a light weight and resistance to rust. Also, the grille is not dented even when hit by a stone.

According to Toray, the CFRP part was prototyped by making holes in a sheet made by extrusion molding of 0.3-0.4mm carbon fibers (CFs) mixed with thermoplastic polyamide (PA) 6, which is a thermoplastic resin. The front grille has a curved surface, but the part can be attached simply by fixing the sheet with holes on the curved surface because the CFRP is flexible.

The CFRP sheet can also be made by press-forming after heating the material to a temperature of 200°C or higher.

As other applications of the thermoplastic CFRP, Toray cited audio components such as speaker grilles as well as components that are required to be slidable such as gears. CF is suited for audio components because it is hard and can improve vibration reduction rate when contained in plastic.

Also, unlike glass fibers (GFs), CF has a high slidability and can be applied to gears, for which glass fiber reinforced plastics cannot be easily used in place of metals.