Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of the Teijin Group’s carbon fiber and composites business, has developed a lightweight multi-material roof cover for a fuel-cell bus made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), aluminum and other lightweight engineering plastics.
Boasting a visually appealing surface, the roof cover can be manufactured in one large piece with complex shapes, and is suitable for mass production.
The roof cover will be used for the world’s first mass-produced fuel-cell bus developed by Toyota Motor Corporation.
In the face of stricter environmental regulations worldwide, the automotive industry is developing lightweight vehicle bodies that achieve better fuel efficiency while maintaining road stability. Since the bus carries high-pressure hydrogen gas tanks in its upper structure, lightweight body components in the top part of the vehicle are crucial.
Toho Tenax collaborated with GH Craft Ltd., Teijin Group’s composite structure design, development and evaluation unit, to develop a multi-material roof by leveraging Toho Tenax’s high-performance carbon fiber and mass-production know-how and GH Craft’s molding technology.
Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corporation (CSP), a global leader in automotive lightweight composite technologies, joined the Teijin Group in January this year to enhance global development capabilities as a tier-1 supplier and solution provider of multi-material components and design. Building on the selection of the multi-material roof cover for Toyota fuel-cell buses, the Teijin Group looks forward to accelerating related in-house collaboration to enhance its presence as a tier-1 supplier to automakers.