Carbon fiber is the envy of the budget hoon. What we wouldn’t give to have the funds to greatly reduce the weight of our tuner projects, all while making a fashion statement that grey composites are in, and we can afford them. Ahh… it’s envy that keeps some awake at night, playing Forza 4 with a car they can’t afford coated in the stuff. Life’s rough sometimes.
What’s the big deal, you ask? Carbon fiber is 10 freaking times stronger than steel, and is one freaking quarter of the weight, and the potential of discovering a method that could get it into affordable mainstream vehicles is, again, a huge freaking deal. Looking to break into this world of possibilities is none other than General Motors, who is partnering with Teijin Limited out of Japan.
It turns out that Teijin is pretty damn good at the carbon fiber manufacturing process, calling their method carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) technology. The technique provides a way to produce carbon fiber in a way that is faster and cheaper than the rest of the pack, and carries potential to break into mainstream vehicles. In this case, GM vehicles. Will be see an all-carbon-fiber Corvette C7 from the factory? Oooh, now wouldn’t that be something?