Research of Multi-Axial Carbon Fiber Prepreg Material for Vehicle Body 2011-01-0216
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is already used in fields from aerospace to F1 motor racing. As part of the ongoing studies to apply CFRP to series production vehicle body, a new material and method of fabrication have been developed to reduce cost and improve productivity. One issue, however, is the suppression of voids created by the vacuum molding process. This was addressed by developing a knitted fabric and resin with extremely good de-aeration performance. This unique resin was developed as a result of analysis of the flowability required in each molding process. The development achieved a void rate equal to that found in CFRP used in the aerospace industry, with a substantially shorter molding cycle. This material is currently used in Toyota's new flagship Lexus LFA sports car.