Teijin’s Sereebo carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) has been selected by General Motors (GM) for use in select pickup box applications, the world’s first use of CFRTP for structural parts in a high-volume production vehicle.
Teijin and GM jointly developed the optional CarbonPro pickup box for the GMC Sierra Denali 1500 and GMC Sierra AT4 1500. The pickup box’s inner headboard, side and floor panels will be made with Sereebo. The CarbonPro panels will be produced by Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a Teijin Group company.
Sereebo used for CarbonPro contains randomly-orientated, isotropic carbon fiber in a polyamide matrix resin. The molding time for Sereebo is approximately one minute, which is significantly shorter than the molding time for conventional CFRTP. Because of its material characteristics, Sereebo offered design flexibility and freedom for GM engineers to mold in many of the unique features of the CarbonPro box. In addition, CarbonPro is 40 percent lighter than steel, offers 10 times greater impact resistance and is more corrosion-resistant.
GM’s adoption of Sereebo for CarbonPro, a significant step forward for CFRTP’s use in high-volume vehicles, comes after a series of steps by Teijin to create the organizational framework needed to support a project like this. In 2011, Teijin developed the world’s first mass-production technology for CFRTP, realizing a production interval time of just one minute. Since then, Teijin established a technical facility in the U.S. and a pilot plant for the fully integrated production of CFRTP in Japan. Sereebo was branded in 2012, and Teijin developed high-volume production methods with both domestic and international partners, including GM. Teijin acquired CSP in 2017, and the organizational framework needed in the U.S. was complete.
Production will begin in June, and the GMC Sierra CarbonPro Editions for both vehicles will be available at select GMC dealerships in the U.S. this summer.