Mitsubishi Rayon, Continental Structural Plastics explore carbon fiber joint venture

Mitsubishi Rayon, Continental Structural Plastics explore carbon fiber joint venture

Companies consider manufacturing materials for structural, body-in-white automotive applications.

March 9, 2016

Auburn Hill, Michigan – Lightweighting specialist Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (MRC) to develop and manufacture innovative carbon fiber structural components for the automotive industry in North America. Under the memorandum of understanding, CSP and MRC agreed to commence detailed studies through which the two companies intend to substantiate the establishment of an equity-based joint venture.

Specifically, the new joint venture will produce compression molded components made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic materials, which could include carbon fiber sheet molded compound (SMC) and/or pre-preg carbon fiber compression molding (PCM). These components will include Class A body panels, as well as non-class A structural automotive applications including: pillars; engine cradles or supports; radiator supports; frames and rails; bumper beams; underbody shields; door inners and intrusion beams.

“This agreement represents a tremendous opportunity for us to work jointly with one of the world’s largest manufacturers of carbon fiber to introduce a new generation of lightweight components for the auto industry,” says Frank Macher, chairman and CEO of CSP. “The expertise that exists between our two companies will enable us to develop and bring to market carbon fiber components that are cost-effective for mass production.”

“By working together with Continental Structural Plastics, we gain access to tremendous expertise in composites, and in developing structural applications for light vehicles,” says Akira Nakagoshi, general manager, Composite Products Division, MRC. “We look forward to the opportunity to further expand MRC’s composite material technologies among automakers in North America, and are hopeful for creating better relationships among people, society, and our planet.”

Source: Continental Structural Plastics