In a collaboration with a group of leading Japanese corporations, Tokyo University has developed two types of low-cost, high-performance CFRTP (carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics) prepregs for the mass production of ultra-lightweight cars which can be manufactured in fast molding cycles and are recyclable to boot.
The first one is a discontinuous CF-reinforced isotropic prepreg and the second one a continuous CF-reinforced prepreg. The matrix resin is primarily PP (polypropylene), but PA (polyamide) can also be employed. The specially surface-treated CF and modified resins developed for these prepregs provide high strength, energy absorption, formability and recyclability. A full impregnation method was developed to shorten the molding cycle to a minute. Joining, repair and recycling technologies utilizing the thermoplastic nature of the matrix materials were also developed....