World-leading capacity will lead to smaller, lighter equipment
TOKYO, February 13, 2014- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503)announced today that it has developed technologies for manufacturing carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components in various shapes, as well as reducing their weight and improving their noise-reduction performance in commercial products. Mitsubishi Electric is applying the technologies in ultra high-speed elevators and industrial fans for delivery this year.
Mitsubishi Electric has been developing lightweight, high-strength CFRPs for space satellites. By combining such technologies for composite-material design and low-cost manufacturing, the company has reduced the weight of certain metallic components by more than 50% in the case of steel and more than 30% for aluminum alloys.
CFRPs for space satellites are manufactured from prepregs, or carbon fiber sheets impregnated with resin under high temperature and pressure. This process incurs the costs of manufacturing prepregs and molding equipment required to cure the prepregs. One of Mitsubishi Electric's new technologies is a low-cost manufacturing technology based on vacuum-assisted resin-transfer molding (VaRTM).
CFRP structures can be manufactured with various processes to improve functional performance. For example, thermal insulators can be sandwiched between CFRP to simplify installation, and CFRP shapes and thicknesses can be optimized.
By continuing to develop these technologies, Mitsubishi Electric expects to further strengthen its application of CFRPs in commercial products to help reduce energy consumption.
Pending patents for the technology announced in this news release number four in Japan and three abroad.