The materials have been provided by Teijin and its group companies Toho Tenax, GH Craft, and Teijin Frontier.
GH Craft is engaged in all stages of composite-structure fabrication for super-lightweight vehicles, including design, moulding and structural evaluation. The company provides the Kogakuin University Solar Team with technical support, including dispatching a GH Craft member to accompany the race team to provide mechanical and technical backup. Teijin is supplying the team with a variety of high-performance materials, including the following:
- Ultra-lightweight fabric made with Tenax carbon fibre for the vehicle’s body. Toho Tenax, together with Sakai Ovex, developed an ultra-lightweight carbon fibre fabric as thin as 0.06 mm, which is incorporated in the car’s CFRP body.
- Panlite polycarbonate (PC) resin is used for the car windows to reduce the vehicle’s body weight and improve driver safety. Compared to glass, Teijin’s Panlite is said to be 200 times more resistant to impact and weigh half as much.
- Technora para-aramid fibre prepreg for the wheel wells reduces vehicle weight and improves durability. Teijin says Technora fibre boasts eight times the tensile strength of steel and yet is just one-fifth the weight.
- V-Lap nonwoven polyester fabric for the seat cushion contributes to the vehicle’s lightweight body as well as driver comfort. V-Lap is Teijin Frontier’s nonwoven fabric made of fibres oriented vertically (upward) to make it highly resilient and breathable, as well as lightweight.
- Nanofront ultra-fine polyester fibre is used in the team’s driving gloves, which offer extra-positive steering. Teijin Frontier’s Nanofront, with a cross-sectional area that is just 1/7500th that of human hair, offers superior fitting, positive gripping, breathability and moisture permeability.
- Solotex polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) fibre is incorporated in the team’s uniforms for excellent comfort and fit in harsh race environments. Teijin Frontier’s Solotexis soft, stretchable, shape retaining and durable. It is also environmentally friendly as 37% of its components are bio-derived.
This year, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge will hold its 14th competition as the world’s biggest biennial race to showcase advanced, innovative technologies for solar-powered cars. The Kogakuin University team is entered in the competition’s Challenger Class. Teijin has been supporting the Kogakuin team since 2013.
Industries: Automotive and Road Transportation