Teijin Group announced today that OWL, an advanced solar-powered car developed by Kogakuin University using Teijin carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), finished in second place at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world’s largest solar car race, which was held in Australia from October 18 to 25.
Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of Teijin Group’s carbon fibers and composites business, supplied the university with an ultra-lightweight fabric made with Tenax® carbon fiber. The fabric, which is as thin as 0.06 mm, was developed by Toho Tenax together with Sakai Ovex Co., Ltd. in 2010. GH Craft Ltd., also a member of the Teijin Group, helped to design and produce the car body.
The racecar’s all-carbon-composite two-seater body made with Tenax® features a highly aerodynamic design and weight of just 55kg, which was the lightest among all cars competing in the same class of the race. The body also offers the rigidity and strength to withstand endurance racing and ensure rider safety.
Teijin Group is also researching and developing thermoplastic CFRP at the Teijin Composites Innovation Center. Teijin markets thermoset and thermoplastic CFRP applications through its Automotive Business Development Group.
Going forward, Teijin will continue to develop advanced CFRP solutions for automotive purposes, one of many ways the company is strengthening its position as a global leader in carbon fiber and composites.