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, held Oct. 18-25 in Australia.
Toho Tenax Co. Ltd., the core company of Tokyo-based 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 millimeters, 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 weighs 55 kilograms, which was the lightest among all cars competing in the same class of the race.
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.