Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a provider of highly-engineered, composite vehicle components, recently won the CAMX Unsurpassed Innovation Award for the carbon fiber composite technology used on the GMC Sierra Denali AT4 CarbonPro Editions.
The CAMX Unsurpassed Innovation Award is presented for developing an innovative composites product that distinctly illustrates a novel design incorporating low-cost materials for high-volume applications, or high-performance applications using low-volume materials, that has the potential to significantly impact existing markets or open new markets.
According to the company, the CarbonPro box is the world’s first use of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics for structural parts in a high production volume vehicle. The material, box design and related production and manufacturing process innovations represent a collaborative effort between CSP, its parent company Teijin, and General Motors.
The CarbonPro box is the first commercial application of the material Sereebo, a proprietary, carbon fiber nylon thermoplastic material that is fully recyclable, said the company. The advanced manufacturing techniques used to mold Sereebo into the CarbonPro box are the first mass production technologies developed for carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics suitable for high-volume programs.
The CarbonPro box delivers dent, scratch and corrosion resistance, while saving 62 pounds over a steel box. Its durability eliminates the need for a bed liner, saving an additional 40 pounds of mass, according to the company.
“This award further demonstrates that when you’re willing to continually challenge the status quo, anything is possible when it comes to reducing weight and increasing durability with composites,” said Steve Rooney, CEO of Continental Structural Plastics. “The CarbonPro box represents collaboration and innovation from great people at CSP, Teijin and General Motors. The teams came together to create an industry-first solution to a design challenge.”