- CFRP and Us
CFRP and Us
A quarter of a century, since the genesis of carbon fiber prepregs in Japan, we have continuously been progressing alongside the evolution of the materials. Leveraging the expertise accumulated in the cutting edge environment, our next stage is to create life enhancing products with CFRP.
How we started
Our history of making CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) components began approximately thirty years ago. The founder of Tokyo R&D group Masao Ono first encountered carbon fiber in England, 1974. He was there as person in charge of Maki F1 team who was racing in Formula One Grand-prix as privateer at the time. The carbon fiber he saw was long fiber bundle (CF tow) that was used to reinforce, then most popular, CF glass fiber (GFRP).
Later he joined Kojima Engineering who was to race in the first Formula One Grand-prix that was ever to be held in Japan in 1976 and became in charge of designing Kojima KE007. Then he implemented wet-mold carbon fiber for the entire cowling. Driver Masahiro Hasemi led KE007 to the 4th position in Q1
- Company building at the time of the establishment
Our parent company Tokyo R&D was founded in 1981.
The same year Ono witnessed the carbon fiber monocoque that McLaren and Lotus adopted in the opening Formula One race in Long Beach California, USA. Looking at the surface texture, he realized that McLaren's monocoque adapted a totally different molding method from that of the conventional wet molding and then he became certain that a new era of carbon fiber was to come to the automotive industry.
This was the impetus that led us manufacturing components using carbon fiber prepregs.
Ono obtained edge material prepregs from material makers and started his journey developing manufacturing method by trial and error using handmade autoclave.
And in 1984, through the development of TRDEX, he established the production process of curing carbon fiber prepregs in autoclaves. He then took this technology and manufactured a front fender of a racing motor bike for the pinnacle of road racing and achieved significant weight reduction and unprecedented rigidity. Ever since we have provided CFRP parts for racing bikes and vehicles competing in a variety of categories.
- Work scenery at the time of the establishment
- CFRP frame electric motor scooter TRDEX-1 launch
- Fenders of racing motorcycles
Ever since then, we have been a forerunner in manufacturing with prepregs by autoclave molding for a wide range of industries. Our products include cowling of the motorcycle for races and structural elements, the cowling of racing cars and structural elements, hulls of sea kayaks and paddles, slap skate shoes, bicycle frames, wind tunnel experiment models, engine parts for races, bodies of high efficiency electric cars and structural elements, and battery packs.
Also, we have been endeavoring to integral-mold heterogeneous materials such as metal, rubber, and pieces of wood with carbon fiber, and as a result we recently produced a piece of designer furniture which uses super stiff ultra-thin sheets that are made of hybrid of wood and CFRP.
- A small production sports car VEMAC
- Electric racing car Z.E.R.O. 0-1 (the monocoque chassis deployment for F3000)
- Slap skates
- CFRP bicycle frame
- High efficiency electric car IZA
- Sea kayak Kuroshio
- Racing car (cowling, structural element)
- Racing car (cowling, structural element)
- nendo nestshelf
The real thrill
Carbon fiber prepregs take on different characteristics depending on the kind of raw materials used, ways they are manufactured and woven, thickness of fiber bundles, kind and quantity of the resin used. The most appreciated aspect of CFRP is that, myriad of combinations of fiber direction, type of fiber and laminating formation can be considered for the shape and the intended purpose of the end product to create an item that possesses the signature characteristics of lightness, high-strength and high-elasticity, which is not achievable with metal.
Moreover, with carbon fiber, deformation volume and how it deforms upon an external shock can be estimated and manipulated if needed. These desirable features enable the realization of requested performance and are certainly the best part of working with carbon fiber which consequently got us going strong for more than a quarter of a century.
The technology of carbon fiber composite is essential for improvement of energy efficiency in all industrial products.
Light-weight, high-strength and high-elasticity, carbon fiber's unique characteristics, are progressively penetrating our everyday life in areas such as medical care, the welfare/care, renewable energy, sports, bicycles, housing, civil engineering and construction and mass production vehicles, along with the already popular practice in racing and aerospace industries.
As a pioneer of carbon fiber technology, we continue to strive to further improve the quality of our composite manufacturing by leveraging our strength of analysis for the optimal composition for intended use environment of the end products. TOKYO R&D Composite Industry Co.,Ltd. will continue to forge ahead in tapping a new market with "well substantiated manufacturing" as our trading signature.
- Windmill for wind-generated electricity
- Furniture and housing facility
- Mass production motorbikes