So if it is made cheaper for truck beds could it come to paddle sports? Quantity probably to small for cost savings.
Might case cost to go up not down. Higher demand higher prices.
There is a finite global production capacity for carbon fiber currently, so increased demand does drive the price up. Currently, the bulk of it is used in the aerospace industry, leaving just the “scraps” for the sporting goods industry to fight over. It’s also quite likely that the CFRP product that GM will be using for pickup beds is nothing you’d want to build a kayak with. Don’t get your hopes up.
If they can make finished bed with it it can’t be bad. Yes on supply and demand but not always. Doubt GM would be looking at something that the price would rise much or they would be working with scraps. They research how to eliminate one screw on a car model because they have saved millions of screws on that one model over the course of it’s production life.
There’s nothing brand new about pickup beds being made of something other than metal, or wood; Toyota Tacomas have had plastic beds for years and it’s not just a liner. I don’t know what type of plastic the beds are, but they seem to be pretty sturdy. I guess they might, or might not be a composite.
On my last tour of an aircraft plant carbon fiber in aerospace takes an auto clave like cooker, laser cad cutting tables and lots of room. It is a sandwich of carbon fiber, steel, and adhesive with welded cuts. It gets cut in panels and formed then cooked under pressure to set and bond the adhesive. I can see truck beds made in volume. But kayaks not so much.
Yeah GM would make millions of beds for a model run. Guess no recycling of CF?
When ordering a carbon boat from ‘Sterling’ several years ago, I remember him mentioning that he had a ‘source’ of materials from an aircraft company (I’m guessing - the ‘scraps’ that bnystrom referred to earlier.
Now, when my 28lb carbon boat gets too heavy for me in another 30 years or so, will Sterling be putting out a 15lb ‘graphene’ layup yak.
(kind of kidding’, I’m already having trouble with a 28lb boat - it blows away in the lightest of breeze when sitting on the beach).
Fun stuff, I used to work on pick-ups at a GM competitor. The article says the Japanese supplier (Teijin) will only supply complete parts (most likely so they can retain their unique manufacturing knowledge) so they are building a plant in the US to supply GM. If you google Teijin it says the “breakthrough” is that they can now produce a part in 60 seconds which is a good thing when GM may need over 1000/day to support production…the high volumes should help justify the apparently expensive compression molding tooling.
But a truck bed is really a lot like a wide, blunt canoe so if we can line up about a million customers we can place an order for a s—load of strong/light/cheap canoes.
If they can make them that fast, they must be using some kind of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic. There’s no way you can do that with laminated carbon fiber. It also makes sense from a cost perspective; thermoplastic is cheap, carbon fiber isn’t.
2018 Chevy now light weight high strength steel. Cheaper than Ford’s aluminum.