Mazda Motor Corporation of Japan has announced that, in
conjunction with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, it has developed a new
bio-based engineering plastic that can be used for exterior design parts for
automobiles. According to a press release, the new plastic will help Mazda to
reduce its impact on the environment in a number of important ways. As the
plastic is made from plant-derived materials, its adoption will help to curb
the use of petroleum resources and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Furthermore, the material can be dyed and emissions of volatile organic
compounds associated with the painting process reduced. Dyed parts made from
the bio-based engineering plastic feature a finish of higher-quality than can
be achieved with traditional painted plastic. The deep hue and smooth,
mirror-like finish of the surface make the newly-developed plastic suitable for
external vehicle parts with a high design factor.
Mazda will display
prototype "Mazda Biotechmaterial" parts made from the bio-based
engineering plastic at Eco-Products 2014. One of Japan's largest exhibitions of
environmental technologies and environmentally-friendly products and services,
Eco Products 2014 opens from December 11 to December 13, 2014 at Tokyo Big
Mazda has been proactively developing technologies in the
biomass field for a number of years. To date, under the "Mazda
Biotechmaterial" name, the company has succeeded in developing the
automotive industry's first high-strength heat-resistant plant-derived
bioplastic for auto interior parts, and the world's first biofabric for vehicle
seat upholstery made entirely from plant-derived fibre. However, to be suitable
for exterior parts, plastics are required to possess not only a high quality
finish, but also excellent weather, scratch and impact resistance in order to
stand up to harsh environmental factors to which they are exposed. Achieving
this combination of characteristics with bioplastics has posed a technical
Now, Mazda has
succeeded in making a material suitable for both interior and exterior parts.
This has been achieved by optimizing the composition of a newly developed,
highly moldable and durable bioplastic base material with additives and colouring
agents (patent pending), and optimizing molding specifications. This will
enable the company to produce parts that are as durable as conventional painted
ABS plastic parts yet feature a higher quality finish.
engineering plastic will be used for the first time for interior parts for the
all-new Mazda MX-5 which will be launched globally in 2015. Moving forward, it
will be used for exterior parts in other production models.
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