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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0901

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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0901

Automotive referred to

Automotive referred to as ‘Ecological Plastic’, are to be used in scuff plates, headliners, seat cushions and other interior vehicle parts. By the end of 2009 Toyota aims for Ecological Plastic to account for approximately 60 percent of the interior components in vehicles that feature it. Lexus 2010 HS 250h (Photo: Lexus) Table1: Ecological plastic application and materials used There are basically two types of Ecological Plastic: the first is produced completely from plant-derived materials and the second from a combination of plant-derived and petroleum-derived materials. Because plants play a role in either type, Ecological Plastic emits less CO 2 during a product‘s lifecycle (from manufacture to disposal) than plastic made solely from petroleum; it also helps reduce petroleum use, as stated by Toyota. Ecological Plastic adequately meets the heat-resistance and shock-resistance demands of vehicle interiors through the use of various compounding technologies, such as those allowing molecular-level bonding and homogeneous mixing of plant-derived and petroleumderived raw materials. And being equal to conventional plastics in terms of quality and productivity means that it can be used in the production of vehicles. Interior vehicle parts using Ecological Plastic Scruff plates, cowl side trim, floor finish plate, toolbox Headliner, sun visors, pillar covers Trunk liner Door trim * non-food source Where used Pland-derived Combined raw materials Petroleum-dwerived Throughout Polylactic acid Polypropylene Covering (fibrous portion) Covering (fibrous portion) Base material Plant-derived polyester Polylactic acid Kenaf fibre* and Polylactic acid Seat cushion Foam portion Polyol derived from castor oil* Polyethylene terephtylene Polyethylene terephtylene (not used) Polyol, isocyanate (cross-linking agent) Lexus 2010 HS 250h (Photo: Lexus) Toyota make clear that they will continue to develop various advanced technologies aimed at realizing sustainable mobility and that they believe that it is important to increase the availability of such technologies in the marketplace. Toyota intends to pursue research and development and practical applications that result in expanded use of Ecological Plastic in vehicle parts. Lexus A few weeks ago Lexus revealed the 2010 HS 250h, the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The HS 250h will be Lexus’ fourth hybrid and the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its lineup. It will also be the first Lexus to proactively adopt plant-based, carbon-neutral ‘Ecological Plastic’ materials (as known from Toyota, see above) in a new futuristic cockpit and interior design. Among the areas of utilization will be an industry-first 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/09] Vol. 4

Automotive use in luggage-trim upholstery. Other areas are the cowlside trim, door scuff plate, tool box area, floor-finish plate, seat cushions, and the package tray behind the rear seats. Overall, approximately 30 percent of the interior and luggage area is covered with Ecological Plastic. Over the estimated lifecycle of the vehicle, the HS 250h will have approximately 20 percent less carbon-dioxide emission as a result of utilizing the Ecological Plastic trim pieces. Mazda Last year Mazda introduced its innovative bioplastic internal consoles and bio-fabric seats in its Mazda 5 model (in some countries also marketed under the brand name Premacy). Up to 30 percent of the interior parts in the Mazda 5 will be made of bio-material components, as Takahiro Tochioka, Senior Research Engineer from Mazda Motor Corporation‘s Technical Research Centre mentioned within the framework of EcoInnovasia 2008 last October in Bangkok. “We want to show that Mazda is committed to saving the environment,“ he said. Bioplastics used for vehicles need to have higher strength and heat thresholds than ordinary plastics, as Mr. Tochioka explained. Thus Mazda set out to correct bioplastic‘s well-known weak points. “It needs to be highly elastic to prevent breaks in accidents and it needs to be able to tolerate high temperatures from sunlight. Bioplastic is well known for its rather inadequate heatresistant qualities,“ Mr Tochioka said. Mazda’s bio-materials used in the Premacy have been specially designed to meet such requirements. According to Mazda, the next step is to develop the materials to allow for bioplastic use on the car‘s exterior. (source: www.bangkokpost.com) Honda At the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November Honda revealed the Honda FC Sport design study model, a hydrogen-powered, three-seat sports car concept. According to Honda: “The glacier white body color conveys the FC Sport‘s clean environmental aspirations while the dark wheels and deeply tinted glass provide a symbolic contrast befitting the vehicle‘s unique combination of clean power and high performance.” Green construction techniques further contribute to a reduced carbon footprint. An organic, bio-structure theme is carried through to the body construction where exterior panels are intended to use plant-derived bio-plastics. Mazda Premacy (Photo: Mazda) █Mazda_Premacy.jpg█ Hydrogen fuel cell-powered Honda FC Sport design study model shown at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show (Photo: Honda) www.ford.com www.toyota.co.jp www.lexus.com www.mazda.com www.honda.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/09] Vol. 4 15

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