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Issue 01/2021

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  • Products
  • Automotive
  • Packaging
  • Sustainable
  • Carbon
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Foam
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Automotive Foam Basics: Enzymes

Automotive A CASE for

Automotive A CASE for biobased engineering plastics In recent years, the automobile industry has been undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation period, with new technological innovations collectively called CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, and Electric) on the one hand and a clear commitment and objective to sustainability on the other. Each of the four aspects of CASE has great potential to change mobility in the future and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC), Tokyo, Japan, plans to be part of that change. According to MCC, their partially biobased engineering plastic DURABIO, made from plant-derived isosorbide, is contributing even more than any other engineering polymers to this transformation as it not only outperforms conventional fossil-based plastics in many areas of CASE technology, it is also a more sustainable material. There are currently two fields of applications MCC is especially focusing on with Durabio. The first is in the area autonomous driving, while the other is more connected with electric mobility. Durabio has already been used for large front grills of the Mazda CX-5 in early 2018 (see also bM 01/2018) where its main selling point was cost reduction. The combination of high weatherability, high scratch resistance, and high impact resistance without the need for painting or coating made it a more cost-efficient material for this application. Now, in connection with autonomous driving, another property becomes more and more important – high radar transmittance. Cars of the future will have more radar sensors to be aware of their surroundings, these sensors need covers. Materials used for radar covers require high radar transmittance, high weatherability, and high scratch resistance. Until now, polycarbonate (PC) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) are mainly used for radar covers, because those materials have high radar transmittance. However, these materials have some weak points. PMMA is rather brittle and has low impact resistance, which is disadvantageous for parts requiring chipping resistance. PC on the other hand has high impact resistance and can be used for parts which require high chipping resistance. However, PC’s scratch resistance and weatherability are rather poor. This can be remedied by coating/painting, if the material is to be used for radar cover, which increases production costs. Durabio has high scratch and weather resistance, which is comparable to PMMA, and high impact resistance comparable to PC, while not needing any coating or painting (for a comparison of Durabio, PC, PMMA see graph). These attributes in combination with high radar transmittance and its more sustainable, biobased source makes Durabio a more suitable material for radar covers, which will be needed more and more in the future. The second application of Durabio is related to e-mobility. When talking about improving electronic mobility two big factors are usually considered, making the batteries themselves more efficient and sustainable, and making the cars lighter so the driving range of the vehicle is increased. With the aim of weight reduction, MCC is working in collaboration with customers to develop the Durabio transparent exterior that can replace glass. The current target applications are sunroofs and rear quarter windows. MCC aims to add door windows, front windows, and rear windows later on, but these applications have proven to be rather tricky to accomplish in the past. However, sustainability is still one big advantage of Durabio, MCC performed a life cycle assessment (LCA) for Durabio resin in early 2019 which was authenticated by a third party (Japan Environmental Management Association). The result of the LCA study suggests that by using Durabio, GWP (Global Warming Potential, kg CO 2 eq) is reduced by 30 % compared with PC, by 35 % compared with PMMA, and by 60 % compared with PA6. MCC will continue to accelerate R&D on Durabio to expand applications not just for MIC automotive components but also for multi-functional high value-added components, thus contributing to the production of environment-friendly motor vehicles and furthering CASE technology. AT https://www.mcpp-global.com/ UV Resistance Weather Resistance Low Birefringence Excellent Transparency Surface Hardness Bio-based Content DURABIO DURABIO PMMA PC Film-Flexibility, Film-Processability Stretch Orientation Flame Retardance Impact Resistance (Multi-axial Impact) HeatResistance 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16

7 + 8 Sept.2021 - Nürnberg, Germany Automotive + 2 nd Conference on toys from biobased plastics Meet innovators from the supply chain, toy brands and networks Save the date Call for papers www.bio-toy.info organized by Sponsor Media Partner Coorganized by Innovation Consulting Harald Kaeb bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/21] Vol. 16 17

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