Sunday, 1 July 2012

Biotech Materials - Bio-Plastics

Today, various automobile parts are made from plastics, which are reliant on the supply of petroleum. There is a need to find new materials for these parts so we can promote a post-petroleum era and reduce CO2 emissions.
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The automobile industry’s first plant-derived bio-plastic, which can be injection-molded to ensure thermal and shock resistance and a beautiful finish.
High Strength Heat Resistant Heat Materials
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To be suitable for use as automobile parts, plant-derived plastics (bio-plastics) must have the required strength (shock impact resistance) and heat resistance.
It resulted in the creation of a bio-plastic with the high strength, heat resistance and high quality finish necessary for injection-molded automobile interior parts. It is the first bio-plastic in the automobile industry that maintains a high plant-derived content (over 80 percent). We altered the molecular structure of poly-lactic acid extracted from plants to raise its melting point and developed it as a nucleating agent. A compatibilizer compound*2 was also developed to highly disperse the shock-absorbing flexible ingredients. These two breakthroughs improved material’s ability to uniformly absorb and release energy generated by impacts.\
This bio-plastic is three times the shock impact resistance along with 25 percent higher heat resistance when compared to contemporary bio-plastics used for items such as electrical appliances.
And unlike conventional bio-plastics whose properties are suitable for press-forming only, Mazda’s bio-plastic can be extrusion-molded. Consequently, this bio-plastic can be used for various car parts.
The Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid featured this bio-plastic in the vehicle’s instrument panel and other interior fittings.
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Less CO2 Emitted, Less Energy Consumed and less Material Used
Bio-plastic is a plant-derived and carbon-neutral material. It reduces reliance on fossil fuels and therefore also cuts CO2 emissions. In addition, its manufacture involves fermentation of natural materials such as starches and sugars. As a result, it requires 30 percent less energy to produce than petroleum-base polypropylene plastics. The new bio-plastic is also stronger than other plastics, which means parts can be thinner so less material is required for production.
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The world’s first bio-fabric made with completely plant-derived fibers, suitable for use in vehicle interiors. This bio-fabric does not contain any oil-based materials, yet it possesses the qualities and durability required for use in vehicle seat covers. Resistant to abrasion and damage from sunlight, in addition to being flame retardant, the new bio-fabric meets the highest quality standards.
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A new poly-lactic acid —as a crystallization agent to control the entire molecular architecture of raw resins to form a "tereo complex structure*2." The technique was used to improve fiber strength until the fabric attained sufficient resistance to abrasion and light damage for practical use in vehicle seat covers.
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The technology enables the production of fibers made from 100 percent plant-derived poly-lactic acid which are well-suited for automobile applications. Other crucial qualities necessary for the highest performing fabrics, such as fire retardant properties

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