Nanofiber reinforced plastic for automotive

Japanese chemical company Toyoda Gosei Co Ltd has developed a cellulose nanofiber (CNF) re-inforced plastic.

According to the company, the material has one fifth the weight and five times the strength of steel. When used as a reinforcing material in plastic or rubber, the product can be made thinner and foam molding becomes easier, Toyoda said.

In turn, this can reduce weight and contributes to lower CO2 emissions during vehicle driving. As well as this, when the material is reused after vehicles are scrapped, little strength is lost from heating and melting, making recycling in automotive components possible, the company said.

The material combines 20% CNF in polypropylene (PP) usually used in automobile interior and exterior components. According to Toyoda, while reduced impact resistance from the inclusion of CNF was initially an issue, the company overcame this with its material mix design and kneading to raise impact resistance to a level suitable for automotive components.

Image ©U2M Brand -