Toyoda Gosei Co.Ltd. (Kiyosu, Japan) has successfully applied a cellulose nanofiber (CNF) reinforced plastic it developed for automotive interior and exterior products to manufacture lightweight containers, which are currently used in one of the manufacturing plants of Toyoda. The company says it will accumulate records on the use of the materials, with the aim of applying them to auto parts in the future.
As part of its efforts to reduce CO2 in the auto parts lifecycle, Toyoda Gosei uses its strengths in materials technology to incorporate various biomaterials such as CNF, a plant-derived material five times lighter and five times stronger than steel. When mixed with recycled materials from old polypropylene (PP) containers, CNF enables the production of lightweight and more recyclable parts. Specifically, the company reports a 6% weight reduction and a 6% reduction in CO2 over its entire life cycle compared to previous containers (the test calculations were made assuming that the containers will be used for transporting products for four years). Additionally, when the material is reused, little strength is lost through heating and melting, making recycling into automotive components possible.
While the drop in impact resistance was a challenge, Toyoda Gosei claims to have taken advantage of its material mixing design and kneading technology and managed to increase the impact resistance to a level suitable for use in parts. automobiles.
Toyoda Gosei is one of 16 companies within Toyota Group. The company began as the rubber R&D division of Toyota Motor, before becoming independent 70 years ago. Since then, it has grown into a global company that researches, develops and manufactures high quality automotive products such as cockpit modules, steering wheels and airbag systems for car manufacturers around the world. Toyoda Gosei creates a range of products in other vertical markets and is the only Toyota Group company specializing in plastic and rubber products, with operations in the Americas, China, Asia, Europe and Africa.