Toyoda Gosei puts cellulose nanofiber reinforced plastic into practice for auto parts

KIYOSU, Japan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. (TOKYO: 7282) applied a cellulose nanofiber (CNF) reinforced plastic it developed for automotive interior and exterior products to make lightweight containers. These containers are in use at one of its manufacturing plants starting in September. The company will accumulate records of the material’s use for future application in automotive parts.

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-based material with one-fifth the weight and five times the strength of steel. CNF’s reinforced plastic is a beneficial material for decarbonization and recycling society goals; when CNF is mixed with plastic as a reinforcing material, it makes auto parts lighter and easier to recycle. The drop in impact resistance when CNF was mixed with the general plastic (polypropylene) used in automotive interiors was an issue. The company has taken advantage of its material mixing design and kneading technology and succeeded in increasing the impact resistance to a level suitable for use in automotive parts.

Toyoda Gosei mixed reinforced plastic from CNF with recycled materials from old polypropylene containers that were no longer in use to make containers that were 6% lighter. Compared to previous containers, the CO2 will be reduced by 6% over the entire life cycle.*

* The test calculations have been made assuming that the containers will be used for transporting products for four years

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