Bioplastics: Mazda is developing bioplastics

Mazda has developed a new bioplastics for the automotive engineer. Using the material made from renewable raw materials, Japanese automakers reduce the dependency on fossil fuels, such as petroleum, from which plastics are mostly produced, thus also reducing CO2 emissions. The dyed bioplastics, according to company data with its color depth and the smooth, mirror-like surface, has a higher quality than varnished, petroleum-based plastics. Since the material does not have to be painted, the emissions of so-called volatile organic compounds (VOC) also decrease.

(Photo:Mazda home page)

For the interior

Mazda has been researching products from renewable raw materials for several years under the heading "Mazda Biotech Material". For example, the company was the first automotive manufacturer to develop a high-strength, heat-resistant bioplastics for vehicle interiors as well as the world's first fabric for seat covers made exclusively from plant fibers. As a part of the exterior, however, the plastic must not only be high-quality but also weather-resistant, scratch-resistant and impact-resistant.

Versatile material developed

Mazda has now, in cooperation with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, succeeded in developing a material which is equally suitable for the interior as well as for the exterior of a car. For this purpose, the composition was optimized and patented from a very formable and durable bioplastics base, additives and dyes. The injection molding process has also been modified. As a result, parts can be produced which are just as resistant as conventional plastics, but still look more high-quality.

Presentation of the "Mazda biotech material"

The bioplastics will be used for the first time in the interior of the new Mazda MX-5, which will be launched in 2015. Exterior parts from renewable raw materials are introduced with later models. The prototypes of "Mazda biotech material" will be presented at the "Eco-Products 2014" trade fair in Tokyo this month.