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Bio-based Plastics

Bio-based Engineering Plastic that can reduce its impact on the environment featuring high-quality finish made from plant derived materials

Bio-based engineering plastic, which was developed in conjunction with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, will help Mazda to reduce its impact on the environment in a number of important ways. As the plastic is made from plant-derived materials, its adoption will help to curb the use of petroleum resources and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, the material can be dyed and emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) associated with the painting process reduced. Dyed parts made from the bio-based engineering plastic feature a higher-quality finish than traditional painted plastic. The deep hue and smooth, mirror-like finish of the surface make the newly-developed plastic suitable for exterior vehicle parts with a high design factor.

Bio-based Engineering Plastic

Mazda has been proactively developing technologies in the biomass field for a number of years. To date, under the "Mazda Biotechmaterial" name, the company has succeeded in developing the automotive industry's first high-strength heat-resistant plant-derived bioplastic for auto interior parts, and the world's first biofabric for vehicle seat upholstery made entirely from plant-derived fiber. However, to be suitable for exterior parts, plastics are required to possess not only a high quality finish, but also excellent weather, scratch and impact resistance in order to stand up to harsh environmental factors to which they are exposed. Achieving this combination of characteristics with bioplastics has posed a technical challenge.

Bio-based Engineering Plastic

Mazda has succeeded in making a material suitable for both interior and exterior parts. This has been achieved by optimizing the composition of a newly developed, highly moldable and durable bioplastic base material with additives and coloring agents, and optimizing molding specifications. This will enable the company to produce parts as durable as conventional painted ABS plastic parts yet feature a higher quality finish.
This bio-based engineering plastic is used for the first time for interior parts for the all-new Mazda MX-5 was launched globally in 2015. Moving forward, it will be used for exterior parts in other production models due to the outstanding durability.