Mazda: The future is bio-plastic

By Bob Nagy on December 11, 2014 12:28 PM

Working with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mazda Motors has developed a new bio-based plastic that it will use to make high-quality exterior body panels on future vehicles. Made from plant-derived materials, this new material eliminates the need for petroleum resources while producing fewer CO2 emissions. It also can be dyed during its creation, a process that eliminates volatile organic compound emissions that accompany the conventional painting process. The first prototype parts made from this "Mazda Biotechmaterial" were shown at the Eco-Products 2014 exhibition in Tokyo. 

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Mazda has been involved in bio-plastic and bio-fabric development for several years and the first use of these cleaner, greener materials will be in the interior panels of the 2015 Mazda MX-5 that goes on sale next year. However, this new and improved "Mazda Biotechmaterial" takes the process a large step beyond. This highly moldable and durable formulation provides a super-smooth surface with excellent color as well as superior weather, scratch and impact resistance. Mazda says the patented process will allow it to produce body panels that are as durable as conventional painted ABS plastic parts but have a higher quality finish.

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