Mitsubishi and Mazda jointly develop bio-based engineering plastic
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Mazda Motor Corporation have jointly developed the new engineering plastic Durabio, which is made from isosorbide deriving from plants. The material is said to feature superior properties compared to general bio-based engineering plastics in terms of impact resistance, heat resistance and weathering. The new grade has been adopted for the front grill of the Mazda CX-5.
According to the companies, it also has good colour-capability and, simply by adding pigments, creates a “mirror-like smooth surface and deep colour tone” surpassing painted products with similar properties. Furthermore, its hard surface and resistance to scratch eliminates the need for any coating process, enabling reduction in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions during manufacture. Durabio has been adopted for pillars and other exterior design components in addition to interior components, thus enhancing a broad range of applications in the automotive sector, said Mitsubishi.
The new grade is said to exhibit a good, balanced combination of resistance to impact and weathering and formability due to improvement in resin composition compared with properties of conventional grades, thereby making it possible to apply the new product to the front grill and other large exterior components. It is expected to be adopted for future models launched by Mazda following the CX-5. Mitsubishi said it will continue to accelerate R&D on Durabio to expand applications for larger exterior design components.