Mazda Develops Biofabric Made With 100% Plant-Derived Fiber for Vehicle Interiors
12 September 2007
Mazda Motor, collaboration with Teijin Limited and Teijin Fibers Limited, has developed the world’s first biofabric made with completely plant-derived fibers, suitable for use in vehicle interiors. The biofabric is made of 100% polylactic acid—a plastic created by combining large numbers of lactic acid molecules that are made from fermented carbohydrates such as plant sugars.
This newly developed biofabric does not contain any oil-based materials, yet it possesses the quality and durability required for use in vehicle seat covers. The new fabric is resistant to abrasion and damage from sunlight, in addition to being flame retardant.
Other crucial qualities necessary for the highest performing fabrics, such as fire retardant properties, were achieved through Mazda’s accumulated experience in surface technologies built up through years of cooperation with several local companies.
Mazda plans to use the biofabric for the seat covers and door trim in the all-new Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid that will be exhibited in October at the Tokyo Motor Show 2007. The all-new Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid will also feature a bioplastic, which Mazda developed in 2006, in the vehicle’s instrument panel and other interior fittings.
Based on this biotechnology, Mazda will strengthen its future research and development on non-food-based materials in consideration of the impact such technologies have on food supplies.
This newly developed biofabric has harnessed the latest technologies to control the entire molecular architecture of raw resins to improve fiber strength until the fabric attained sufficient resistance to abrasion and light damage for practical use in vehicle seat covers.
This makes a lot more sense than using food crops to make ethanol and biofuels for inefficient ICE vehicles.
What are Dupont, ICI, Dow Chemicals etc doing?
Posted by: Harvey D | 12 September 2007 at 07:43 AM
Posted by: Elliot | 12 September 2007 at 09:15 AM
Well, I disagree. Why not use petroleum for plastic, to sequester the carbon?
The other issue with Lactic acid is the smell. Instead of Polyurethane smell in present cars, alone. Add in vomit smell if the stuff should de-polimerize.
My hope is one day petroleum will only be used for plastic, and recycled into new products. And only renewable sources of energy will be used.
Posted by: Donee | 12 September 2007 at 04:49 PM
Biofabric! Wow who would have thought[/sarcasm]
Wasn't there and AMC Gremlin in the 1970's that was available with Denim seat?
Posted by: DS | 12 September 2007 at 05:20 PM
If you use biomass for plastics you sequester the carbon, if you leave petroleum in the ground you leave it sequestered, if you use the petroleum you add carbon to the system, if you use only biomass there is no carbon added. I’ve dealt with polylactones and there is no smell, no taste either, water bottle are made of it and the only problem is that water tends to evaporate though the bioplastic.
Posted by: Ben | 13 September 2007 at 09:48 AM