OEM supplier Denso Corp. has revealed that it will be using bio-based plastics like polyurethane derived from castor oil and biopolycarbonate for some of the products it makes.
According to Denso, the biopolycarbonate offers better optical characteristics, better hydrolytic stability and higher surface hardness in addition to being environmentally friendly when compared to conventional materials.
The polycarbonate has better color-forming properties and a lower degree of refraction. Thus, it does not need to be painted. Toyota Motor Co. ha splans to use the new material for the bezels in its navigation systems.
The heat resistant polyurethane resin that is obtained from castor oil is used as a protector for connectors in automotive exhaust gas sensors. These sensors are used for measuring the level of specific gases in exhaust gases and hence need to have a high level of heat resistance. Normally, silicone-based resins are used to make these sensors. When compared to the silicone-based resins, the PU resin is cheaper, and can tolerate temperatures as high as 150°C. Denso says that the PU resin is a world first and can significantly affect the amount of gases emitted when it is melted and formed.
Denso established its Eco Vision 2025 action plan last year and as part of this initiative will continue to develop plant-derived plastics and make more products from such materials. This will help Denso to achieve its stated goal of reducing oil consumption, and decreasing CO2 emissions through all stages of the lifecycle of the products it makes.
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