Mazda To Launch New Biofabric For Auto Interiors
September 13, 2007
Mazda Motor Corp. in partnership with Teijin Ltd. and Teijin Fibers Ltd. has formulated the world’s first biofabric for use in auto interiors. The plant-derived material will be launched by the Japanese automaker in Tokyo.
Mazda’s new biofabric posses the class and durability essential for use in seat covers. The material, made of 100 percent polylactic acid, is resistant to fire, damage, abrasion, and sunlight. Biofabric combines sizable lactic acid molecules that are made from fermented carbohydrates such as plant sugars. As such, it meets the company’s “highest quality standards.”
This newly developed biofabric has harnessed the latest technologies to control the entire molecular architecture of raw resins to improve fiber strength for practical auto interior use. Other crucial qualities necessary for the highest performing fabrics, such as fire retardant properties, were achieved through Mazda's accumulated knowledge in surface technologies built up through years of collaboration with several local companies.
The automaker intends to unveil the biofabric for the seat covers and the door trim in the Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid. The new hybrid will be displayed at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid will also benefit from Mazda's environmentally friendly bioplastic which was developed in the previous year. 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.
"Mazda succeeded in developing this 100 percent plant-derived biofabric for use in vehicle interiors by leveraging the technical expertise we have amassed in the Hiroshima area," said Seita Kanai, Mazda's director and senior executive officer in charge of R&D. "We are convinced that our new technology, which enables the manufacture of this material without any oil-based resources, will become a cornerstone for future biotechnologies aimed at reducing the burden on the environment. Mazda, working together with our locally-based partners, will continue its research and development programs aimed at achieving a future car society that is eco-friendly."
Based on this innovative biotechnology, the Japanese automaker will strengthen its future research and development on non-food-based materials taking in consideration the impact of such technologies on food supplies.
Along with the soy-foam seats introduced in the 2008 Ford Mustang, Mazda's biofabric is another milestone that can push Ford Motor Corp. family of manufacturers to lessen the impact of the materials used in building its lineup.
According to the automaker, all of its biomaterials fall under the "Mazda Biotechmaterial" brand name. Additionally, the automaker has intimated its commitment to continue its research and development efforts for the mentioned environmentally friendly technologies which will help to realize a sustainable society in the near future.
Aside from improving car accessories, the automaker is also enhancing parts like Mazda fuel pump, engines, filters, radiator, brakes, and other auto systems.
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