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The latest composite formulation incorporates a foaming agent that reduces density by 25%

Stephen Moore

October 25, 2017

1 Min Read
Tokyo Motor Show: Kenaf-reinforced polypropylene panels adopted in latest Lexus model

Toyota Boshoku has made advances in its Kenaf-reinforced polypropylene (PP) alloy composite board technology though the incorporation of an acrylic-based microsphere foaming agent that reduces density by 25%. The highly impact-resistant PP alloy was developed jointly with Mitsui Chemical and contains a polyamide (PA) 11 component. A licensing agreement was inked in April this year for Mitsui Chemicals to develop markets for the alloy as a modifier to improve the resistance of other plastics.

Lightweight Kenaf-reinforced PP alloy panels are employed in interior door panels in the latest Lexus model.

Kenaf fiber is air-laid and impregnated with the PP/PA alloy at Toyota Boshoku’s Indonesian plant. Interior parts for the latest Lexus model are compression-molded in Japan. The panels weigh 1.2 kg/square meter compared with 1.5 kg/square meter for conventional non-foamed panels. Foamed panels normally exhibit lower impact strength but the PP/PA alloy’s inherent propertied overcome this shortcoming.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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