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Home / News / Covestro, Toyota developing composite material for LQ

Covestro, Toyota developing composite material for LQ

Mar '20
Pic: Covestro
Pic: Covestro
Covestro and Toyota Boshoku, a car component manufacturer of the Japanese Toyota Group, are jointly developing a new polyurethane composite material for the new electric concept car “LQ” developed by Toyota Motor. The material is based on a combination of Covestro's advanced Baypreg F NF technology and Toyota Boshoku's expertise in using kenaf fibres.

The material offers a lightweight and sustainable solution. In the “LQ”, the new product is used in door trims, where it makes its world premiere in a car model of this manufacturer.

Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus genus and is growing in regions such as South East Asia, Bangladesh, India and Africa. The fibre is obtained from bast fibres of the kenaf plant and has recently attracted increasing attention as a cost-effective raw material with good mechanical properties. In the automotive industry, the plant fibre is also attracting increasing interest as an alternative raw material.

The kenaf fibre-reinforced polyurethane foam composite is characterised by a very low area density and high strength, making the door trim made of the fibre-reinforced kenaf polyurethane foam 30 per cent lighter than that produced from conventional materials. The lighter the material, the further the car can travel on a single gas or battery charge.

The new composite material was developed in close cooperation between Toyota Boshoku and Covestro's recently renovated Japanese Innovation Centre. “Our joint development makes an important contribution to the design of particularly lightweight and sustainable vehicles,” says Hiroaki Ido, head of Polyurethanes Application Development for Transportation at Covestro's Japanese Innovation Centre. “It is also a good example of our company's focus on using alternative raw materials and establishing a circular economy.”

Lightweight materials will play an increasingly important role in future mobility, eg they will further extend the range of electric cars. Covestro as a provider of material solutions has a long-term experience in the global automotive industry. This also applies to the Japanese market, where the Innovation Centre of Covestro has already developed many sustainable solutions, for instance components for low-density polyurethane foams.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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