Challenge of minimising natural resources usage
The Toyota Boshoku group is pushing ahead with the promotion of readily disassemblable and recyclable design, the development of technologies for material recycling and the replacement of materials with a range of plant-derived materials in an effort to help curb the depletion of fossil fuels and minerals.
Sequential commercialisation of kenaf base materials
With the aim of reducing CO2 throughout the vehicle life cycle, the Toyota Boshoku group is advancing product development that utilises kenaf, a fast-growing plant which has a high CO2 absorption capacity. These kenaf base materials are widely used in automobile parts.
The weight of parts can be decreased by replacing petroleum-based materials used in interior parts with plant-based materials and by using kenaf, which has strong fibre strength, as a reinforcing material. In turn, the decrease weight will contribute to better fuel efficiency (reduce CO2 while driving).
Door trim base material using kenaf fibre was first utilised in the Celsior in 2000. Since then, Toyota Boshoku has advanced our technology and expanded usage. Examples include 100% plant-derived parts made from kenaf and polylactic acid, the SBI method for injection moulding of resin parts simultaneously with press moulding of kenaf base material, and air cleaner cases made by injection moulding using kenaf. Recently, kenaf foam base material, which is one of the world's top-class lightweight base materials, is employed in the LEXUS LS. Furthermore, we are working to expand the product range by expanding the scope of application; for example, such as utilisation in the upper part of the LEXUS UX door trim.