Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Hiroaki Ishizuka) today announced that MCC and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki; Head office: Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka; Chairman & CEO: Osamu Suzuki) have jointly developed a new grade of bio-based engineering plastic called DURABIO™, which was used (*) in the interior resin color panels of Suzuki’s new Alto Lapin.
DURABIO™, developed by MCC, is a bio-based engineering plastic made from plant-derived isosorbide. It features excellent performance as it offers higher resistance to impact, heat, and weather than conventional engineering plastics. Additional benefits include ease of coloring – DURABIO™ can be simply mixed with pigment to create glossy, high reflective surfaces – as well its hardness, enhancing durability and scratch resistance. These advantages eliminate the need for a coating process, thereby reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints. DURABIO™ is also the world’s first bio-based engineering plastic to offer bacteria-shedding performance. Simply rinsing or wiping the surface with water removes virtually all traces of bacteria.
In 2013, MCC-developed DURABIO™ marked a world first when the bio-based engineering plastic was used in the interior color panels of the Suzuki Hustler. Recognizing the material’s excellent performance, Suzuki began focusing DURABIO™ in its development of coloring materials for automotive components, pursuing improvements in both performance and texture. MCC and Suzuki have now succeeded in developing a new grade of DURABIO™ that offers even greater resistance to impact and heat and lower-density (lighter weight) compared to conventional bio-based engineering plastics, thanks to polymer alloy technology. At the same time, the new grade of DURABIO™ maintains the earlier advantages, such as high resistance to scratching and weather, as well as bacteria shedding.
MCC and Suzuki are committed to ongoing joint development aimed at producing eco-friendly, high-value-added vehicles.
(*) Used in the new Alto Lapin X and S grades