From a recent post in Plastics Technology by Lilli Manolis Sherman, we learn that students in Finland are learning how to create cars without using very much traditional plastics. The original post can be seen here.
From PT, “A new concept car jointly developed by Finland’s forest and biomaterials supplier UPM and Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, replaces the majority of parts traditionally made of plastics with high-quality, safe and durable biomaterials, dubbed UPS Formi and UPM Grada.
Designed and manufactured by students from Metropolia, the Biofore Concept Car utilizes UPM Formi biocomposites—cellulose-fiber-reinforced PP and HDPE—for parts such as: front mask, side skirts, dashboard, door panels and interior panels. Designed for injection molding, extrusion and thermoforming production, UPM Formi is described as a durable, high-quality, odorless, non-toxic and uniform-in-quality biocomposite, with up to 50% renewable raw material, that is ideal both for industrial and consumer applications.
Also used is UPM Grada thermoformable wood material in the passenger compartment floor, center console, display panel cover and door panels. The Grada technology revitalizes the forming of wood with heat and pressure, and is said to open up new opportunities for designs not achievable with traditional methods.
The vehicle itself runs on UPM’s wood-based renewable diesel UPM BioVerno, which significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels. It is suitable for all diesel engines, including the 1.2-liter low-emission diesel engine featured in the Biofore Concept Car. Thanks to UPM’s biomaterials, the car is approximately 330 lbs lighter than its equivalents, resulting in lower fuel consumption. UPM Raflatac’s self-adhesive label materials (U.S. offices in Dixon, Ill., Mill River, N.C) are used to mark spare parts as well as in the interior and exterior design of the car. All labels used in this car have been manufactured using the latest adhesive technology and solvent-free production processes.”