Machine Design

Mazda develops first biofabric for vehicle interiors

Someday you may be able to drive a Mazda with a biodegradeable interior.

The car maker says it has developed the world’s first fabric made from plant fibers that’s suitable for use in vehicle interiors.

The biofabric is made of polylactic acid – a plastic created by combining large numbers of lactic acid molecules that are made from fermented carbohydrates such as plant sugars. Mazda developed the biofabric in collaboration with Teijin Ltd and Teijin Fibers Ltd.

Mazda will use the biofabric for seat covers and door trim in the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid that will be exhibited at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid will also feature an instrument panel and other interior fittings made from a bioplastic Mazda developed in 2006. All of Mazda’s biomaterials fall under the Mazda Biotechmaterial brand name.

The seat cover biofabric reportedly has the same performance and durability as competitive fabrics based on petroleum. The biofabric resists abrasions and damage from sunlight and is flame retardant. Mazda also says it is researching biomaterials that are not derived from food crops.

The Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrids will sport seat covers, door trim pieces, instrument panels, and other interior fittings made from biomaterials developed by Mazda Motor Corp.

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