Eastman Touts Bio-Plastic for Interior Applications
Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical Co. says it has developed a “green” alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics for Class-A painted interiors surfaces.
The company’s Treva cellulose-based thermoplastic is derived from trees and other recycled materials. Nearly 50% of the material’s content is bio-based, according to the supplier.
Eastman’s carbon renewal technology breaks down waste plastics into molecular-level building blocks, which enables the materials to be reused instead of being sent to a landfill. The company expects to use 50 million lbs. of waste plastic next year.
Eastman claims there is no performance degradation or cost penalty in the recycled biomaterial. The company says Treva also has exhibited similar or better paint adhesion characteristics than polycarbonate-ABS plastics in tests.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
Plenty of interior components are injection molded. But some companies—such as VW—are using a process for trim pieces that both mold a component and cover it in fabric in a single molding process. And it is coming to the U.S. in the not-too-distant future.
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