TOKYO, Jan. 5, 2020 (Nikkei Asian Review) -The race to develop new materials for cars is heating up among chemical and paper producers in Japan, as automakers look for ways to make their products more fuel efficient and eco-friendly.
Daio Paper has begun incorporating its cellulose nanofiber, or CNF, into auto body panels. The plant-based material is made by breaking down pulp fibers to nanometer scale, or one billionth of a meter, and forming them into sheets. The resulting material is both lightweight and strong: It is only a fifth as heavy as steel and has five times its strength.
Daio's CNF goes into the hoods and doors of a car used by a racing team in Japan. It is the first time the material has been used in a full-scale working car. The company hopes to sell the product for use in production cars in the future.
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