KARIYA, Japan—Automotive component manufacturer Denso Corp. is using bio-based plastics in some of its products, including castor oil-based polyurethane and bio-polycarbonate made from starch.
The company has developed what it calls a highly heat resistant polyurethane resin from castor oil. It is used as a protector for connectors in automotive exhaust gas sensors. These sensors, which measure the concentration of specific gases present in vehicle exhaust gases, must have high heat resistance, Denso said. Traditionally, the resins used in the units have been silicone-based.
The new polyurethane resin is cheaper, and can withstand temperatures of up to 150°C. The company claims that it significantly reduces the amount of gases produced when it is melted and formed, and it believes this is the world's first resin of its kind.
The company established its Eco Vision 2025 action plan last year. It says it will continue to develop plant-derived plastics and increase the number of products made from these materials, with the aim of reducing oil use and decreasing CO2 emissions at all stages of its products' lifecycles.