Canon, Toray develop bio-based plastic with world's highest level of flame retardance for use in multifunction office systems.
Canon Inc. and Toray Industries, Inc. have announced the successful development of a bio-based plastic that achieves the world's highest level of flame retardance. The new bio-based plastic includes more than 25% (by weight) a plant-derived component, and can be used in exterior plastic parts for Canon multifunction office systems.
Plant-derived bio-based plastics, which curb increases in CO2 and decrease the consumption of oil resources, offer material properties that effectively reduce environmental burden. To date, however, bio-based plastics have not performed as well as conventional petroleum-based plastics in such areas as flame retardance, impact resistance, heat resistance, and moldability, and therefore their use in products had been limited to a very few number of parts.
Canon and Toray, through the establishment of a new material design and molding technologies, were able to develop "Ecodear," a bio-based plastic that realizes improved material characteristics. Particularly in the area of flame retardance, Ecodear is the world's first bio-based plastic applicable for use in multifunction office systems to achieve 5V classification under the UL 94 flammability testing program.
Compared with conventional petroleum-based plastics used in multifunction office systems, the new bio-based plastic developed by Canon and Toray offers an expected reduction in manufacturing-related CO2 emissions of approximately 20%. The development of the new bio-based plastic will enable its use not only for select parts in multifunction office systems, but also for replacing petroleum-based plastics used for exterior parts, which require a high level of flame retardance.
Canon intends to introduce multifunction office systems that incorporate the newly developed bio-based plastic, with initial plans to use approximately 100 tons of the material per year.