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Honda debuts bio-fabric for cars



Friday, May 26, 2006

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it has developed a plant-based bio-fabric with sufficient durability and resistance to sunlight for use as a surface material in auto interiors.

The automaker said it will install the bio-fabric interiors in its all-new fuel-cell vehicle, to be introduced to the market within the next three years.

Bio-fabrics offer the benefit of offsetting carbon dioxide emissions produced during incineration in the disposal stage with carbon dioxide absorption that occurs during the growth stage of the plants that are used as raw materials, Honda said.
 

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Shiba-Kun said:
Bio-fabrics offer the benefit of offsetting carbon dioxide emissions produced during incineration in the disposal stage with carbon dioxide absorption that occurs during the growth stage of the plants that are used as raw materials, Honda said.
so to dispose of the interior, they'd just toss them in the woods and let them biodegrade...or shred 'em and use them for compost? if they're biodegradeable, im surprised that they faired so well when exposed to direct sunlight. neat idea if it works though.
 

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You think they'll ever make a fully bio-friendly race car? :p Light weight bio-fabric seats, bio-friendly paint, bio-fuel, etc. :p
Honda seems to be the most active toward the bio-friendly movement lately.

If they can build it and have it be safe and reliable... I'm all for it.
 

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Midi_Amp said:
"sufficient" durability??? Isn't that means "not enough" in the eye of the competitors?
Umm... no? Sufficient means "good enough"... as in it's good enough to use for interiors now. :confused
 

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highbred said:
so to dispose of the interior, they'd just toss them in the woods and let them biodegrade...or shred 'em and use them for compost?
It says "incinerate"... meaning to burn it up. Article says nothing about them being biodegradable, they're just made out of plants.
 

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White98LS said:
Umm... no? Sufficient means "good enough"... as in it's good enough to use for interiors now. :confused
Hahaha! Yeah. I gotta figure there's industry tests for standards in: abrasion resistance, fading resistance, spill-stain-odor resistance, etc. :lol2 So probably the fabrics they've created pass their current testing procedures.

Hate to have those eco-friendly cars being returned to dealerships because of shoddy interior finish. :(
 

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White98LS said:
It says "incinerate"... meaning to burn it up. Article says nothing about them being biodegradable, they're just made out of plants.
i know what incinerate means. the article says that the new interior will allow for the offset of carbon dioxide emmision produced during the disposal stage because the plants being grown to make the interior will take in carbon dioxide to grow.

plants already exist to consume co2, so we are already counteracting the production of co2 from non-bio-material interiors. my question concerned the disposal of the bio-material interiors. are they easier to incinerate? are they biodegradeable? if they are, then it seems they might be useful in further counteracting the production of co2. if not, then im wondering what this statement means...
 

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highbred said:
i know what incinerate means. the article says that the new interior will allow for the offset of carbon dioxide emmision produced during the disposal stage because the plants being grown to make the interior will take in carbon dioxide to grow.

plants already exist to consume co2, so we are already counteracting the production of co2 from non-bio-material interiors. my question concerned the disposal of the bio-material interiors. are they easier to incinerate? are they biodegradeable? if they are, then it seems they might be useful in further counteracting the production of co2. if not, then im wondering what this statement means...
Pretty sure they mean that since they are producing the plant material for this use, and that the plants turn CO2 into oxygen, that this offsets the CO2 produced when the material is burnt up once it is disposed of. So basically it's PR-speak for "we're doing as much good as bad", kind of. It's kind of misleading they way they spin it, but at least what they're doing is a lot better than what seats/interiors are made of now.
 

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White98LS said:
Pretty sure they mean that since they are producing the plant material for this use, and that the plants turn CO2 into oxygen, that this offsets the CO2 produced when the material is burnt up once it is disposed of. So basically it's PR-speak for "we're doing as much good as bad", kind of. It's kind of misleading they way they spin it, but at least what they're doing is a lot better than what seats/interiors are made of now.
yeah, thats kinda what i figured they meant. i thought it would have been cool though if there was some disposal benefit of them being made of plant materials. you're right on about the 'PR-speak' though :D
 

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In the past, plant-based fabric has not been used commercially for car interiors due to concerns about limited durability and aesthetic issues.

But the new bio-fabric developed by Honda is a soft and smooth material appropriate for the surface of car interiors, with high durability and excellent resistance to sunlight to prevent colour fading after prolonged use. In addition to seat surfaces, this bio-fabric can be used for the interior surface of the doors and roof and for floor mats.

A polyester material called PPT (polypropylene terephthalate) is the basic material of the bio-fabric. PPT is produced through polymerization of 1-3PDO (propanediol), which is produced from corn, and terephthalic acid, a petroleum-based component. In order to improve stability as a fabric, Honda applied a multi-thread structure for the fibre. In addition, unprecedented aesthetic properties were achieved by leveraging the flexibility of this fibre.

Based on the concept of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), Honda has been striving to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the entire life cycle of a car – from production and usage, to disposal.

The use of a plant-based ingredient can reduce the CO2 emissions of each car by 5kg.

Furthermore, the new bio-fabric does not require changes in existing fabric production processes, and is suitable for mass production.
 

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im sure if its something honda is working on, then i would feel
safe leaving it in their hands. the company never fails to amaze
me with creating something new in the car world :number1
 
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