Canon, Toray work to develop bio-based plastic parts

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With the goal of reducing the environmental burden of conventional petroleum-based plastic, Canon Inc. and Toray Industries announced the development of the industry’s largest exterior part made using bio-based plastic.

Through Toray’s material design technology, capable of controlling polymer structures on a nanometer-order scale, and Canon’s advanced molding technology supporting the formation of large-scale parts, Canon and Toray realized improvements in material characteristics to successful develop the bio-based plastic part.

The part, which measures 640 x 440-millimeters high and weighs approximately 1100 grams, will be used in select multifunction office systems from Canon, in particular, Canon imageRunner Advance models, such as the imageRunner Advance C9000 Pro C7000/8000/6000-series models.

The newly developed part is approximately 11 times larger and approximately 6.5 times heavier than the previously realized largest bio-based plastic part that achieved the same level of flame retardance.

While plant-derived bio-based plastics curb increases in CO2 and decrease the consumption of oil resources, the moldability and other flow characteristics demanded of large-scale parts has proven difficult to achieve with the technology, particularly due to the high level of flame retardance required of such parts.

This successful development achievement will enable the use of bio-based plastic in not only small-scale exterior parts in multifunction office systems and other business devices but also for replacing large-scale exterior parts used in multifunction office systems for production printing.

Compared with convention petroleum-based plastic, the new bio-based plastic developed by Canon and Toray offers an expected reduction in manufacturing-related CO2 emissions by approximately 20 percent.

The two manufacturers will continue to work together to realize further enhancements in the field of bio-based plastics with the goal of expanding the range of applications in which they can be used.

Toray Industries is involved in the manufacturing, processing and sales of fibers and textiles, plastics and chemicals, IT-related products; carbon fiber composite materials, environment and engineering materials; and life science and other businesses.

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