One fifth of the weight of the metal and five times greater strength than it is – this is how you can characterize such an amazing material as plant cellulose fiber, which was presented as part of last year's CES 2018 technical exhibition and which earned the approval of the vast majority of users and manufacturers. Just because this material has not only higher strength than metal with less weight, but also a fairly high degree of processing, which allows, in which case, to use the material to create new devices – which the Japanese Ministry of Environmental Protection was interested in.
Today, a team of Japanese government officials in the ministry, in collaboration with scientists and material engineering specialists from Tokyo University of Technology, presented their preliminary project, called the NCV, which is a working prototype of a car whose body and most of the insides are made up of plant cellulose fiber.
Judging by preliminary technical estimates of the model, it lost about 10% of its weight in comparison with a similar metal model and at the same time has a higher degree of material density, which provides a high level of strength and reliability. In addition, the use of plant cellulose fiber allowed Japanese designers to set a low threshold for pollution, because unlike traditional metal alloys in the automotive industry, the presented material practically does not emit any harmful substances, even being a partner of other metal and plastic alloys for the car.
It is worth noting that the working prototype presented is preliminary and so far only illustrates an approximate approach to the automotive industry of the near future – however, Japanese engineers and scientists from Tokyo Technical University are quite confident that they will soon be able to successfully finalize the project and present a unique balance between the cost and reliability. Indeed, for the time being, it is a question of making such material more accessible.