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Fujitsu taps castor oil for new polymer

Posted: 14 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Fujitsu? Fujitsu Laboratories? bio-based polymer? Arkema? PCs?

Fujitsu Ltd and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd have developed a polymer with high bio-content that uses castor oil, enabling the new material to withstand repeated bending and feature superior flexibility.

Fujitsu worked with French chemical company Arkema to develop the material that mainly contains polyamide-11 (PA-11). The new polymer has high bio-content and high flexibility, and is suitable for mass production. Its development is said to enable the wide use of plant-based materials in Fujitsu's products.

Urgent calls to reduce carbon dioxide emissions spawned the use of bio-based polymers in the industry as a more eco-friendly alternative over petroleum-based plastics. In 2002, Fujitsu started using bio-based polymers based on polylactic acid in the chassis of the FMV-BIBLO laptop. However, such efforts did not advance then.

The new material has sufficient flexibility to withstand repeated bending without causing the whitening that often occurs when such materials are strained from bending. Fujitsu has developed a prototype of certain notebook PC-cover components with bio-content of up to 60-80 percent. According to the company, even after adding high-density fillers to increase strength, the polymer maintains excellent impact-resistance.

Fujitsu plans to use such polymers in small components for notebook PCs and mobile phones by 2008.

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