Soon enough, automotive parts could be made of wood.
On Oct. 16th, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources announced $1.2 million to GreenNano Technologies Inc., a company based in Toronto, to scale up production of a new lightweight wood-fibre–based composite material to create automotive parts using an innovative process.
“Using forest products in the automotive sector is a great example of the high-tech future of forestry,” said the Honourable Marco Mendicino Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
How will it work?
The project will combine wood pulp with polymers to create a special strong and lightweight thermoplastic with more uniform and improved properties compared to other products.
The new product, if successfully applied in the automotive sector, could have a number of consumer and commercial applications, including aerospace parts, pharmaceuticals, solar panels and cosmetics.
These proposed prototypes have been made in partnership with Ford Canada and Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing (CBBP), University of Toronto.
A prototype of a door cladding created with wood fibres.
Producing light-weight automotive parts
GreenNano is also collaborating with Ford Canada’s Power Engineering Research and Development Centre, located in Windsor, Ontario, to test the new material in the production of lightweight car parts.
Funding for this project is provided through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program, which encourages the Canadian forest sector to adopt and implement unique technologies and processes to diversify into new product streams and into emerging markets.
By investing in innovative forest sector technologies, the forest sector can provide greener solutions that will help tackle climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.