Research & Innovation
Magna investigates wood fibre as reinforcement for plastic auto parts
By Pulp & Paper Canada
Talk about high-volume opportunities for wood fibre. Auto parts maker Magna Exteriors and Interiors is partnering with The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) on a project to integrate wood fibre in auto parts. Magna...
By Pulp & Paper Canada
Talk about high-volume opportunities for wood fibre. Auto parts maker Magna Exteriors and Interiors is partnering with The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) on a project to integrate wood fibre in auto parts. Magna plans to develop high-volume process and product technology that integrates wood fibres from Northern Ontario and Canadian-sourced pulp into its automotive parts.
Currently, Magna moulds a number of components and sub-systems using long glass filled polypropylene (LGFPP) for global automotive manufacturers. In certain applications glass fibre can be substituted with wood fibre while providing the required mechanical and physical properties and offering a lower cost and lighter weight option. Once initial testing is complete, the goal will be to increase percentages of wood fibre for further optimized performance. In a second phase of this project, the knowledge gained from using wood fibre in automotive parts will be transferred to high-volume consumer and industrial products.
CRIBE is investing $1.3 million in this technology. The government of Alberta, through Alberta Innovates-Bio Solutions, has joined CRIBE in supporting this important project. Magna also plans to collaborate with Alberta Bio-materials Development Centre (ABDC), Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures and the National Research Council (NRC) to develop the technology .
A Canadian pulping company will be selected as a technical advisor to support the development of processed wood fibres and as a future candidate supplier. For lab-scale material development, Magna Exteriors and Interiors will work together with pulping companies to develop wood fibres that can be commercially available on a large scale.
“Magna is proud to have been chosen as development partner for this important project to introduce low-cost sustainable materials into products for our customers,” said William Harney, executive director, research and development for Magna Exteriors and Interiors. “The dual challenges our industry faces to reduce the cost and weight of auto parts can be addressed in part with high performance wood-fibre reinforced plastics. This in turn will provide improved fuel economy for consumers in a cost-effective, sustainable solution.”
Magna Exteriors and Interiors Corp.