Japan Started Using New 'Wood' that Five Times Stronger Than Steel

TOKYO - As a part of its efforts to decarbonize, Yamaha Motor Company has started using wood-derived cellulose nanofibers (CNF) in place of some plastic parts in its watercraft. The company began selling the products in North America on Aug. 25. CNF, which the company says is five times stronger than steel, is a next-generation material developed in Japan.

Japan paper's manufacturer expand the use of wood/img: KYODO

Now that it is being used commercially in transport equipment parts for the first time, it is attracting global attention as countries and companies around the world try to cut their carbon footprints.

Nikkei took a behind-the-scenes look at how Yamaha succeeded in bringing the CNF products to market, taking advantage of Japan's unique position as the "Land of Wood."

CNF is made by breaking down wood pulp to a minute level. There are currently 26 factories making the product around Japan. Although it has a high environmental adaptability, it is expensive to produce.

According to the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, cellulosic materials, are being developed in more than 15 countries around the world. Including those other material than CNF, they offer strength, heat resistance, impact resistance, and other performance requirements of plastic parts.

In the era of decarbonization, renewable, carbon-dioxide-absorbing trees could help replace carbon intensive, oil-derived plastics.

Source: Nikkei Asia



Because wood is sustainable and more eco-friendly

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