Covestro provides sustainable solution for new Toyota ‘LQ’ concept car

Covestro provides sustainable solution for new Toyota ‘LQ’ concept car

March 3, 2020
Press Release: Covestro

Lightweight materials will play an increasingly important role in future mobility. They will, for example, further extend the range of electric cars. Covestro as a provider of material solutions has a long-standing experience in the global automotive industry. This also applies to the Japanese market, where the Innovation Center of Covestro has already developed many sustainable solutions, for instance components for low-density polyurethane foams

Based on its innovation leadership, Covestro was chosen as a partner by Toyota Boshoku Corporation, a car component manufacturer of the Japanese Toyota Group, to jointly develop a new polyurethane composite material for the new electric concept car ‘LQ’ developed by Toyota Motor Corporation. The material is based on a combination of Covestro’s advanced Baypreg F NF technology and Toyota Boshoku’s expertise in using kenaf fibers, and offers a lightweight and sustainable solution. In the ‘LQ’, the new product is used in door trims, where it makes its world premiere in a car model for the Japanese manufacturer.

Kenaf is a member of the hibiscus genus and is growing in regions such as Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, India and Africa. The fiber is obtained from bast fibers of the kenaf plant and has recently attracted increasing attention as a cost-effective raw material with good mechanical properties. In the automotive industry, the plant fiber is also attracting increasing interest as an alternative raw material.

The kenaf fiber-reinforced polyurethane foam composite is characterized by a very low area density of less than 1kg/m2 and high strength, making the door trim made of the fiber-reinforced kenaf polyurethane foam 30% lighter than that produced from conventional materials. The lighter the material, the further the car can travel on a single tank of gas or battery charge.

The new composite material was developed in close cooperation between Toyota Boshoku and Covestro’s recently renovated Japanese Innovation Center. “Our joint development makes an important contribution to the design of particularly lightweight and sustainable vehicles,” said Hiroaki Ido, head of Polyurethanes Application Development for Transportation at Covestro’s Japanese Innovation Center. “It is also a good example of our company’s focus on using alternative raw materials and establishing a circular economy.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 will take place at Cologne Messe, Germany, on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

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