Netherlands-based Royal DSM N.V. is launching two new plastics that it says answer growing demands by auto makers for more environmentally friendly automotive materials.

PSA Peugeot Citroen wants to become the global leader in use of green materials, but most of the world's auto makers also are striving in that direction.

Typically, OEMs try to use more recycled polymers or plastics made with natural fillers such as hemp or linen, as well as bioplastics made from plants.

PSA says the vehicles it introduces in 2011 will use 66-110 lbs. (30-50 kg) of green materials, compared with 20-33 lbs. (9-15 kg) in 2007. DSM officials clearly have their eyes on helping the French auto maker meet that target.

Wilfrid Gambade, business director composite resins-Europe and Global Markets, says DSM's new Palapreg ECO P55-01 is composed of 55% renewable material, making it the composite resin material with the highest bio-based content available on the market today.

Palapreg is a thermoset sheet-molding composite resin designed for vehicle body parts, including exterior panels requiring a Class-A surface finish. It can be fabricated into parts using conventional SMC presses and molds, Gambade says.

Also being launched is Ecopaxx, a thermoplastic high-performance polyamide designed for uses underhood and other areas where resistance to chemicals, including road salt, is required. About 70% of the material is derived from castor oil, a renewable resource.

DSM officials point out the company's plant-based feedstocks do not come from food sources.

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