Many people likely think of castor oil as a medicinal product, and, according to the Food and Drive Administration, it is in fact effective as an over-the-counter laxative. Yum! Auto parts supplier Denso has found another use for the oil that comes from the castor bean: construction of certain plastic components. Specifically, the first castor oil plastic product to roll out of Denso's Japanese labs is as a radiator tank. We suspect that Toyota is the first automaker that will feature the tanks, considering the long relationship the two companies have enjoyed over the years.

Not only is the castor oil resin more environmentally friendly, it's actually more resistant to corrosion from road salt (common in much of the United States where the new tanks will be sent). The new biomaterial will be used in the future as an alternative to plastics that are derived from petroleum such as polypropylene, polyamide and polybutylene terephthalate.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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