Yamaha Is Using Wood Fibers in Engine Components

A new material, CNF resin, uses wood fibers to be 25 percent lighter and more recyclable than alternatives.

CNF resin before being formed into engine components.Yamaha

Yamaha has announced the company will use a new material in certain engine components. Cellulose nanofiber resin composite, or CNF resin, uses plant-derived fibers to reinforce plastics like propylene, resulting in components that are up to 25 percent lighter than similar resins without giving up any durability. We’re not talking engine blocks. Rather, the new resin will likely be used in things like thermostat housings and other places you’d typically see plastic. Lighter parts are always nice, but Yamaha says the pieces are also considerably more recyclable than their predecessors. That’s important as the company moves toward its sustainability goals.

Manufacturers have been using carbon-reinforced resin and similar materials for years, but this marks CNF resin’s first wide-scale automotive use. Right now, the CNF resin parts are only being used in the company’s 2024 personal watercraft, but something tells us that won’t be the case forever. Yamaha builds both its personal watercraft and its side-by-sides at the same facility in Newnan, Georgia, and what one uses, the other will likely adopt in short order.

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