Teijin to support Clean2Antarctica South Pole expedition

Teijin composite materials will be used to reinforce on Clean2Antarctica’s Solar Voyager expedition vehicle, which also utilizes plastic waste and solar power in its trek across Antarctica.

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Teijin Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) announced June 13 that it is supporting the Clean2Antarctica (C2A) project, which will harness plastic waste and solar power in a “Quest for Change” challenge to conduct an expedition on the cleanest continent on earth. Advanced composite materials from Teijin will be used to reinforce the expedition vehicle. The company’s support of C2A is one of nine projects celebrating Teijin’s century of innovation since its founding in 1918.

The C2A challengers comprise Dutch adventurer Edwin ter Velde and his crew of students and young professionals. They will launch their mission on August 27 from Amsterdam aboard the Morgenster tall ship, a classic brig sailing ship, which will head to Patagonia in southern-most Argentina. The youngsters will be asked to plan the future of Teijin as a leading company in circular entrepreneurship to be summarized by the time they reach to their first port of call, Tenerife, Canary Islands on September 17.

Later, C2A will begin its month-long journey on Antarctica in the eco-friendly Solar Voyager. The vehicle will depart from Union Glacier Camp in West Antarctica on December 10 and then attempt to drive some 2,300 km across the frozen continent to and from the geographic South Pole.

Teijin is sponsoring the Morgenster’s sailing voyage and providing advanced high-performance materials and technologies for the Solar Voyager, which is made largely from harvested used PET bottles and other recycled plastic waste.

Teijin materials used for the Solar Voyager include:

  • Twaron para-aramid fiber on the underside of the vehicle for durable protection against sharp ice. 
  • Technora para-aramid fiber for all rope applications, including towing, reinforcing and anchoring the vehicle. Another application will be to tune the angle of the solar panels to optimally absorb solar energy. 
  • Endumax ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) will be used to maintain optimal tire shape for external stability, minimized rolling resistance and maximized traction. 
  • Tenax carbon fiber will reinforce the vehicle’s three-dimensionally printed PET-used body. 
  • Self-heating glazed Panlite polycarbonate (PC) resin for windows that absorb infrared sunlight to maintain heat inside the vehicle.