Mitsui Chemicals Inc has developed Milastomer artificial leather which transmits light. The company said it expects the Milastomer to be used in automobile interiors.
The Milastomer is an olefin-based thermoplastic elastomer (TPV), which is made by combining polypropylene (PP) with olefin-based rubber. It has a good balance among long-term durability, abrasion resistance, scratch resistance and luster.
One of the applications that Mitsui Chemicals is proposing is an armrest. The armrest was co-developed with Arm (a firm based in Osaka City). It was made by placing a transparent urethane-based material having the shape of an armrest on a small projector, mounting a touch panel and covering it with the Milastomer.
A white sheet-like Milastomer was used to form leather-like grains on the surface. Its thickness was reduced so that light of the small projector can easily pass through it.
Another proposal is the surface of a touch display expected to be used for instrument panels.