Friday 7 September 2012

Biomaterials in Ford Cars

Maira Magnani, Advanced Materials & Processes, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering Europe reviewed their worldwide activities with bio-materials.  Their goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% between 2006 and 2020.

  • ·         All vehicles made in the Americas use 12% of a soy polyol to make the PU foam for seat cushions and backs.  They plan to increase this to 25%.
  • ·         Compression moulded PP-Natural fibre composites are used to save weight (cf GRP) in the Mondeo, Focus, C-Max, Escape, Kuga and Fiesta.
  • ·         PP-wheatstraw mouldings are used in the Flex to reduce density and CO2 emissions c.f. GRP.
  • ·         PP-hemp or  PP-sisal injection mouldings are being developed to  reduce weight and have now passed all tests to allow wider use in interiors.
  • More recycled material usage is planned, the opportunities being:
  • ·         100% recycled carpets.
  • ·         Post industrial plastic waste recycled into bumpers.
  • ·         Milk and Detergent bottles recycled into screen-wash bottles and air ducts.
  • ·         Tyres recycled into aero-deflectors and under hood covers
  • ·         Battery cases recycled into splash shields.
  • ·         Recycled PU foam in sound-proofing.
  • Reduced CO2 emissions from petrol and diesel are being achieved by:
  • ·         Optimisation of combustion engines.
  • ·         Aerodynamic improvements and low friction tyres.
  • ·         Building more hybrids and electric cars – but battery production increases CO2 emissions.
  • ·         Using 2nd generation biofuels.
  • ·         Using more weight saving bio-composites.
  • ·         Using “Telematics” – Sat-Navs which calculate the most fuel-efficient routes.
(from the Biopolymer World Conference, Venice, April 2012)

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