Ford to make cars out of Bamboo
13 November 2018
Electric cars and hybrid vehicles aren’t the only steps the automotive industry is taking towards a more sustainable future. As well as heading towards zero emissions vehicles and a better carbon footprint, Ford is also planningto introduce a much more sustainable material to its production line: bamboo.
The American car manufacturer has announced its plans to begin using the renewable material in place of plastic in some of its models. But what exactly does that mean for Ford owners?
Years of research
Over the last few years, Ford has been working closely with suppliers to look into how bamboo could be used in its vehicles. The company’s China-based Research & Engineering Centre has been testing the natural material’s viability, comparing it with both synthetic and natural fibres to determine whether it could be the future for Ford.
The Centre has tested everything from bamboo’s impact strength to its tensile strength, as well as seeing how it performs under temperature up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). After several years of rigorous tests such as these, Ford is set to introduce bamboo in its factories.
Benefits of bamboo
Bamboo is completely renewable, growing to full maturity in just two to five years - but that isn’t the only benefit of using it in car production.
In an industry that depends on strength and reliability, bamboo has many benefits to offer. One of bamboo’s most valuable components is its strength - and its tensile strength is better than some types of metals. However, despite this strength, bamboo is also flexible and versatile. This makes it an incredibly valuable material for car manufacturers who want to improve their product while reducing their environmental impact.
The exact ways in which Ford plans to use bamboo in its cars is yet to be revealed, but it looks like future Ford vehicles will feature part-bamboo interiors. Combined with plastic, bamboo creates a super hard material that can be used to build interior surfaces. As well as cutting down on plastic usage - and replacing it with an easily renewable material - this change would create extra strong parts inside Ford’s new cars.
A sustainable future at Ford
Bamboo isn’t the only step Ford is taking to ensure a more sustainable future. The company has had a dedicated team of engineers working to introduce more sustainable and recyclable materials since 2001, while ensuring the brand doesn’t compromise on quality or performance.
Ford is already making good use of other environmentally-friendly materials, including some very innovative ones. One such example is Ford’s partnership with tequila producer Jose Cuervo®, whose agave plant is being used to develop more sustainable bioplastics. Other materials currently being used include recycled plastic bottles, soybeans, castor oil and shredded cotton, all of which help to cut down consumer and industrial waste.
The future of Ford
Although we can’t be sure what the future holds for Ford, there’s no doubt that it’s an exciting time for the brand. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest Ford news or pop into one of our Ford showrooms to see the newest models on the market.