By Rhoda Miel, Plastics News Staff
Dearborn, Michigan -- Ford Motor Co. is continuing to turn a spotlight on its eco-friendly products, now highlighting door panels made with 50 percent natural content.
International Automotive Components Group is moulding the inner door substrate for Ford's 2012 Escape sports utility vehicle with 50 percent polypropylene and 50 percent kenaf fibre. Kenaf is a bamboo-like plant which has been used as a natural structural filler for more than 10 years.
Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford said in a 26 Jan press release that it 4expects to offset 300 000 lb of resin by using the kenaf blend. The final part is 25 percent lighter than a traditional panel.
IAC, with North American offices in Southfield, Michigan, is moulding the Escape parts at its Greencastle, Indiana, plant.
Ford uses multiple eco-based and recycled products, with flexible polyurethane foam made using soya-polyols in seating, post-consumer PET in carpeting and gaskets made from recycled tyres.