Dearborn, Michigan -- Ford and Lear Corp. said 1 Sept that they have introduced a new polyurethane foam for head-restraints with 25 percent of the polyol replaced with soya-based material.
Ford adds that 75 percent of its North American-built vehicles feature bio-based foam in the head restraints. Vehicles include the Ford F-150, Taurus, Explorer and Fusion.
Also, Ford says, all Ford North American-built vehicles use bio-based foam in seat cushions and backs, and its claims that this use of bio-based foam has helped the company reduce its petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds annually and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 million pounds
"We are continuously looking for new ways to expand our use of bio-based foam, and head restraints are a perfect example," said Debbie Mielewski, technical leader, Ford Plastics Research, in a joint statement. "It's a new location with higher soya content. We're not stopping at head restraints, either. There are still many other applications in which traditional foam can be converted to bio-based soay foam on vehicles, such as energy-absorption areas, steering wheels and armrests."
The extended use of soya foam results from the continued research collaboration between Ford and Lear; Ford first used sustainable soyabean oil-derived seating foam on the 2008 Mustang. The collaboration also generated the recent complete conversion of all Lear North American Ford seating cushion foam to Lear SoyFoam.
The statement says that SoyFoam is up to 24 percent more renewable than petroleum-based foam.