Nashville, Tennessee - Two recent success stories for soya materials are soya resin for tractor hoods from John Deere and soya foam for seats and headrests, as used by Ford Motor Co.
And now the two are combining for further benefits as Ford has now licenced John Deere to use its polyurethane technology for automotive seat foam, based on soya polyols.
United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff highlighted these developments at a recent meeting, as part of its efforts to drive up demand for US soya beans.
"Inclusion of soya in both Ford and John Deere products comes as a direct result of US soya-bean farmers' checkoff investments," said Ike Boudreaux, USB chairman and soybean farmer from Lebeau, Louisiana, in a USB announcement.
Three years collaboration between the checkoff and Ford Motor Co. enabled Ford to develop the technology for soya foam used in the seat backs and cushions of the 2008 Mustang. Ford plans to use this technology further in the Expedition, F-150 and Lincoln Navigator, and also to increase the amount of soya used in the foam, said the USB statement.
"Sustainable materials research is more than a promise at Ford Motor Co., it's a commitment to our customers to do the right thing for the environment," said Matthew Zaluzec, manager of the Materials and Nanotechnology Department at Ford Motor Company's Research and Innovation Center, in the announcement.
Partnership also resulted in John Deere's use of soya resin in tractor body panels and combine harvesters. The company is now considering including soya in seating for some of its tractors, USB pointed out. This follows Deere gaining a licence from Ford on soya seating technology, furthering the success of this checkoff partnership, USB added.
"Whether we're developing new technology for a soya resin composite in combine side panels and tractor hoods, filling our factory-build machines with biodiesel or experimenting with the use of new soya foam for cushioning in our combine seats, we're looking for new opportunities to use commodities that our customers produce," said Don Borgman, director ag industry relations, John Deere.
PIC: Ford's 2008 Mustang with seat foam made using soya polyols.