Dearborn, Michigan - Ford and Recycled Polymeric Materials (RPM) have come up with a way to make more environmentally friendly gaskets and seals for the engine compartment.
Ford said in a 12 July statement that the components, which are made from polyurethane resin, use recycled tyre particulate and bio-materials as filler.
The gaskets and seals are derived from 25 percent post-consumer, recycled tyre particulate and 17 percent bio-renewable content from soya. These materials are encapsulated in PU foam, Dr Cynthia Flanigan, technical leader of research and innovation at Ford, told UTI in a 22 July email.
Although the types of rubber used in the manufacture of tyres does not normally have good resistance to temperature or oil, Flanigan told UTI that tests have proven the efficiency of the products. This is because the seals only comprise a small percentage of the recycled material.
"The seals have shown dimensional stability for 10 minutes at 275 deg C as well as immersion in transmission fluid for up to 168 hours at 70 deg C," she said.
Ford says that more than 2.2 million lb (998 tonnes) of rubber from recycled tyres has been made into RPM seals and gaskets, and more than 210 000 used tyres have been recycled. And 150 000 lb (68 tonnes) of soya oil has been used to create the materials.
The sustainable gaskets were first introduced by Ford in 2008, and the programme has now expanded to include 11 vehicles.