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Will your next Ford be made with bamboo?

Will your next Ford be made with bamboo?

Ford is apparently experimenting with bamboo to be used as a material in production cars. Does this mean future cars will include this natural material?

Bamboo has long been known as one of the strongest materials in nature. Used by the Chinese since time immemorial for weapons, farm tools, construction materials and clothing. Even modern Asian building sites often use bamboo for scaffolding. The combination of lightness, strength and flexibility make it a truly awesome material to work with.

I have a pair of bamboo socks and they are probably the most comfortable pair I own!

Ford are working on combining bamboo with plastic to create a new super-strong material to use in car interiors. So far, scientists are finding that bamboo is far superior to many man-made materials in terms of strength, impact and heat. It seems only a matter of time before it makes its way to a Ford near you.

Recycled cars
A recent press release from Ford cited bamboo as a potential new material for use in car production along with some other natural and recycled materials that I did not know about. Here are a few of the surprising materials currently in our Fords.

  • Kenaf is a strong cotton-type plant that is currently used in door bolsters in the Ford Escape.
  • REPREVE fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles and can be found inside the current Ford F-150.
  • Recycled cotton from jeans and t-shirts helps make up some of the interior padding and sound insulation in a range of Ford models.
  • More recycled bottles are used in the carpeting of the Ford Transit and C-Max.
  • Recycled tires are used to create seals and gaskets in a range of Ford models.
  • Rice hulls are used to help create the wiring harness in the Ford F-150.
  • Soy foam is used in seat cushions, seatbacks and head restraints in many Ford models.
  • Wheat straws are used to reinforce storage bins in the Ford Flex
  • Cellulose fibres from trees make up some of the interior of the Lincoln MKX.

When I began this piece, I was initially surprised at the idea of Ford using plant fibres in cars. I had an idea that automakers tried to use recycled materials in production but I thought it was more for PR reasons than actual practicality.

Maybe nature still has a few things to teach us and many more tricks up its sleeve!

Visit Northway Ford Lincoln, 388 King George Road Brantford ON N3S 3N2 to see recycled materials in action.

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