From garbage to commercial car parts: car geeks on the move

- Jun 14, 2019-

Some members of ford's research team are currently working on new applications involving biopolymers, natural fiber reinforced materials, and bringing new life to materials previously considered waste.From left: lead research scientist Dr. Alper Kiziltas holds up a fan made of fiberglass-enhanced PCR PP, pa6/6, squatting next to a seat covered with bio-based PET fabric.Dan Frantz, a research engineer, holds up a soy-based polyurethane foam block for seat cushioning.Dr. Debbie Mielewski, senior technical director, held up the coffee grounds and the headlamp housing formed from a PP filled with carbonized coffee grounds;Dr. Cindy barrera-martinez, a research engineer, holds up a bamboo pole and a bio-based polyurethane engine cover containing recycled tire rubber.Dr Sandeep Tamrakar, a postdoctoral researcher, holds a sill guard made of a cellulose /LFT composite.Doctoral intern Dr. Golam Rasul holds a door mat made of kenaf fiber reinforced PP (image from ford motor company)

In many industries, "garbage in, garbage out" is a truism -- if you are importing low quality or value, then your final product is likely to be too.

The auto industry, however, is putting this "truth" behind it by reusing what is often considered useless waste to make functional, beautiful and valuable parts for cars already on the road.

By doing so, car companies are preventing waste material from reaching landfills and waterways, creating jobs in poor communities, and generating additional income for farmers, while reducing the weight and cost of car parts, stabilizing long-term material prices, and making cars greener.

This should be another word: one person's garbage can become another person's wealth.