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Ford offers sneak peek at car with biodegradable plastic parts

The Ford Motor Co.'s Model U concept Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), featuring parts made from corn- and soy-based pl...


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February 27, 2006 by Canadian Plastics

The Ford Motor Co.’s Model U concept Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), featuring parts made from corn- and soy-based plastics, made its first appearance at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, which took place from February 17 to 26.
The Model U’s bumpers and tailgate were constructed using a soy-based polyurethane seating foam and a soy-based fibreglass-reinforced polyester.Plus, its seats, dashboard, steering wheel, headrests, armrests and door trim were made from an environmentally friendly polyester (PE) from Milliken and Co., in Spartanburg, S.C. This material can be recycled into base elements and reprocessed into material fibre without losing performance qualities.
Corn-based polymers also featured heavily in the concept car: The Model U’s convertible roof and carpet mats were made from Interface Inc.’s corn-based polylactide (PLA).
Additionally, the Goodyear rubber tires were made using corn-based fillers as a partial substitute for carbon black.