Images, video and audio from this Web site are provided without login for the purpose of editorial use only.
You must contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain approval for advertising, marketing or other commercial users.
Ford Media Center
NANJING, China, April 13, 2017 – You’ve probably sat on it, built with it, and maybe even eaten it, but did you know that your car could be next to benefit from bamboo – one of the world’s strongest natural materials?
While investment in research has led to breakthroughs in new materials like super strong carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum, nature’s wonder material may have been growing all along and as much as three feet in a day. Soon, some surfaces inside our vehicles could be made from a combination of bamboo and plastic to create super hard material.
“Bamboo is amazing,” said Janet Yin, a materials engineering supervisor at Ford’s Nanjing Research & Engineering Centre. “It’s strong, flexible, totally renewable, and plentiful in China and many other parts of Asia.”
The benefits of bamboo have been recognized for more than a century – Thomas Edison even experimented with it when making the first light bulb. In building, its tensile strength (or how much it can resist being pulled apart) is well known, as it can rival or even better some types of metal. And, because it grows to full maturity in just two to five years – compared to up to decades for other trees – bamboo also regenerates easily.
Over the past several years, Ford worked with suppliers to evaluate the viability of using bamboo in vehicle interiors and to make extra strong parts by combining it with plastic. The team has found that bamboo performs comprehensively better than other tested synthetic and natural fibers in a range of materials tests, from tensile strength tests to impact strength tests. It’s also been heated to more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it can maintain its integrity.
The sustainable journey
While tests on bamboo continue, Ford is already making use of sustainable and recycled materials. The company recently announced it is working with Jose Cuervo® to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles.
Ford uses several sustainable materials including:
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, that is committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for and deepen the loyalty of those customers. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, as well as connected services. Additionally, Ford is establishing leadership positions in mobility solutions, including self-driving technology, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 176,000 people worldwide. More information about the company, its products and Ford Credit is available at corporate.ford.com.