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Ford uses kenaf plant inside doors in the all-new Escape, saving weight and energy

News International-French

1 Feb 2012

Kenaf, a tropical plant related to cotton and okra plants, is being used to replace oil-based materials in the doors of the all-new Ford Escape

Drivers of the all-new Ford Escape may be surprised to find out there is a plant inside the door.


As part of its overall effort to make vehicles more sustainable, Ford is making the material inside the door – known as the bolster – in part from kenaf.
Kenaf is a tropical plant that looks similar to bamboo and is related to cotton. The plant replaces oil-based materials inside the doors of the all-new Ford Escape.
The use of kenaf is anticipated to offset 300,000 pounds of oil-based resin per year in North America; use of this eco-friendly material reduces the weight of the door bolsters by 25 percent. Weight savings translate into fuel savings for drivers.
“Kenaf and the other renewable materials in the Escape have made the vehicle more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient,” said Laura Sinclair, materials engineer for Escape.
Kenaf oil is used in cosmetics and kenaf fiber is used as an alternative to wood in the production of paper. The upper leaves and shoots of the plant are edible.
The kenaf is combined with polypropylene in a 50-50 mixture inside the door of the Escape. International Automotive Components (IAC) manufactures the door bolsters in Greencastle, Ind.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln.

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