2014 Ford F-150 Utilizes Rice Hulls for Plastics Reinforcement
Creative Use of Sustainable Products Highlights Corporate Commitment
Manufacturing operations, whether for electronics, automobiles, or other consumer goods, are some of the largest consumers of energy and resources, so when a company of significant scale makes a commitment to using sustainable materials, it can make a big difference. And for auto manufacturing, there are few other models that can match the scale of the 2014 Ford F-150. The 2014 model of the popular truck utilizes sustainable materials in several areas.
A foam derived from soybeans is used for seat cushions, and post-industrial recycled cotton is used as a sound deadening material in the trucks, the equivalent of 10 pairs of jeans, 31 T-shirts, or 26 bath towels per vehicle. The latest material to be used in the F-150 is rice hulls in the electrical harnesses. The hulls are sourced from a rice farm in Arkansas, and replace a talc-based reinforcement in a polypropylene composite material sourced from supplier RheTech, based in Whitmore Lake, Michigan.
Other creative uses of recycled or sustainable material on the F-150 include valve covers made from recycled nylon carpet, recycled tires used to make underbody shields, and recycled soda bottles for wheel liners.
With overall F-Series sales of more than 600,000 units a year, the company estimates it uses 10 million pounds of recycled cotton per year.