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Ford Recycling Tires and Soy for Engine Gaskets and Seals

American manufacturer Ford has first introduced the sustainable gaskets in 2008, with the respective components now being featured into 11 vehicles belonging to the company. This is a result of a partnership between Ford and supplier Recycled Polymeric Materials (RPM), who decided to combine the recycled discarded tires with bio-renewable content.

The materials are used to produce environmentally friendly seals and gaskets for the vehicles’ engines. The components are derived from 25 percent post-consumer particulate from recycled tires and 17 percent bio-renewable content from soy.

"When it comes to finding a way to use more renewable and recyclable content in our vehicles, Ford and our suppliers are looking at every part of a vehicle,"
said Dr. Cynthia Flanigan, technical leader, Research and Innovation. "As long as an application makes sense and upholds strict quality standards, we'll look to get these sustainable materials inside our vehicles."

In total, more than 2.2 million pounds of rubber from recycled tires has been made into RPM seals and gaskets and more than 210,000 used tires have been recycled. Additionally, 150,000 pounds of soy has been used to create the materials. The seals also offer a weight savings, with more than 1,675 tons of weight removed from Ford vehicles on the road.

"Our team continues to develop new technologies that reduce our environmental footprint,"
said Dr. Debbie Mielewski, technical leader, Plastics. "We have already been successful in incorporating soy foam seats on all North American vehicles and are actively expanding the research front into a variety of new plastics and rubber areas."

Ford vehicles that feature the sustainable seals and gaskets are the following: Ford Escape, Ford F-150, Ford F-250, Ford F-350, Ford Fiesta, Ford Flex, Ford Focus, Ford Mustang, Ford Taurus, Ford Transit Connect, and Lincoln MKS.
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