Making a car requires a lot of creative thinking. Although the majority of automotive market belongs to just a handful of corporations, competition between them is really tough. Ford thinks it can just edge itself forward by demonstrating its creative thinking and eco-friendly mentality. Ford is going to use more of a material that we have been neglecting – bamboo.
Bamboo is a wonderful material to make things from. It is natural, eco-friendly, grows really really fast and is rather cheap. Furthermore, you would surprise to know how strong it is. Ford says that soon some interior elements of brand’s cars may be made from bamboo and plastic composite materials, which will be extremely hard. While people were busy inventing strong carbon fibre kinds, nature has been growing bamboo forever, so it is about time we pay attention to it.
Bamboo is obviously very well known for centuries, for its strength and flexibility. It can be made into a hard flat material relatively easily, and there are plenty of opportunities to use bamboo plastics in industry. Henry Ford himself experimented with using hemp fibre for car manufacturing, but at that time it was not sustainable. Now, however, time is changing and using bamboo may actually appeal to many people.
Hemp plastics back in a day were seen as less strong and thus worse than metal. Now metal is slowly moving away from automotive industry – sure it will stay for many years to come, but smaller and smaller portion of a new car is going to be made of it. Ford is already using a huge variety of natural materials, but most of them usually serve only a decorative function. Bamboo plastic could be used for strength.
Ford is already negotiating with suppliers and testing the possibilities. Bamboo plastics, as these tests have shown, have extremely good tensile strength and are impact resistant. Furthermore, they are very durable and can withstand heat of more than a 100 degrees Celsius. Other environmentally-friendly materials that Ford is using include kenaf, recycled plastic bottles, post-consumer cotton, recycled tires, soy-based foam and much more. Bamboo is also sometimes used in car industry, but mostly for decorative purposes.
Being environmentally conscious nowadays is essential if one wants to survive in the market. Eco-friendly cars are the future, but even normal petrol-powered vehicles have to be made with regards to the environment. It will help grow the consumer base, but it also has a potential of reducing build costs. So it is a triple win – drivers get a vehicle they want, Ford improves its profits and nature is also happier.