No one decides to buy a truck because of its recycle or sustainable material content, but Ford has always touted its commitment to sustainable materials and it seems that the 2014 F-150 is no exception.
Rice hulls, a byproduct of rice grain is being used to reinforce the plastic used in an electrical harness in the new truck. It will join soybeans and the equivalent of about 10 pair of jeans, 26 bath towels or 31 T-shirts in post-industrial recycled cotton as carpet insulation or sound absorbers.
The rice hulls are sourced from farms in Arkansas and will replace a talc-based material in a polypropylene made by a Michigan supplier after being developed over a three-year period with Ford. It was tested for more than a year evaluating everything from smell and appearance to functionality and flammability.
The 2014 F-150 has been the country’s best-selling truck for 36 years; and the average of 650,000+ units account for about 10-million pounds of recycled cotton annually, so these shifts to sustainable materials do have a impact. Additionally, soybeans are a component of seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints; some cylinder covers are made with a nylon resin containing 10-percent post-consumer recycled carpet; a thermoplastic material utilizing recycled tires and post-consumer recycled polypropylene is used on shields and some underbody covers. Recycled plastic bottles are part of the content of F-150 wheel liners and shields. These are significantly lighter than traditional injection molded parts and contribute to a quieter ride.
On the interior, some F-Series trucks feature fabric with recycled content and post-industrial plastics are used in interior finish panels, include those around the radio and climate controls.
“Fuel economy is a top priority when it comes to Ford’s environmental impact,” says Carrie Majeske, product sustainability manager. But we also recognized he tremendous ipact that can by made by using sustainable materials inside our cars, utilities and trucks.”
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