Ford Recycles Used Tires Into Engine Parts

Ford is recycling used tires into engine parts for some of its most popular vehicles.

The automaker is working with supplier Recycled Polymeric Materials to combine material from recycled tires with bio-plastic material to make seals and gaskets for vehicles like the F-150 truck, Mustang muscle cars and the compact Fiesta.

The gaskets and seals are derived from 25% post-consumer particulate from recycled tires and 17% bio-renewable content from soy. The remaining material is traditional petroleum-based resin.

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. 150,000 pounds of soy has been used to create the materials.

"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," says 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."

Over the past several years Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of recycled plastics and bio-based materials whenever possible. Examples include soy foam seat cushions, wheat straw-filled plastic, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.

In June, Ford announced it’s developing its smallest engine ever and a new hybrid drive as part of a push to wring out greater fuel savings as gasoline prices rise.

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