Super Street Network

 |   |   |  Ford Using Recycled Plastic Bottles for Carpets - Web Exclusive
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Ford Using Recycled Plastic Bottles for Carpets - Web Exclusive

Based on 180,000 sales, this should represent the removal of more than four million plastic bottles from landfills around the country.

Greg Emmerson
Nov 8, 2011

With millions sold every year, the problem of recycling plastic bottles is a constant challenge, but Ford thinks it might have one answer.

Eurp 1111 01+ford recycled bottle carpets+cover Photo 2/2   |   Ford Using Recycled Plastic Bottles for Carpets - Web Exclusive

For its next Ford Escape, the company plans to recycle 25 20-ounce plastic bottles in the carpeting of each vehicle. Based on 180,000 sales (year to date), this should represent the removal of more than four million plastic bottles from landfills around the country.

It’s the first time Ford has used this type of carpeting in an SUV. “This is a good use of recycled product and keeps it out of landfills,” said Laura Sinclair, a materials engineer for Ford.

However, all materials have to pass durability tests before being used in vehicle manufacture. Therefore, Sinclair and her team conduct exhaustive tests to look for “chalking” – where regular carpet fibers degrade and form a white residue as they break. This is the precursor to a hole forming in the carpet, so testing is done on a device called a Taber 5150, which looks similar to a record player. A carpet sample about the size of a DVD is placed in the middle and spins while two weights rub the sample to simulate wear.

“We run the tests almost daily and can simulate five years or more of service in 10 to 15 minutes,” Sinclair said.

Part of the recipe to improve the carpets involved adding more plastic bottles to the mix. “The polyester fibers created from bottles make up a nonwoven carpet material,” Sinclair said. “If you have more fibers running on each other – rather than what’s underneath, that helps reduce wear.” Adding more recycled bottles can help the carpet last longer.

Also helping to mitigate wear is that the carpeting for the new Escape will be backed with cast foam. Cast foam helps reduce road noise and fills ridges and crevices for a smoother backing.

The carpet is supplied by Autoneum, and is produced at its plant in Bloomsburg, PA.

The all-new Ford Escape, complete with recycled bottle carpets, will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16.

By Greg Emmerson
1078 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

Cyan Racing, formerly known as Polestar Racing, is partnering with Lynk & Co to take on the FIA World Touring Car Cup in 2019.
Kelly PleskotOct 22, 2018
As the chief engineer of the 2019 Acura NSX program, Satoshi Mizukami’s main goal of this year’s refresh is “more emotional involvement.”
ManufacturerOct 19, 2018
More often than not someone describing their dream garage will list at least one of Honda's Type Rs. Adam Elghriany is one of the lucky few to make his dream a reality.
RodrezOct 19, 2018
The R8 is already the most powerful vehicle in the Audi lineup, but a new limited edition increases the supercar’s performance even further.
Kelly PleskotOct 18, 2018
You shouldn't judge a book by its cover—but when the cover looks this good, and underneath is a big honkin' V8, maybe prejudging ain't such a bad thing.
Bob HernandezOct 17, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP