As part of its commitment to increase the use of renewable materials in vehicle components, Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany, is investigating an innovative, new wood-plastic-compound (WPC), so-called liquid wood. The new material is being assessed in a three-year project which started in May 2009. The project is publicly funded within the framework of a technology and innovation programme in Germany’s North-Rhine Westphalia region.
The new processing for liquid wood is derived from a rubber compounding process. The compound of wood and plastics prevents water absorption and thus increases the material’s durability. The fact that untreated wood, and even wood waste, can be used makes the application environmentally attractive.
Another advantage: The new processing technology significantly improves the sealing of the wood fibres and insulates unpleasant odours. Therefore, the material can also be used in the vehicle interior, for example with trim parts. Another area where liquid wood application could be used is in the engine compartment, with components such as the battery tray. Continue reading Innovative Sustainable Material for Vehicles: Liquid Wood