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Ford uses recycled tires, soy for seals and gaskets in several 2011MY vehicles

Ford and Recycled Polymeric Materials have partnered to make gaskets and seals made from recycled tires, soy, and other "biorenewable content."

Suzanne Ashe
Suzanne Ashe has been covering technology, gadgets, video games, and cars for several years. In addition to writing features and reviews for magazines and Web sites, she has contributed to daily newspapers.
Suzanne Ashe


Ford Motor today announced it has combined rubber from more than 2.2 million pounds of recycled tires with other material, such as soybean oil, to produce what it says are environmentally friendly gaskets and seals for new cars.

Teaming up with Detroit-based supplier Recycled Polymeric Materials, Ford has turned 210,000 used tires and 150,000 pounds of soy into material for the new gaskets and seals.

"The gaskets and seals are derived from 25 percent post-consumer, recycled-tire particulate and 17 percent biorenewable content from soy," Ford said in a press release.

"The sustainable gaskets were first introduced to Ford in 2008, and have now expanded to include 11 [2011MY] vehicles," including the Ford F-150, Escape, Mustang, Focus, and Fiesta, the company said.

"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," said Cynthia Flanigan, Ford technical leader for 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."

Ford also uses soy and recycled materials in the interior of the 2011 Ford Explorer. And Ford uses material derived from recycled carpet to make cylinder head covers.