Ford and tequi­l­a­maker mix for cars

The Myanmar Times - - International Business - AFP

Booze and driv­ing are a bad com­bi­na­tion, but US auto com­pany Ford and Mex­ico’s te­quila maker Jose Cuervo have found a per­fect mix.

The two com­pa­nies have joined forces to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of trans­form­ing fi­bres from agave, the plant used to make te­quila, to cre­ate bio­plas­tic that could re­place fi­bre­glass or caulk.

Re­searchers are cur­rently test­ing the ma­te­rial’s dura­bil­ity and re­sis­tance to heat to see if it could be used in com­po­nents such as wiring har­nesses, air con­di­tion­ing units and stor­age bins.

The bio­plas­tic could help re­duce the weight of a ve­hi­cle and cut en­ergy con­sump­tion, while slash­ing pol­lu­tion by us­ing less petro­chem­i­cals.

“Agave is a good re­place­ment and it’s lighter in weight,” Deb­bie Mielewski, the se­nior tech­ni­cal leader at Ford’s sus­tain­abil­ity re­search de­part­ment, told AFP.

Mr Mielewski has worked on find­ing re­new­able ma­te­ri­als for ve­hi­cle com­po­nents since the 1990s, help­ing Ford to find al­ter­na­tives to petrol-based prod­ucts, whose costs are af­fected by global oil prices. –

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