Dearborn, Michigan – Ford is increasing the amount of soy-based material in its vehicles with new head restraints that have 25 per cent of their polyol foam replaced with soy.
The automaker said that 75 per cent of its North American vehicles feature bio-foam in the head restraints, including the F-150, Taurus, Explorer and Fusion, and all of its vehicles built in North America use bio-foam content in the seat cushions and backs.
“We are continuously looking for new ways to expand our use of bio-based foam, and head restraints are a perfect example,” said Debbie Mielewski, technical leader of Ford Plastics Research. “It’s a new location with higher soy content. We’re not stopping at head restraints, either. There are still many other applications in which traditional foam can be converted to bio-based soy foam on vehicles, such as energy-absorption areas, steering wheels and armrests.”
Ford first used sustainable soybean-oil-derived seating foam on the 2008 Mustang. The extended use of soy foam results from the continued research collaboration between Ford and Lear Corporation, which produces the seats and head restraints. Soy foam is up to 24 per cent more renewable than petroleum-based foam and has helped Ford reduce its annual petroleum oil usage by more than three million pounds.