Ford investigates new use for old tomato skins
Ah summer! When big, juicy tomatoes are in season, ready to top your hamburger, grace your salad, or be made into wiring brackets for your car.
Yes, thatês right: tomatoes to make wiring products. But tomatoes are part of Fordês latest sustainability initiative. Researchers at Ford and Heinz Company are investigating the use of tomato fibers in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing. Dried tomato skins, once cooked and combined with polypropylene, could become the wiring brackets in a vehicle, or the storage bin the driver uses to hold coins.
Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact, said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford.
The material isnêt strong enough for structural applications, and it isnêt much to look at. But it could be used for under-hood plastics and shields in the underbody, says TheDetroitBureau.com.Download Bulletin PDF