America’s pony car will use the soy-based flexible foam in the seat backs and seat cushions. Production will begin in August at Ford’s Auto Alliance International factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, the home of the Mustang.
Interestingly enough, Ford’s involvement with soy goes way back. The Model T, for example, once contained 60 pounds of soybeans in its paint and moulded plastic parts. Ford again showcased its work with soy-foams in 2003 on its Model U concept, which featured soy-based seat cushions as well as a soy-based resin composite tailgate.
Ford was also the first automaker in the world to demonstrate that soy-based polyols could be used at high percentage levels to make foam capable of meeting or exceeding automotive requirements.
In 2004, Ford and Lear formed a partnership to commercialise soy-foam in automotive applications, with initial work concentrating on the moulding of headrest and armrest components.
The two also collaborated with the United Soybean Board – New Uses Committee (a group of 64 farmers and agriculture industry leaders), Urethane Soy Systems Company, Bayer Corporation and Renosol Corporation on the development.