TORONTO (Oct. 22)—After two years of development, NRI Industries Inc. last month received approval from Ford Motor Co. for its newest grade of tire-derived thermoplastic elastomer, Symar-T 700. Only the second grade in the Symar family, it "opens doors to a variety of automotive applications where aesthetics, greater impact strength and weatherability are strict requirements," said Russell Bula, vice president of sales and marketing for the company. The recycled compound is more flexible than rigid polypropylene and competitive with other commercial TPEs, but at a cost of 15 percent less, he said. NRI now is quoting vehicle air dams made from the material for upcoming Ford programs. Other possible applications for Symar-T 700 include splash guards, body side moldings, bumper claddings and step pads, Bula said.