DEARBORN, Mich. (July 8, 2010)—Ford Motor Co. claims rubber parts makers can use soy oil as a replacement for mineral oils and soy-based fillers instead of carbon black.
The company used grants from the United Soybean Board to partially fund research that came to its conclusion. The company said such as deflector shields and baffles, radiator deflector shields, cupholder inserts and floor mats can benefit by using the renewable materials in place of oil-based additives.
By using renewable soy oil as a 25 percent replacement for petroleum oil, Ford researchers more than doubled rubber's stretchability and reduced its environmental impact.
Ford researchers also found that soy fillers could provide an inexpensive and environmentally friendly partial replacement of carbon black, a petroleum-based material traditionally used to reinforce rubber. Used together, soy oil and soy fillers could replace up to 26 percent of the petroleum-based content in automotive rubber applications, said the company.