Automotive Soy Foam
This year's winners represent a broad range of technologies--from smart prosthetics to car seats made of soy, 3D computer chips, and a new type of landmine detector. They showcase work developed by industrial enterprises, government labs, and universities from around the globe.
This slideshow offers a sampling of the 2009 R&D award recipients, which were announced last month and will be honored at a November gala. Caption information was contributed by R&D Magazine staff members and photos were contributed by award recipients. Follow this link for a complete list of award winners.
Shown here is a sample of the first use of functionalized soybean oil in the manufacture of flexible, polyurethane foam for automotive seating, recently developed by Ford Motor and Lear Corp.
Development of the Automotive Soy Foam, an effort to replace petroleum-based products with sustainable materials, was not easy. Soy-based foams pose challenges to manufacturers like low chemical reactivity, blend separation, odor, fogging, and green strength. The team invented and developed new foam formulations to overcome all of these limitations and meet the stringent mechanical requirements of automotive seating, including adequate manufacturing cycle time. First used in the company's Mustang car, the seat will soon be added to other automotive lines.
August 19, 2009 11:58 AM PDT
Photo by: Contributed by R&D Magazine
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