Take the gecko as a teacher: Ford will apply bionics to the car!

On October 23rd, Ford Motor Company is trying to gain inspiration for bonding technology innovation from the gecko's sticky feet, hoping to open up new applications in the automotive industry. Ford will also collaborate with P&G, which also seeks a range of commercial solutions in bionics, to share relevant research findings.

For many years, Ford researchers have used recycled plastic bottles, soybeans, kenaf fibers and other recycled materials and green materials to continuously improve the sustainability of vehicle parts and create a green vehicle manufacturing process. However, a key challenge to further achieve vehicle sustainability is that adhesives used to bond foam to plastics and metals make automotive parts virtually impossible to disassemble, making recycling difficult.

At this time, the gecko's unique foot structure caught the attention of Ford researchers.

The lizard-like toe allows the gecko to adhere to most surfaces without liquid or surface tension, and it can be easily removed from the surface without leaving any traces. You know, a normal adult gecko weighing 71 grams can support a weight of 133 kilograms.

Debbie Mielewski, senior director of technology for sustainable materials research at Ford Plastics, believes that the Ford research team has found inspiration from the unique physiological structure of the gecko and has developed a series of innovative bonding technologies that are applied globally.

“Solving this problem means cost savings, including environmental costs, of course,” Mielewski said. “This means we can recycle more foam and plastics and further reduce our environmental footprint.”

With inspiration from bionics, Ford recently held a forum at its corporate headquarters in Dearborn. From the Procter & Gamble and Bionics Institute – a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable solutions to meet contemporary challenges in nature, and nearly 200 researchers and designers participated in this one-day forum to learn about Bionics and related knowledge of specific application methods.

“We have the opportunity to participate in the Bionics Institute seminar with our long-term partner Ford, and we are very excited,” said Lee Ellen Drechsler, Director of Corporate Liaison and Development at Procter & Gamble. “For P&G, bionics can broaden our research ideas. It is good for us to overcome scientific research problems."

Bionics have been used for a long time – Japan’s Shinkansen high-speed trains are inspired by kingfishers; the “Vecco” Velcro is inspired by Xanthium; and the improvement of medical syringe needles is attributed to mosquitoes. Over the past decade, as awareness of climate change and environmental challenges has grown, there has been growing interest in bionics.

Founded in 2006, the Bionics Institute is dedicated to improving the ability of people to use bionics to create sustainable products and services. In addition to sending educators and regional workers through a global network of bionics, the organization also provides an educational platform to help people learn and apply bionics through a variety of design challenges.

In addition to recycling, the Ford design team spent nearly a decade looking for new technical inspiration in nature and has recently succeeded in yarn production for seat and canopy materials.

Ford is the only car manufacturer to use Unifi's high-performance REPREVE fiber in the car. Made entirely from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, the fiber is currently used in five global models including Mondeo and Sharp. The use of REPREVE demonstrates Ford's commitment to the principles of reduction, reuse and recycling. They are part of Ford's global sustainability strategy, which is designed to reduce Ford's environmental footprint.

At present, Ford designers are looking to further expand the application of sustainable materials for vehicles, hoping to further improve sustainable materials in automotive fabrics with the help of nature. Geckos can bring inspiration to new fabric technologies and help improve Ford's cabins.

“If we want to strengthen our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint, then we should adopt a comprehensive bionics approach, because nature is the most efficient designer, always achieve the best results with the smallest resources,” Ford Global Sustainability Carol Kordich of the Textile Strategy and Development Department said, “Nature is our best teacher.”

For years, Ford researchers have conceived a number of options to improve the sustainability of automotive manufacturing – the Ford New Mondeo model seats use sustainable materials obtained from recycling and recycling of used plastic bottles; soy foam is another innovation Renewable materials are also widely used in Ford's seat base and backrest fillers. Through the use of renewable materials such as kenaf, engineers can also find new ways to reduce the weight of the car. In the manufacture of interior panels for the Ford Mondeo and Ford Maverick, 50% kenaf and 50% plastic are used.

In addition to using sustainable materials in vehicles, Ford is also working with partners to use tomato fiber in vehicle manufacturing and automotive materials – the dried tomato skin can be used to make vehicle wiring brackets and storage. Object.

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