According to a recent interview with the CEO of Flexform, the use of natural fibres such as kenaf, hemp, flax, jute and sisal are becoming more widespread, especially for automotive trim components.
“Natural fibre composites are revolutionising the automotive interior business,” said Gregg Baumbaugh, chief executive officer of FlexForm. “With continuous demands to provide products that are environmentally friendly, light weight and lower cost, our NFCs meet or surpass all performance standards for a majority of interior trim components.
One of the reasons for automotive manufacturers turning to NFC’s is that traditional polymers are becoming more expensive, and with the waves of resin price increases, this trend is et to continue, making NFC’s a much more viable option.
FlexForm is increasing production of NFCs which were introduced for the moulded seat back of the 2005 Ford Freestyle SEL, the door armrests and upper panels on the front and rear doors of the redesigned 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the front and rear door panels on the new 2005 Mercedes M-Class.
Source: NetComposites.com March 18, 2005.