Ford is partnering with Proctor & Gamble to fund research focused on biomimicry as an innovative solution.
Ford Motors recently announced it will focus on Gecko technology from now onwards. The press release by Ford stated they are looking at the Gecko for answers. The Gecko will be extensively studied to come up with new and innovative adhesive technology.
Ford is collaborating with Proctor & Gamble for the project. Both companies will fund and share the findings of studies on the Gecko. According to Ford they are turning to nature to find the answers to biomimicry.
Ford has been trying to become a more sustainable company for years. One of the biggest challenges faced to the recycling industry is the use of permanent glue or adhesive.
The adhesive used to assemble auto parts makes it nearly impossible to disassemble the parts when it comes to recycling. Especially separating the plastics and the metals in the vehicles is an impossible task.
Gecko is a lizard with the unique ability to stick with a wide range of surfaces. The toe pads of the lizard can stick to the surfaces without any liquids or surface tension. The Gecko can then easily detach itself leaving behind no residue.
A Gecko can support more than 293 pounds of weight while the Gecko itself weighs only about 2.5 ounces. So studying the Gecko could be the key to many innovative adhesive solutions. Ford can then use the adhesive technology for a number of global applications.
Debbie Mielewski is the senior leader at the Ford Plastic and Sustainability research. According to Mielewski finding a detachable adhesive can reduce both economic and environmental costs.
“Solving this problem could provide cost savings and certainly an environmental savings,” said Mielewski. “It means we could increase the recycling of more foam and plastics, and further reduce our environmental footprint.”
“We are excited for the opportunity to participate, together with Ford – with whom we have a history of collaboration – in The Biomimicry Institute workshop,” said Lee Ellen Drechsler, director for corporate connect and development, The Procter and Gamble Company.
“We have an interest within Procter & Gamble for using biomimicry as a way to broaden our approach to solving tough research challenges.”
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As we look to further, our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint, taking a holistic, biomimetic approach makes sense because nature has efficiencies in design and uses minimal resources,” said Carol Kordich, global sustainable fabric strategies and development, Ford. “Nature is the ultimate guide.”