Friedrichshafen, Germany — A new biomaterial from automotive supplier GDC Inc. aims to be an alternative to glass-fiber composites.
Headquartered in Goshen, Ind., GDC Inc. has five locations in the Midwestern U.S. and a handful of sales and engineering stations throughout the U.S. and in Germany. The material, branded as Deep Green, is made from recycled thermoplastics and a proprietary blend of largely grass-type natural fibers currently sourced from overseas.
The biocomposite is intended as a replacement for 15 percent glass-filled polypropylene, the company says. Ford Motor Co. currently uses the material in a component inside the wheel wells of its F-150 pickup. GDC molds the part in addition to providing the material.
Deep Green is the latest in a line of environmentally conscious manufacturing programs from GDC. The company uses post-consumer and post-industrial tires for its thermoplastic elastomer Enduraprene brand, and recycled oil-drenched boom material from oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico into components for General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt. Its recyclable Sonozorb acoustic insulation is in use by several automakers, including in Europe, where the company now is looking to grow its thermoplastics business.