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Futuris honoured for PET project

Innovative: Hyundai vehicles manufactured in the USA such as the Sonata use the Futuris EnviroTUF carpet.

Another global award for Futuris carpet made out of recycled plastic

4 Oct 2011

AN AUTOMOTIVE carpet made partly from recycled plastics such as PET drink bottles has won another award for its inventor, the American subsidiary of leading Australian car component supplier Futuris Automotive.

The same product, EnviroTUF, picked up an ‘automotive Oscar’ at the 2009 Automotive News PACE awards “for products that have significant market impact and act as ‘game changers’ in the automotive industry”.

Now the international Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has awarded the Futuris EnviroTUF carpet an environmental excellence award, which will be presented at the Global Plastics Environmental Conference in Atlanta on October 18.

The carpet was developed by the engineering team at Futuris Automotive Interiors, of Troy, Michigan, led by Futuris USA technical director Duane Juriga, with support from the Australian engineering and development team at Futuris’s Port Melbourne headquarters, along with the Futuris-Feltex joint-venture carpet manufacturing plant in South Africa and key suppliers.

The moulded carpet, which is already fitted by Hyundai/Kia to vehicles made in the US, uses up to 20 per cent recycled PET plastic in place of new nylon.

Futuris says it has produced and tested carpets with up to 80 per cent recycled PET content.

80 center imageLeft: Futuris Automotive Interiors managing director and CEO Mark De Wit.

So far, no Australian cars have the carpets, but Futuris plans to work with local manufacturers to investigate the possibility of introducing EnviroTUF into production in Australia, where the company is one of the biggest suppliers of automotive components such as seats and interiors.

While the basic carpet is made in East London, South Africa, it is moulded, trimmed and finished at a plant close to the vehicle assembly factory.

Futuris Automotive Interiors managing director and CEO Mark De Wit said EnviroTUF was a great example of the ‘game changing’ sustainable innovation needed by the automotive industry.

“We’ve won several global awards already and this latest award from the SPE continues to demonstrate the value that Futuris can provide to our customers,” he said.

“We are honoured to be recognised by the SPE for our efforts towards creating a more sustainable future for our industry and I would like to thank the SPE for their award.”

Futuris’s patent-protected EnviroTUF is the only automotive PET carpet in the world, meeting stringent car company standards such as mouldability, cleaning, durability, flammability and colour-fastness.

Last September, Futuris was a silver award winner at the Society of Automotive Engineers – Australasia (SAE-A) Automotive Engineering Excellence Awards, having been recognised for its use of 3D knitted composite structures for lightweight automotive interior products.

In June, Futuris was inducted into the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

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