The Benefits of Organic Materials: Why Porsche’s Manufacturing Is Making the Switch
What materials spring to mind when you think of an automobile? Steel, composite metal, glass, cloth, plastic and rubber may enter your thoughts. What probably doesn’t come to mind is organic material. Well, the Porsche brand is about to change that and perhaps set one of the manufacturing trends that competing carmakers and companies in other industries will follow.
What Are Organic Materials?
Even if you actively seek out organic foodstuff when you’re at the grocery store, you might not be familiar with what organic materials are as they relate to manufacturing. Put simply, organic materials are made using plants and animal residue that’s broken down to make the materials. Organic matter generally contains 45 to 50% carbon as well as the following:
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
If you follow the news regarding the automotive industry, you know hybrid vehicles aren’t anything new. People who are familiar with the industry’s history also know that all-electric cars aren’t new, with the first-ever EVs being made back in the early 1830s. While the notion of EVs isn’t as groundbreaking as many motorists seem to think, some carmakers have made EV production vehicles and others have announced plans to manufacturer mostly or exclusively EVs by a certain year in recent months.
Because EVs produce no harmful emissions, they’re more eco-friendly than hybrid and gas-only automobiles. While making EVs is certainly a step in the right direction, the Porsche brand is demonstrating that automakers can do more to protect the environment. More specifically, the luxury carmaker is proving that using organic materials to build cars is a practical, environmentally friendly endeavor with the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
New cars are getting heavier thanks to bigger engines, larger electric batteries and added safety and technology features. As a result of this increased weight, modern cars are consuming more fuel, which ends up releasing even more C02 emissions into the atmosphere. To reduce the weight of their vehicles, some manufacturers started using lightweight steel or reinforced plastic, but manufacturing those materials negates or reduces the positive effects yielded by lighter cars.
Working with partners like the researchers at Fraunhofer WKI, the Porsche brand discovered that plastics reinforced with natural fiber, organic material offer a sustainable way to create lightweight bodies for vehicles. The biogenic nature of these alternative materials makes them eco-friendlier during their manufacture, use and disposal. In addition to being eco-friendly, organic materials can dampen sound in automobiles made with them. They’re also less likely to splinter, which is a vital consideration when it comes to the results of accidents.
Even if they didn’t realize it, people have seen a Porsche Bioconcept-Car on the racetrack for several years. Aspects of that car’s design were used when the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport was designed. Using natural fiber composite materials for the car’s passenger doors and rear wing, the Porsche brand reduced the weight of its premium ride by 60%.
Can Other Industries Use Organic Materials?
Reduced production costs, energy consumption and CO2 emissions? Why would any company not make the switch to organic materials?
The truth is, companies in many industries can use organic materials, not just car manufacturers. Mattress makers, construction companies, office supply manufacturers, clothes makers — those are all examples of the kinds of organizations that can use eco-friendlier materials to make products.
Can you think of other industries that should make the switch to organic materials or additional ways companies can use these materials? If so, we’d love to hear your ideas. Join the conversation with Global Electronic Services in the comments section now.