The idea was to take a classic performance car, bring it back to optimum condition, if not slightly better and then change all the rubber components in it to ones with substantial recycled content in the form of my SRI Activated Compounds. Targeting more than potentially 200 components, no fillers or diluents but substitution of one compound for another in proportions ranging from 5% to 30% plus, subject to the application and required performance parameters. The final product performance exhibiting no appreciable loss off properties or performance. The car may be a classic but its performance specs at every level require high performance rubber components and by extension sophisticated compounds even by today’s standards, so whatever works here is equal to anything on the road anywhere.
Getting the car into the level of nick was no mean achievement, a labour of love combined with a lot of fun coupled with several doses
of heavy duty aggravation. We took down to bare metal and then a full scale rebuild that involved every nut and bolt in the car being inspected repaired or replaced with an eye towards making something exceptional. I wanted to make sure that the condition of the car would not in anyway take away from the excellence of the components or the expectation of it. I have always felt that the challenge of real performance is best addressed when you take on excellence front and center, rather than going for the lowest achievable results and working your way up. Excellence was our only achievable result.
We have gone as far as the engine mountings and a couple of hoses so far, we will be going past experimental compounds for the various components and moving towards normal production NR components and then all the way across to NBR, EPDM and Butyl components. Hoping to get the fan belt and a few other more challenging components compounded for and then move towards performance tests asap.
This is a really cool project as along with the rubber based automotive components we are now able to try out my new variation to NR latex foam which incorporates recycled content to a very high degree providing for a green low cost foam that can be competitive even against polyurethane foam while giving you all the superior benefits of a premium natural rubber latex foam. I’m hoping to have the SRI prototype foam put into our BMW’s upholstery by mid January and our late model (2003) Mercedes S Class mid February 2010. Being able to do this immediately increases the potential recycled content possible in automotive applications and increasing the scope for latex foam in general upholstery across the board.
This is particularly significant as the raw material source for the recycled content is going to be available in substantial quantities throughout the US, Europe and Asia making all manner of permutations and possibilities applicable. Makes a whole lot of difference being able to not only say it can be done but to also be in a position to prove it by literally doing it.