Innovation That Matters

| Photo source CALLUM Designs

New materials for car interiors

Mobility & Transport

The new design study shows the automobile industry that cars can be made from coffee, lentils, and eggshells

Spotted: The cogs of the modern world turn by constant production, consumption, and disposal. Yet our resources cannot sustain this forever. This is why Warwick-based design and engineering consultancy CALLUM teamed up with green-tech company Ottan to run a study encouraging circular economy principles within the automotive industry. The research proved that coffee pulp, eggshells, red lentils, walnuts, and rice are workable materials for a car interior in 2030. 

Using a retromod Porsche 911 interior as the basis for research, the team found that eggshells could be mixed with resin to create a smooth, opaque material that could suitably replace traditional window-switch trim. For lamp covers or illuminated buttons, the team turned discarded and out-of-date rice or lentils into a translucent material. And lastly, the team proved that coffee pulp was a great flame-resistant alternative that could supersede traditional decorative plastics like dashboard inserts. 

CALLUM’s research expands beyond food, too, and found that marine plastic waste would make the perfect substitute for hard-wearing fabrics, seat centre facings, or bolster surfaces. The examinations also found a use for usually wasted textiles within the car industry, which Charlotte Jones, CALLUM’s head of materials and sustainability, claims can be engineered to match what “consumers are increasingly looking for.” 

Although the SMS (Simultaneous Multiple Surfaces) design study is only a concept, CALLUM’s research has the potential to meet automotive requirements by 2030 and is now making steps to trial the materials in upcoming projects. 

Springwise has previously spotted other innovations aimed at making car interiors more sustainable, including a concept car that replaces plastics with a fully vegan interior and an all-electric SUV with a vegan interior.

Written By: Georgia King




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