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Old 09-16-2008, 06:46 AM   #394
alkemical
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Lotus Concept Car Body Made Out of Hemp
September 13th, 2008

Don’t get me wrong, this is the most absurd clean, green hype piece that you’re likely to read today. It’ll be a big hit with the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf crowd in Santa Monica… However, I found it very fascinating that the body of the vehicle is made out of hemp.

We all know about hemp paper, hemp rope, hemp textiles, hemp building materials… But hemp as a replacement material for metal car body panels?

Yep. Well, according to Lotus, anyway.

I thought, “Gee, maybe someone will make a bike frame out of hemp some day.” Here are some that are made out of bamboo with hemp fiber lugs. How much? If you have to ask…

Via: Transport 2.0:

Sustainable hemp technical fabrics have been used as the primary constituent in the high quality “A” class composite body panels and spoiler. The renewable hemp has exceptional material properties that make for a very strong fibre. Historically hemp has been used in the manufacture of rope, illustrating the great strength of the material.

The hemp fibres have also been used in the manufacture of the lightweight Lotus designed seats. An additional benefit of using hemp is that it is a natural resource that requires relatively low energy to manufacture and absorbs CO2 whilst growing as a plant through natural photosynthesis. This hemp material is used with a polyester resin to form a hybrid composite, however it is hoped that a fully recyclable composite resin will be viable in the short-term future.
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