John Deere (Moline, IL) wanted to show its support of farmers and materials produced with agricultural products.
John Deere approached Ashland Performance Materials in 1999 with an idea for using soybean oil and corn ethanol in resin to make sheet molding compound (SMC). The SMC would be molded into composite panels for John Deere tractors and combines used by farmers to harvest soybeans and corn.
Ashland developed and commercialized ENVIREZ™ 1807, a soybean oil and corn ethanol containing unsaturated polyester resin binder for SMC use. The binder resin was developed to meet John Deere mechanical and performance requirements and paint adhesion needs.
The material was first used beginning with the 2001 model year 9750 John Deere Harvester combines. John Deere continues to utilize the Envirez 1807 resin in a variety of panels, including side panels and hood components in tractors and backhoes.
Research done by OmniTech International (Midland, MI) shows that each 17,000 kg batch of ENVIREZ 1807 used by John Deere represents 10 barrels of crude petroleum saved and a 15,000 kg reduction in CO2 emissions during manufacturing, farming and processing soybeans and corn into oil and ethanol respectively.