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Ecodesign of automotive components making use of natural jute fiber composites
Published Date March 2010, Vol.18(4):313–327,doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.10.02 Author
C. Alves a,,
P.M.C. Ferrão a
A.J. Silva a
L.G. Reis a
M. Freitas a
L.B. Rodrigues b
aInstituto Superior Tecnico, Rovisco Pais Av., 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal
bUniversidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia, Praça da Primavera, 40, 45700-000 Itapetinga, Brazil
cInstituto de Artes Visuais, Design e Marketing, D. Carlos I Av., 4, 1200-649 Lisbon, Portugal
Received 12 August 2009. Revised 7 October 2009. Accepted 26 October 2009. Available online 1 November 2009.
Nowadays, the world faces unprecedented challenges in social, environmental and economical dimensions, in which the industrial design has showed an important contribution with solutions that provide positive answers regarding these problems. In particular, due to its relevance, the automotive industry confronts a moment of crises, and based on the ecodesign of products it has been transforming the challenges in opportunities. In this context, the use of natural fiber composites, produced in developing countries, have presented several social, environmental and economical advantages to design “green” automotive components. Thus, this work through LCA method demonstrates the possibility to use natural fibers through a case study design which investigates the environmental improvements related to the replacement of glass fibers for natural jute fibers, to produce a structural frontal bonnet of an off-road vehicle (Buggy). Results pointed out the advantages of applying jute fiber composites in Buggy enclosures.