Ulm, Germany — Seeking to put more environment-friendly materials in its cars, Daimler-Benz may replace fiber-glass matte with industrial hemp.
“The relaxation of legislation forbidding the cultivation of hemp in Germany has awakened the interest of the scientists,” says a company spokesman.
Engineers like using hemp fibers because they are more rigid and pest-resistant than flax, another natural reinforcing material.
Don’t expect to see fields of Cannabis sativa here in the United States. Instead, the Department of Agriculture is trying to convince farmers to plant a new, nonnarcotic variety called Tropic Sun as an erosion-limiting cover crop.
Hemp absorbs less resin than flax, which, says the automaker, in turn reduces air pollution.