In order to guarantee the longevity of its interior fabrics, plastics, and leathers, Ford Motor Company does what any responsible automaker might do; it tortures the living daylights out of these materials, looking for any signs of weakness.
It’s not difficult to understand why torture-testing interior materials is a necessary part of vehicle development; passenger vehicles undergo many different abuses throughout a lifetime of service, from regular strains like withstanding frequent entries and exits, downward pressure on the armrests, and sustained grip applied to the steering wheel, to the occasional fluid spill or scratches incurred from transporting big, hard items from one place to another.
To ensure that each one of Ford Motor Co.’s offerings is up to the task, the automaker has developed a series of tests which every material must undergo (and survive) in order to be approved for use. These include:
- The “Five-Finger Scratch” Test, which puts material samples through repeated scratching to test their resistance.
- The “Soil and Cleanability” Test, which tests stain resistance by splashing a variety of fluids on seat fabrics, and later, helps evaluate the ease of cleaning.
- The “Resistance to Dye Transfer” Test, in which various materials are rubbed repeatedly against samples to assess how well seats can resist dyes from clothing.
- The “Mace Snagging” Test, in which material samples are spun on rollers against a small, spiked iron mace to test their resilience to snagging and tearing.
The end result of all this torturous abuse of material samples by Ford Motor Company is a passenger vehicle which offers the most resilience possible to the ravages of time, contributing to a more satisfactory ownership experience, and hopefully, better resale value.