Foam for Thin and Light Instrument Panels
Light Components for Automobile Interiors
BASF SE, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany, has been supplying PU foams for foam-backed instrument panels for many years. The production process involves injecting a polyurethane foam between the outer skin and the support of the instrument panel, bonding the surface and support material together. The foam produces a material that has a very soft haptic. These customized systems are attractive because of their low emissions and offer optimum adhesion to surfaces produced from a wide range of materials. According to the manufacturer, even PVC skins can be processed easily.
Bio-Based Foam Delivers Weight Saving
A new series of systems in the Elastoflex E product group now allows weight reductions and foam densities of around 120g/L without sacrificing any of the characteristics of these foams. Up to 30% of the foam weight is saved, depending on the component geometry. With its very robust and fine cell-structure, this Thin-Light system can be used for components with a much smaller profile of less than 5 mm. This results in very light and thin instrument panels or door elements, which offer scope for new design options.
As part of this new generation of systems, BASF has also developed a foam system based on renewable raw materials. Elastoflex® E 3496/102 uses castor oil as a renewable raw material and can be used to produce complex components that are both light and thin with excellent adhesion to a wide range of surfaces.
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