BASF Corp. was displaying flooring material for vehicles that is called lightweight, which is a low-cost solution for automakers. BASF supplied the chemistry for the piece, which is manufactured by German supplier Koller Beteiligungs GmbH.
Jeffrey Hagar, market segment manager for BASF said, "It's a lightweight, low-cost solution for automotive applications for any type of load floor or hatchback or sunshade type applications". Hagar said the part is corrugated honeycomb composite sandwiched between non-woven fiberglass. "We then spray the polyurethane on both sides of it, and it gets compressed into a tool to come out with this geometry and this semistructural part," he said. Traditionally, the part is made of blow moulded polypropylene. Hagar said the new part is about a 50% weight savings.
Hagar also mentioned, "In addition to the significant weight savings, there are advantages to adhering carpet to polyurethane. You have to do some additional processing to attach to polypropylene. You are getting a much better bond between the carpet and the substrate".
The part was one of several which BASF displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company also discussed a merger with IAC Group for a lightweight instrument panel foam with a cross-sectional thickness of as low as 4millimetres. The part has an important weight savings, cost reductions and it has bio-based content in it, Hagar said.
"We have an environmental free, sustainable solution, whereas instead of having more petrochemicals going into the marketplace, we're actually replacing this with castor oil, which is renewable and sustainable," he said. Hagar said, the new instrumental panel saves about 40% compared to the traditional instrument panel and is just as strong as the traditional material. The company also showed off a strut mount off of a Cadillac CT6 where plastics replaced the traditional steel and aluminium solutions. It is made by ContiTech Vibration Control.
BASF also displayed a clevis bracket for SUV and truck models with General Motors Co. The piece supports the engine and is made by Hutchinson Antivibration Systems.