FoamPartner: Sustainable foams for headliners, interior trim and seating applications
FoamPartner announced that it has launched new OBoNature foam technology, which is based on sustainable raw materials for next-generation automotive interiors. According to the company, tomorrow’s mobility is raising the bar on material requirements in terms of performance, function, efficiency and environmental compatibility. FoamPartner offers an extensive product portfolio in various densities for many applications within the automotive interior. The resulting lightweight construction can reduce manufacturing costs and extend the operating range of electrical vehicles. Higher demands on functionality and quality can also be met, with low-emission and low-odor solutions that are characterized by high durability and that have been optimized for faster processing. The next step is foams that are based on sustainable raw materials without compromising performance, said the company.
“For automotive interiors with the highest quality requirements, we have developed an innovative foam technology which is marketed under the OBoNature brand name and targeted at encompassing solutions,” explained Klaus Hellmold, Head of Marketing & Sales Automotive Rolls Europe at FoamPartner. “The new foams are in line with the three core principles of our sustainability strategy: Planet – Ecological Sustainability, People – Social Sustainability, and Performance – Economic Sustainability. This results in materials using fewer resources whilst contributing to a notably healthier interior climate and greater efficiency at optimum functionality.”
In compliance with the guiding principle of upcycling, the production of OBoNature uses sustainable raw materials gained from by-products in the chemical industry. This is said to reduce the required amount of petrochemical intermediates by 20 %. The calculated sustainable share in the final foam is greater than 13 %. The VOC and FOG values of OBoNature foams are far below the current thresholds for a healthy interior climate, said FoamPartner. The foams pass FMVSS 302 flammability testing. They also offer good lamination for faster processing and provide good hydrolytic stability for durable lightweight components in electrical and hybrid vehicles.
The product family currently includes three foam versions tailored to specific automotive interior applications and have been awarded with the company’s Ecovative label, which characterizes product solutions with a particularly sustainable and economic value:
- OBoSky Nature 3540 T for headliners – As a very elastic foam, this particularly fine-pored foam is said to meet highest requirements for elongation at break and tensile strength. It offers good thermoformability even in critical radii. Its homogenous cell structure and color result in optimum surface structure and appearance without undesirable ’orange peel’ effects.
- OBoTrim Nature 3540 T for interior trims – With slightly less finer pores, this foam stands out by its ease of processing, good elongation at break and tensile strength as well as enhanced recovery after thermal compression and is especially suitable for armrests and door panels.
- OBoSeat Nature 3540 T for seating applications – This foam can also be processed with ease. In addition, it shows good sewing properties and ensures high seating comfort even at smaller pore size, lower elongation at break and lower tensile strength.
“Our OBoNature technology is further proof of the successful implementation of our sustainability strategy in all areas – resource saving, health protection and economic efficiency – while providing superior functionality over conventional ether-based polyurethane foams,” said Dr. Michael Riedel, CEO of FoamPartner. “With these characteristics, OBoSky Nature, OBoTrim Nature and OBoSeat Nature already meet the higher requirements for future automotive interior applications today.”