Audi AG and Dow Automotive, Auburn Hills, Mich., received an Innovation Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers International (SPE) in the Safety category for a blow-molded seatback (BMSB). The recently commercialized part is for rear seats in the Audi TT. Several other major manufacturers are also looking at it.
Seatbacks aretraditionally made from steel. The new BMSB technology uses Pulse PC-ABS that was developed specifically for Dow Automotive blow molding. It gave Audi designers a significant, 2.4-kg/vehicle weight reduction and more design freedom. "Blow-molded seatbacks meet global safety requirements and improve passenger comfort," says Mike Shoemaker, Dow Automotive market development manager, plastics. "The lumbar support is built into the plastic molding in the Audi TT. And future generations of this product may incorporate additional interior conveniences, including map pockets." This innovation can also be important in vehicles where seats are frequently removed or moved.
Dow Automotive, (248) 391-6300, www.dowautomotive.com