Automotive Interior Solutions
Geneva, March 2010. One of the biggest attractions at the first auto show of the year was without doubt the Hyundai i-flow. The futuristic concept car from the South Korean automotive producer abounds with pretty well all the features that the industry has inscribed on its banner for the future.
Technologies and materials in a blend previously unknown on the automobile. A stylish monument to what is possible and practicable in modern automotive engineering, the way mobility will look in the future — and, with polyurethane solutions playing a crucial part, an exciting foretaste of things to come.
"The i-flow is a milestone on the way to the car of the future. Hyundai involved us in development from an early stage, so we were able to exploit our strengths and are now very happy with the outstanding results of our joint efforts," says Dr Wolfgang Hapke, President of the BASF Performance Polymers division.
The many BASF ideas in the Hyundai i-flow not only cut fuel consumption and pollution, but also clear the way for greater design freedom — inside and outside — coupled with enhanced comfort and safety.
In the styling of the interior particularly, the BASF product developers were able to draw on their wealth of experience with polyurethane solutions for truly out-of-theordinary design.
On the instrument panel, BASF's Elastoskin®, a polyurethane system, exhibits a high-grade look and feel. It has a soft and pleasing surface while allowing maximum design freedom for color and surface texture.
And then there's yet another undisputed advantage of polyurethane: namely its unparalleled amenability to shaping, which is particularly evident on the instrument panel. Even the most awkward curves, edges and transitions are no longer a problem with sprayed Elastoskin. Along with its unquestioned visual and tactile benefits, Elastoskin also comes with excellent mold release characteristics, high aging resistance and incredibly precise contour replication. It goes without saying that color shading, matt surfaces and the integration of additional components in the spray process are no longer a problem with this material.
Elastollan®, the thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer, also accurately replicates even the most challenging surface designs, is resistant to abrasion and can be pigmented with current light and dark interior colors. In fact, with polyurethane, even the door handle exhibits a feeling of quality. One of the most recent developments is extra-soft, aliphatic Elastollan, distinguished by its extremely agreeable soft touch. In addition, this special variety of TPU also delivers long-term lightfastness and UV resistance. Downstream surface coating is therefore no longer necessary, and even light colors are possible without further painting.
With a finish of Elastollan, even center consoles can become a real eye-catcher. Thanks to special two component plastic injection molding technology, even large-surface and highly complex components can be produced with a slush-skinlike surface and touch.
The i-flow energy strategy is also an impressive example of forwardlooking technology. The advanced diesel engine is encapsulated with Elastopor®, a PU rigid foam system, which protects both the engine and the environment. On short trips and particularly in the urban cycle, engines take time to reach their optimal operating temperature and then cool down quickly afterwards. The PU engine encapsulation retards cooling and thus cuts fuel consumption as well as emissions.
So if you want to achieve quality, design freedom, elegance and class in future automotive interior design, polyurethane gives you an all-inclusive package you can absolutely depend on.
The "Ökoglobe" environmental award is the fitting commendation for such excellence.
Almost 50 percent of the savings on the Hyundai i-flow are attributable to BASF innovations. The concept car thus impressively demonstrates the huge contribution made by chemistry to the environmentfriendly car of the future.
Shanghai: new location for Cellasto.
The closer to the customer, the better.
BASF is steadily expanding global business with Cellasto® automotive spring aids and top mounts made of polyurethane. " our existing locations in North and South America, Asia and Europe, we strengthened our position on the market last year," says Kenneth Lane, Group Vice President, Strategic Marketing Polyurethanes. In addition, the new Shanghai location will be completed by the end of 2010 for an even better response to the local needs of the fast-growing market in China.
BASF can thus offer its customers a single solution worldwide — an unbeatable advantage that not only cuts development costs, but also offers the benefits of a sole, reliable global supplier. The new platforms for cars, such as the Opel Astra or the Citroën C4, will be fitted with top mounts from BASF as of 2011. The same applies to GM's Delta, Epsilon and Gamma.
Regrettably, many noise- and sound-damping components in the car today are made of rubber. This is where Cellasto is not only harder-wearing and longer-living, but also has superior physical properties for the absorption of vibration of all kinds. It minimizes noise from roaring engines, juddering vehicle bodies and thumping shock absorbers and decreases the vibration of spring struts. Cellasto therefore makes the trip not only safer, but also more comfortable.