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MobilityScience Studios deliver rapid, effective solutions for acoustics, sealing, powertrain, and fluid system components.

Stephen Moore

August 17, 2021

3 Min Read
Image: REDPIXEL/Adobe Stock

Dow has launched its MobilityScience Studios to support the development of innovative transportation technologies. The first two studios, located in Midland, MI, and Lake Jackson, TX, offer a collaborative workspace that features a world-class suite of testing capabilities focused on acoustic and powertrain solutions for automotive applications. These enable Dow to create tailor-made noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), sealing, powertrain, and fluid transfer system solutions unique to any specifications.

Through an integrated approach, MobilityScience Studios foster collaboration to provide customers with solutions ranging from custom product formulations to factory line implementation.

“Our MobilityScience platform was created to improve our service, accelerate innovation, reduce complexity, and better connect customers with our products and capabilities,” said Tim Boven, MobilityScience Growth Director. “MobilityScience Studios offer a comprehensive development network that combines collaboration spaces and access to experts with formulation, fabrication, and testing capabilities to deliver better, more innovative, and more sustainable mobility solutions to market faster.”

Automotive OEMs and Tiers collaborating at MobilityScience Studio – Acoustics in Midland, MI, will have access to Dow’s portfolio of polyurethane foams, elastomers, resins, coating materials, and specialty chemicals, and can work alongside Dow experts who bridge the gap between acoustics and materials.

“We are using our vast market understanding and technical know-how to fine-tune polyurethane cells at the molecular level and improve acoustic performance of our materials for our customers,” said Dr. Esther Quintanilla, Global Mobility Market Leader at Dow Polyurethanes. “MobilityScience Studio – Acoustics reinforces our commitment to our customers and provides us with a unique opportunity to accelerate acoustics collaboration and adapt to the dynamic landscape of NVH challenges in automobiles, together.”

Advanced acoustics testing capabilities 

The MobilityScience Studio – Acoustics will empower Dow to create acoustic materials that cover the full spectrum of customers’ exact needs across frequencies, applications, and materials, as well as characteristics like aesthetics and durability. Customers will be able to engage in the process and collaborate on customizable solutions through advanced testing capabilities, including:

  • Damping analysis with Oberst beam testing;

  • sound-proof simulation in hemi-anechoic chamber;

  • sound absorption and transmission through impedance tube testing;

  • high-end modeling that utilizes finite element analysis (FEA) and statistical energy analysis (SEA);

  • passenger simulation with binaural manikins;

  • frequency analysis with laser vibrometer;

  • microscopy to look at foam at molecular level.

Additionally, Dow has engineered Acoustimize methodology to be used in the studio, which delivers a holistic evaluation of targeted cavity fill applications to generate quantitative data to understand the acoustic performance of polyurethane materials. The resulting information is key to better fabrication of tailored solutions, such as Specflex Systems and customizable Betafoam acoustic foam formulations.

At the MobilityScience Studio – Acoustics, Dow’s innovative acrylic liquid applied sound damping (LASD) technologies offer sustainability, process, and acoustic performance advantages compared with traditional sound damping systems like bitumen pads and viscoelastic materials. Dow’s Acousticryl acrylic resins with Avanse Technology for LASD can be formulated into water-borne, liquid applied vibration damping materials that provide improved acoustic performance, reduce costs, and facilitate the health and safety of workers and the environment.

EDPM solutions for the transportation industry

MobilityScience Studio – Lake Jackson, TX, offers capabilities aimed at the development and commercialization of sealing, powertrain, and fluid transfer system components such as weatherstrips, belts, and hoses.

“From formulation creation and mixing through extrusion, curing, and end-use testing, the studio offers a host of comprehensive capabilities for fast-tracking development of innovative EPDM solutions for the transportation industry,” said Robert Guerrieri, North America Marketing Manager, Transportation, at Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “We’ve created these studios so partners across the value chain can collaborate and fully evaluate new solutions while maintaining their production.”

This studio will act as a catalyst to create the next generation of Nordel EPDM products, further expanding the widest range of ethylene content available to the industry. Customers will have access to a variety of state-of-the-art resources both to advance customization of new products and verify end-use performance, including: 

  • Pilot-scale formulation creation, mixing, extrusion, curing, validation of custom-tailored solutions;

  • comprehensive evaluation and troubleshooting of mixing, milling/calendering, and extrusion-related processing issues;

  • onsite analytical testing and validation of physical property performance in uncured and cured compounds as well as finished prototypes.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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