Chinaplas 2015: Lightweight car seat features China's first all-plastic backrest frame and seat pan


Guangzhou, China—A next generation lightweight concept car seat developed by China's largest automaker SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC), Tier I Shanghai Yanfeng Johnson Controls Seating Co., Ltd. (YFJC) and materials supplier BASF will be showcased for the first time at Chinaplas 2015, which kicks off May 20 at the China Import & Export Fair Complex in Pazhou, Guangzhou. Designed based on one of SAIC's recent car models, the lightweight, slim front concept seat demonstrates a breakthrough in all plastic backrest frame and seat pan technologies.

New lightweight concept car seat was developed in China.

BASF's Ultracom-a thermoplastic composite system using continuous fiber reinforced plastics-is used to replace metal in the lightweight car seat. As a result, the front seats are up to 20% lighter, and provide 2.5 cm more knee space for second row passengers compared with conventional design. In addition to passenger comfort and weight reduction (and subsequent fuel consumption), BASF's Ultracom also reportedly offers excellent strength, rigidity and toughness that meet stringent regulatory requirements.

An important part of the Ultracom system is the Ultramidovermolding compound. The high scratch resistance and surface quality of this BASF polyamide enable cosmetic application of the seat structure, making it an important design element. Injection molding of the all-plastic backrest frame enables freedom in seat design and comfort with the ergonomic shape, providing more possibilities for personalized seats and interiors. Furthermore, the particular Ultramid grade is especially low in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

Furthermore, with a number of investments, BASF has significantly strengthened its R&D capabilities and production footprint in China in the last decade - and will continue to do so. "This is the only joint development project on seating for BASF with an OEM and an automotive supplier in China. It signifies our commitment and competencies to support the indigenous innovation of SAIC with our strong R&D force," said Albert Heuser, President, Functions Asia Pacific, President and Chairman Greater China, BASF. "We will continue to expand our automotive R&D and manufacturing investment in China. In the future, the global headquarters of our Advanced Materials & Systems Research will also be located in Shanghai to fully support the innovation cooperation with our Chinese automotive partners and help boost the innovation as well as the sustainable development of China's automotive industry."

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