World’s first design with paper honeycomb trunk floors
GREEN & Light Automotive Components (Green & Light), an innovative company based in China, has introduced an easy-to-clean surface covering for car trunk floors. Using polyurethane paper honeycomb technology, the trunk floor surface is covered by Elastoskin®, a polyurethane skin technology from BASF. Compared to conventional non-woven fabric surfaces, this newly developed product is easier to clean, offers great freedom in the design process, and has excellent aging and emission properties.
Polyurethane foam allows weight reduction
The honeycomb structure has been used in trunk covers, headliners, and hat racks. A paper honeycomb enclosed by two fibreglass mats is foamed and pressed with the Elastoflex® E semi-rigid polyurethane foam. This can reduce component weight by 20-30% while retaining the same strength and stiffness.
In a global project with Green & Light, an Elastoskin® skin was applied for the first time on the B-side of a trunk floor. The polyurethane skin means that dirt can be easily removed and the trunk kept clean. Whereas non-woven fabric had to be bonded onto the trunk floor in an additional production step, Elastoskin® is poured on directly. This technology opens up new possibilities in the design and conception of the trunk floor. It retains the outstanding mechanical properties and also reduces emissions and odor. Elastoskin® is pleasant to touch, easily released from the mold, highly resistant to aging, and reproducible contours.
A global success story
“For many years, BASF has been supporting the trend towards weight reduction in the automotive industry with its honeycomb technology. This development process symbolizes BASF’s global approach, and this innovative material solution leads to new possibilities for car interior components,” said Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President of Performance Materials Asia Pacific. “Our partnership with Green & Light demonstrates how much we support our customers with in-depth expertise in new developments. There could well be more innovations, taking account of global added value.”
The initial laboratory tests and developments were completed at the BASF site in Lemförde, Germany. The honeycomb components with Elastoskin® are produced by Green & Light Automotive Components at its plant in Suzhou, China. The finished components are then shipped to automotive manufacturers and suppliers worldwide.