Expanded polypropylene simplifies BIW

  • 06-Aug-2008 10:31 EDT
JSP rear seat solution.jpg

Before: Seating has traditional body-in-white stamping. After: ARPRO eliminates the stamping and allows the designer to tailor the H-point of the rear seat from a car to SUV application.

A weight-saving, anti-submarining rear-seat ramp system designed to reduce body-in-white (BIW) complexity across platforms has been announced by expanded polypropylene (EPP) specialist JSP.

The company’s ARPRO EPP is sufficiently strong and resilient to enable the ramp to be incorporated into the seating itself, replacing the usual metal structure and contributing to a simpler vehicle platform. As a result, serviceability is improved and weight is reduced by up to 35%, claims JSP.

The system is used on the new Volvo XC60. Paul Compton, JSP Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (Europe), said that the Volvo application brought a cost savings against the traditional fixture of some 20% and a mass savings of 2.5 kg (5.5 lb).

An anti-submarining system, together with safety belts, is necessary to help restrain rear-seat passengers in the event of harsh braking or an impact.

"By varying the size and shape of the seat bench’s ARPRO component, designers can tailor the H-point," explained Compton. "It reduces complexity for OEMs when developing a diverse range of vehicles from a single platform."

Variants such as hatchback, multipurpose, or off-road vehicles can each benefit from the elimination of the anti-submarine metal stamping and fixing.

From a manufacturing aspect, assembly is simple and serviceability is enhanced by having a j-clip for attachment of the seat upholstery to the seat bench.

JSP can tailor ARPRO for specific applications. Compton said that its high strength-to-weight ratio is particularly useful in anti-submarining safety applications due to its ability to return to its original shape following dynamic stresses. "This anti-submarining solution is a far-reaching new development set to further increase the amount of ARPRO used in vehicles," he said.

ARPRO components can be found on more than 23 million vehicles (cars and light trucks) of global annual production, according to the company.

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