Advanced Seating Material for Improved Passengers’ Comfort 2005-01-0974
There has been a strong push in the automotive industry to improve the passengers’ comfort by modifying the seat design and materials. One approach is to use a supersoft foam between the fabric and the molded foam cushion. Such a combination provides plushness at low compression and high support at high compression. In addition, the supersoft foam should have high resiliency for superior comfort and low density for cost considerations. Producing such a low density, supersoft, resilient foam has been a challenge since the conventional process of using fluorocarbon and methylene chloride is no longer acceptable in the US.
By using the VPF (variable pressure foaming) process, it becomes possible to obtain the desired low density, high resiliency and softness. For a given formulation, the density of the foam is proportional to the chamber pressure and the foam firmness is quadratically proportional to the chamber pressure. Hence, supersoft foams can be made by reducing the chamber pressure.