1998-02-23

Introduction of a Castable Thermoplastic Urethane Material for Instrument Panel Coverstock 980063

Textron Automotive has developed a new thermoplastic castable aliphatic urethane for an instrument panel with a seamless passenger side air bag on a 1998 North American vehicle. This material was developed to meet the increased temperature range demands for a top mount seamless or invisible passenger side air bag instrument panel.
Traditional castable thermoplastic materials were developed to meet aesthetic requirements until the advent of passenger side air bags forced the instrument panel to become a functional component. Conventional coverstock materials cannot meet the -40°C and 120°C air bag deployment conditions that are proposed.
This paper describes:
  • the advantages of an invisible or seamless
  • instrument panel;
  • the new material performance requirements to
  • meet the invisible PSIR requirements;
  • the advantages of thermoplastic urethane (TPU)
  • compared to current instrument panel materials.

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