Olefin Foam Laminates: Applications & Performance Benefits in the Manufacture of Automotive Interior Trim 981000

Olefin foam laminates are an interesting and cost-effective new materials option that can enhance design flexibility as well as improve manufacturing efficiencies and durability of padded interior-trim components, such as instrument panels and door-trim panels, headliners, seat backs, package shelves, and consoles, etc. In order to better understand the contributions of skin and foam material properties to the overall physical properties of the laminate, a study was undertaken at Visteon, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company. To prepare for testing, a number of different skin/foam laminate combinations were produced. The laminates were formed from 0.6-mm-thick PVC skins and foams from 2 different olefin families - a family specifically formulated for low-pressure molding operations and a family specifically formulated for vacuum forming. Within each family of materials, a matrix of 3 different foam thickness and 3 different foam density combinations were represented. From these laminates, test specimens were then cut and subjected to standard physical-test protocols developed by ASTM. The results were collected and compared and will be presented in this paper. The work will be used to help designers and engineers better understand the effects of foam and skin on laminate properties, and laminate properties on the performance of final padded-trim components.


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