Energy busting foam opens door for lighter designs

July 26, 2007
DaimlerChrysler engineers dropped packaging space of side impact countermeasures used in the new smart fortwo by 40% thanks to Impaxx energy absorbing (EA) foam from Dow Automotive, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Compared to other EA countermeasures such as extruded polypropylene (ePP) and injection molded plastic parts which typically weigh in at about 30 gm, Impaxx parts were half the weight with no loss in energy absorption. The EA foam also meets the internal side impact requirements of the Mercedes Car Group as well as European ECE-R 95 and US FMVSS 214 standards.

Weight and packaging space savings will help the smart fortwo get better gas mileage and give designers greater design flexibility for in-door conveniences including larger door pockets. Impaxx foam can be assembled to the door trim easily by pushing it onto a cross rib feature without need for heat stakes, tape, or adhesive.

Dow Automotive provided DaimlerChrysler engineers with comprehensive conceptual part design as well as CAD and CAE support including correlated material models and fast prototyping. Prototype parts were of production quality so last-minute design changes needed no additional tooling costs. This was key to helping DaimlerChrysler engineers meet a challenging vehicle development timeline.

Impaxx EA foam and parts are manufactured in Europe and delivered to the smart production site located in Hambach, France.

More Information:
Dow Automotive

Impaxx energy absorbing foam also meets European ECE-R 95 and US FMVSS 214 standards.

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