Global automotive seat giant Adient is showcasing technologies that use alternative materials and composites to reduce vehicle weight, without compromising passenger safety or comfort, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Adient said it has reduced the weight of its automotive seats by 20 to 30% in the past 10 years. The seat supplier has set a target to reduce the weight of standard seat structures by 22 pounds by 2020.
The company claimed it will achieve this target through a multi-material approach, optimizing the use of lightweight materials such as glass or carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, magnesium, high-strength steel or aluminum in the seat.
Dr. Detlef Juerss, VP engineering and CTO at Adient, said, “Car seats will increasingly become multi-function supports with a wide range of electronic adjustments and technical equipment. Our engineers are working to combine these innovations with weight reduction — and, of course, these seats must meet our highest safety and quality standards.”
Adient is showcasing a multi-material lightweight seat structure made from magnesium, which is the lightest of all structural materials. It is 75% lighter than steel and 33% lighter than aluminum, said Juerss.
The company is also displaying a glass fiber–reinforced plastic front seat backrest concept that reduces weight up to 30 percent and it can be achieved with the use of a composite structure.
Comfort and lightweight construction are also combined in the flexible vehicle seats for the second row and the use of aluminum and high tensile steel allows a weight reduction of up to seven kilograms as compared to other rear seats.
Adient will also showcase its RECARO brand automotive seating solutions in the expo. Two applications of the all-new Recaro Performance Seat Platform stresses upon the brand’s lightweight approach. It reduces weight up to 40% and is 50% thinner when compared to standard polyurethane foam.