LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany—BASF S.E. is developing more foams to help auto makers enhance occupant safety and make vehicles quieter and more comfortable.
Under the premise that foam absorbs energy, the German chemical producer is pursuing uses for polyurethane foam in vehicle bumpers, with the added lightweight material able to soak up 20 to 30 percent of the impact of a collision. Instead of the full force of a hit moving directly to an occupant, the energy would diminish as it crushes the foam.
BASF is exploring ways that foam can better protect passengers' heads and bodies in a collision, said Jeffrey Hagar, market segment manager for automotive interiors for the company's Performance Materials Division.