SHANGHAI—Dow Polyurethanes introduced a series of acoustic, structural and low-odor polyurethane products during the Auto Shanghai 2019 show in April.
"To stay ahead of the game, automobile brands must deliver a richer driving experience that connects the multi-dimensional demands of end-users with auto design and manufacturing," said Fei Chen, sales director for Greater China at Dow Polyurethanes.
Voramer is the brand Dow uses for a range of hot melt and PUD adhesives. The grades launched earlier this year are low-odor products. They are designed to fix roofs and trunk covers as well as interior parts such as leather components and carpet.
Dow said that Asian consumers are more sensitive to certain odors than people from other parts of the world. Although, China's standards on automobile interior air quality are mostly related to VOC rather than odor, according to Dow. The company is squaring the circle between perception and regulation by building a database of consumer reactions to VOC odors. Dow hopes to use the data when developing new products.
Away from adhesives, Dow also provides two-component polyurethane acoustic foam and structural reinforcement foam under the label Betafoam. The acoustic foam, which hardens at room temperature in 5 to 7 seconds, can reduce cabin noise by 1 to 5 dB. It makes it possible to lower the cost of soundproofing by around 20 percent, Chen said. International car makers are using it.
The structural foam Betafoam SR is applied in cavity to fill or seal voids and strengthen components. It helps make vehicles lighter weight, while providing the same or improved vehicle safety in terms of stiffness, load capacity, pillar and beam stability and crash performance.
Betafoam SR also has been reformulated with a low MDI formula. This makes it safer to use in final assembly than earlier grades, the company said.
Chen said the new, Betafoam SR can reduce impact intrusion by up to 40 percent, and increase steel plate stiffness by 50-100 percent. In addition, polyurethane foam is isotropic, with identical properties in all directions; this improves design freedom compared with more anisotropic metals, Chen said.
Each kilogram of Betafoam used in a vehicle reduces weight by 4 kg. This is because the adhesive is less dense than traditional materials, Chen said. This can reduce the demand for battery power and increase range.