DETROIT-Hoechst Celanese Corp. is trying to displace thermoset polyurethane foams used in car seats with new products that could reduce the weight of car seats while eliminating some nonrecyclable components. Hoechst, in a project with Milliken & Co., a textile manufacturer in Spartanburg, S.C., introduced monofilament thermoplastic polyester and thermoplastic polyurethane yarns at the Society of Automotive Engineers Inter-national Congress & Exhibi-tion.
The companies said the yarns could be used as a structural fabric in auto seating applications to replace thermoset PU foams, wire springs and other components.
Steve Josey, product manager for Milliken, said his company developed three fabrics from the yarn that could be used to support drivers and passengers.
The fabrics provide 360-degree stretch that conforms to body weight, and shapes to provide comfort and durability at lower weights and costs than standard seating systems, Josey said.
``Our long-term vision is to replace [thermoset] polyure-thane foams with polyester fibers or composite [polyester and thermoplastic polyure-thane] fibers,'' Josey said.
While the monofilament yarn products currently are available commercially, Josey said the companies could have products developed and designated for uses in vehicles until the 1999 model year.
Separately, Hoechst also introduced a new line of thermoactuating polymers that the company hopes to develop into a line of rugged, linear-action motors.
The polymers could be used to power such automotive components as windshield wipers, automatic side-view mirrors and trunk locking assemblies, according to Jim Stamatoff, business manager for Hoechst Actuating Polymers of Summit, N.J.