Linden Industries Inc./EMB, which makes polyurethane equipment, has introduced a new way to make leather automotive instrument panels and interior components for the North American market.
The “rear-foaming” technology was developed by Isotherm AG, a Swiss equipment maker, and Elastogran GmbH, the BASF Group polyurethanes materials business.
The traditional method for making leather automotive components is a labor-intensive, multi-step process that has higher reject rates, Linden said. With the new process, the leather is positioned into the mold and the substrate is sprayed with a layer of PU foam, which then is compressed into the leather to produce the finished part. The new method eliminates the need for backside coating and seam sealing, cutting cycle time and reducing operator labor.
The rear-foaming process uses existing tooling, according to Linden, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
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