A composite seatback design for the 2022 Toyota Tundra used pultrusion technology to save 20 percent of the previous part model's weight.
BASF, L&L Products, Flex-N-Gate and Toyota won the Altair Enlighten Award for the composite seatback, which uses four composite pieces to replace more than 60 stamped and welded steel pieces in the second-row seat structure of the Tundra pickup truck.
The design "reduced assembly and scrap costs associated with the metal seat structure," said Hank Richardson, product engineering manager at L&L Products.
"This also allowed for greater functionality of the seating system," he said in an Aug 2 news release.
"We continue to show how pultrusion can deliver lightweight, cost-effective solutions," Kipp Grumm, technology leader for thermoplastic composites, performance materials at BASF Corp., said in the release. "The unique design of the injection overmolded pultruded beam in the seat structure also passed all relevant crash test requirements and opens the door for more adoption of composites in automotive applications."
The design also helped Toyota meet its cost goals, Vik Bhatia, group manager for engineering design chassis at Toyota, said.
The seat structure is Romeo, Mich.-based L&L Products' first interior application for its Continuous Composite Systems technology that uses BASF's polyurethane pultrusion system.
CCS is a fiber-reinforced composite carrier with sealants and adhesives "in a two-dimensional profile," the release said. "In this application it was overmolded with BASF's impact-modified Ultramid-brand nylon 6 to create the 3D shape" of the seat back.