Engineers at soft-trim supplier Auria Solutions developed an acoustics material that offered enough weight savings to win the contract for General Motors' entire global T1 full-size pickup and SUV platform.
The key to the material was replacing the traditional ethylene-vinyl acetate used in dash insulation with a technology for a multilayer fiber-based material. In addition to knocking 13 pounds out of each GM vehicle, the fiber-based insulation is simpler for Auria to manufacture and easier for GM assembly workers to drop into vehicles on the production line.
The material was developed at Auria's r&d center in Albemarle, N.C., a region with a history of textile and carpeting research.
"Our old technology was the most robust, best-performing noise-vibration-harshness product in the industry," Auria CEO Brian Pour boasted to Automotive News during the material changeover. "But that technology is now a thing of the past. All the OEMs now need to take weight out of the vehicle."