The award-winning Ford headrest with polypropylene core
A head restraint manufactured from polypropylene has won the ‘Body Interior Category’ at the recent Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Innovation Awards.
The rear seat, folding head restraint eliminates a welded steel structure and replaces it with a single-piece, living-hinge polypropylene core as its main structural component. The polypropylene grade used is ExxonMobil PP7855E1 resin.
Thickness of the part is reduced by 33mm for improved comfort and better rear visibility, and mass is reduced by 624 grams per vehicle.
Manufacturing complexity is significantly reduced, says ExxonMobil, because five parts are consolidated into one, therefore eliminating the need for special tooling processes. Tooling costs are lowered with the component price reduced $1.50 (approx. £1 GBP) per vehicle, while still meeting or exceeding all global safety requirements.
“This application highlights automotive industry innovation in using more plastic to make vehicles lighter, stronger and more fuel efficient. The use of plastic also reduces production costs,” said Robert Langdon, Senior Account Manager, ExxonMobil Chemical.