Autoneum introduces new felt-based technology that offers a versatile and more sustainable alternative to foam

2021/11/24
The acoustic performance of components for the vehicle interior such as inner dashes or carpets depends on noise-reducing quality as well as the geometrical adaptability and fill power of their material. Thanks to its innovative blend of recycled cotton and polyester fibers, Flexi-Loft, the Autoneum's newly launched felt-based technology, reduces component weight while improving geometrical adaptability, according to foreign media reports. Therefore, the fiber-based material is versatile and clearly outperforms current foam products in terms of sustainability.

In order to achieve high acoustic performance at minimum weight and maximum sustainability, Autoneum is continuously advancing its textile product portfolio. When it comes to components for the vehicle interior, for instance, standard thermoplastic felts excel through their acoustic absorption, robustness and environmental friendliness. However, since felt-based materials are generally less voluminous and moldable as foam components, they require more weight to thoroughly fill the areas of varying thickness between the surface of the component and the vehicle's body-in-white. In contrast, Autoneum's Flexi-Loft technology is significantly lighter, more flexible and more adaptable than standard felts. In addition, fiber-based material is versatile and clearly outperforms current foam products in terms of sustainability. 

By innovatively mixing recycled cotton and polyester, Flexi-Loft significantly reduces component weight while improving geometric adaptability and acoustic performance, especially in areas of low thickness. With the special characteristics of fiber, Flexi-Loft can accurately adapt to various vehicle bodies, so as to improve the sound insulation quality of corresponding products. Despite its low weight, Flexi-Loft can also cover a wide range of material thicknesses. Therefore, it is an ideal decoupling material for interior components with complex shapes, such as interior dashboards and automotive carpets. As a lightweight, flexible and sustainable alternative to standard felts and foams, Flexi-Loft stands out for its versatile applications with existing Autoneum technologies such as Hybrid-Acoustics and Prime-Light. In addition, the material helps to reduce odours and dust in the vehicle. 

Overall, Flexi-Loft can offer design freedom and enhance sustainability. This lightweight fiber-based material is characterized by excellent environmental performance throughout the product life cycle, while providing the same advantages as foam alternatives. Flexi-Loft consists of at least 50% recycled cotton fibers, and cut-offs generated during the manufacturing process are reclaimed, processed and then reused in the production of new felt blanks. Furthermore, the material is fully recyclable. 

Autoneum is already using Flexi-Loft worldwide as an insulator for various carpets, inner dashes and other acoustic components based on its Prime-Light technology. 

(Source: NetEase News)