As the environment and shift to electric vehicles have moved front and center in the minds of consumers, contemporary car designers and automotive materials engineers are now looking to incorporate the winning combo when it comes to automotive materials:
Consumers are looking for environmentally friendly products and technologies now more than ever. And, consequently, OEMs are following suit with environmental and fleet electrification pledges in the coming years. As the market shifts away from internal combustion towards electrification, maintaining a lightweight vehicle increases EV miles and distance per charge. Like miles per gallon (MPG) before it, miles per charge (MPC) will play a significant role in the marketing and sales of these innovative vehicles.
When it comes to finding sustainable and ultra-lightweight materials, automakers often make trade-offs and settle for “greenwashed” materials to fit the eco-friendly and lightweight bill, but it does not have to be this way.
Spacer Knit, an advanced fabric, brings true sustainability and lightweight attributes to auto manufacturers. But with Spacer Knit, it’s more than just these winning characteristics that create a material worthy of consideration. These five features make Spacer Knit an ideal advanced material for future automotive interior designs.
- Foam alternative
In the ultra-lightweight category, foam is a winner. Car designers love foam for its featherweight (which makes vehicles more fuel-efficient), affordability, comfort characteristics, and more.
For decades, designers and materials engineers have been searching for a foam replacement in vehicle manufacturing to be less dependent on foam, and Spacer Knit is it. It can replace foam in car seats and many other interior applications since it has many of the same characteristics as foam without environmental downsides.
Spacer Knit meets all the requirements of a modern, sustainable advanced material with low emissions during its manufacturing, a long service life, and 100% recyclability.
Spacer Knit is so comfortable and durable with its reinforced structures that advanced materials manufacturers use it in mattresses. These comfortable padding characteristics come from its optimal spring-back effect, high-quality soft touch, excellent pressure distribution, and good stabilization. And, in this case, comfort goes beyond just cushioning with material temperature and climate control.
- Adaptable to a standard process
Spacer Knit may be a leading-edge advanced material, but it can be adapted to routine manufacturing systems because it uses the same equipment as a warp knitting machine including a double-needle bar. If you’re looking to make Spacer Knit part of your automotive lines, look for an advanced materials partner with warp knitting capabilities.
It’s also adaptable with high permeability, good malleability, and excellent coating and laminating properties, allowing use across a wide range of advanced material engineering, applications, and processes. Sound isn’t an issue either. Spacer Knit acoustically insulates with noise impermeability. And, as a bonus, the fabric also has high shock absorption, making it great for fast-moving and future-focused EV technology.
Currently, Spacer Knit is only used for seating, but many forward-thinking car designers and automotive materials engineers have identified Spacer Knit as a future material for the headliner, speaker grills, decorative dash pieces, and more.
Spacer Knit, with its lightweight, sustainability, and recyclability, has all the baseline characteristics that make for a stellar advanced material in your next automotive interior design. Spacer Knit’s features make it an ideal foam alternative for a future of sustainable automotive design and innovation.