Case Studies

PULSE™ GX90 powers Audi R8 seat back trims

"100% safety, 0% flying objects"

If you ask our ADE for Audi, Thomas Heck, for the Numbers That Count related to the three years’ development of the seat trim application of the new Audi R8, his answer comes immediately: "100% safety, 0% flying objects." For the second generation of the mid-engine sports car, Audi developed a new design for the front seats with seat-integrated side airbags for passenger protection. The OEM and Lear Corporation, Tier 1 and a global leader in automotive seating, relied on our PULSE™ GX90 for the rear trim of the seat backs.

Best-in-class material for a safe and aesthetic interior

Against the background of both an increasing demand for safety features and stricter fuel economy and emissions standards, Audi invited us to take part in a material comparison for the seat backs of the new R8 front seats with extensive technical safety specifications. Mainly as a result of its heat stability and its ductility at low temperatures, our PULSE™ GX90 performed as best-in-class material in a field of almost a dozen competitors. 

Besides the demands of lightweight and premium aesthetic quality, safety aspects caused the main challenge. Tightly assembled into the seat backs, side airbags have to be able to properly inflate and position during the deployment phase. In the Audi R8, the side airbags are shot through the flank of the seat trim in case of a collision. The material used has to prevent even minimal fragmentation to avoid potential projectiles endangering occupants during the deployment of the airbags.

Superior low temperature ductility

Trinseo Lead Development Specialist Norwin van Riel points at the specific number that counts for the success: "Our PULSE™ GX90 resin offers the required balance for interior parts exposed to airbag deployment. Specifically, its high impact strength due to a superior low temperature ductility down to -40°C meets the high demands in the R8 application." Designed for interior applications requiring even higher heat resistance than PULSE™ GX50 or GX70, PULSE™ GX90 met also other Audi requirements like low odor and emissions (VOC) or good paintability. (Our product images show the parts in unpainted and painted version, too.)

Don't hesitate to reach out to Thomas or Norwin for more details on this case or our PULSE™ portfolio:

Thomas Heck, Application Development Manager for Audi
theck@trinseo.com

Norwin van Riel, Development Leader
nvanriel@trinseo.com

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