Huntsman Introduces Bio-Based Polyurethane Foam for Automotive Acoustic Applications

Latest: Huntsman Announces ACOUSTIFLEX VEF
BIO System – This is a pioneering bio-based viscoelastic polyurethane foam technology for molded acoustic applications in the automotive industry, containing up to 20% bio-based ingredients, derived from vegetable oils.

This innovation reduces the carbon footprint of automotive carpet back foam by up to 25 percent compared to existing Huntsman systems for this application. The technology can also be used for instrument panel and wheel arch sound insulation.

BIO systems address the growing demand for material technologies that can help automakers reduce their carbon footprints but still deliver high performance. Through careful formulation, Huntsman incorporates bio-based ingredients into its ACOUSTIFLEX
In the VEF BIO system, there is no impact on any acoustic or mechanical properties that automotive component manufacturers and OEMs seek to achieve.

Irina, Huntsman Automotive-Polyurethanes Global Marketing Director
Bolshakova explains: “Previously, the addition of bio-based ingredients to polyurethane foam systems had a detrimental effect on performance, especially emissions and odor levels, which was frustrating. We at ACOUSTIFLEX VEF
The development of the BIO system proves that this is not the case. ”

In terms of acoustic performance, analytical experiments show that Huntsman’s conventional VEF system can outperform standard high resilience (HR) foams at lower frequencies (<500Hz).

The same goes for the ACOUSTIFLEX VEF BIO system – achieving the same noise reduction capabilities.

In developing the ACOUSTIFLEX VEF BIO system, Huntsman continued to develop polyurethane foams with zero amines, zero plasticizers and very low aldehyde emissions. Therefore, the system is both low emission and low odor.

The ACOUSTIFLEX VEF BIO system remains lightweight. Huntsman has worked hard to ensure the weight of the material is not compromised while introducing bio-based ingredients into its VEF system.

Huntsman’s automotive team also ensured that there were no associated machining defects. ACOUSTIFLEX VEF
BIO systems can still be used to quickly create assemblies with complex geometries and sharp angles, with high productivity and demold times as low as 80 seconds, depending on part design.

Bolshakova continued: “Polyurethanes are hard to beat when it comes to pure acoustic performance. They are very effective at dampening sound, reducing vibration and attenuating any harshness caused by vehicle movement. Our ACOUSTIFLEX
The BIO system takes it to the next level. Incorporating bio-based ingredients into blends to provide low-carbon acoustic solutions without compromising emissions or odor requirements is far better for auto brands and their partners and customers – and for the planet too.