By Simon Robinson
One of the most notable features of the K show in 2013 were automotive cooperations. They brought together a number of companies using polyurethane as either the main component or a vital part of component production. The developments were driven by the production advantages and material properties that polyurethane has over conventional materials and other polymers.
Three companies, Magna Steyr, Rühl Puromer and Hennecke have developed an engine bonnet with a honeycomb core, which meets automotive specifications, is substantially lighter and provides superior thermal and acoustic insulation to conventional bonnets made from steel or aluminium, Hennecke said.
In 2009, the EU published Global Technical Regulation (GTR) no. 9 on pedestrian protection, this is driving automotive innovation at a number of automotive manufacturers and suppliers around the world, said Hennecke. Pedestrian protection is also assuming greater importance in redefining Euro NCAP ratings, a non-manufacturer-specific crash test programme.
Hennecke said that to receive 4-star or 5-star ratings for their vehicles, manufacturers must make greater efforts to ensure pedestrian protection. The engine bonnet is critical. It should be designed to absorb as much energy as possible in a collision with the body. This requires free space underneath the bonnet. In current motor…