Murata, S., Ito, H., and Sopher, S., "Polyurethane-Free Lightweight Automotive Seat," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 7(3):655-661, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-1033.
Flexible polyurethane (PU) foam has been widely used for seat cushions in automotive passenger vehicles due to the excellent cushioning performance and the ability to shape mold. Originally introduced in the late 1950's, it has been used for more than 50 years. However, there is a limitation using polyurethane foam with efforts to reduce the weight and address ever increasing risks to environment.This paper provides information about a new automotive seat concept which does not use polyurethane foam at all. Expanded polyolefin foam is used for this application to replace polyurethane foam and achieve comparable cushioning performance. Other features of the material include 100% recyclability, and no VOC's. By replacing polyurethane foam with expanded thermoplastic foam, hazardous outgassing is eliminated during the seat cushion production, thus improving workplace environmental health and safety.