The third car in the range is designed for older drivers. These cars have a rotational seat base, which makes it easier for people to get into and out of the vehicles.
Another prominent display item is a GP moto police motorcycle. ‘The police department gave us the metal parts and we were told to make the rest,’ Dreyer said. The display bike features a number of non-standard parts, including Infinergy grips on the handlebars, and a self-skinning PU seat assembly.
Another eye-catching idea is a briefcase. Dreyer explained that they built a demonstration case that contains a number of different white polymer foils, including polyamide, TPU and other polyurethane materials. The case is designed to demonstrate how the foils can be combined with thin copper wires to produce capacitive touch-sensitive devices, similar to mobile phone screens.
Features like this could become more common in automotive interiors, and also on a variety of domestic devices such as refrigerators. It could, for example, be possible to add an integrated display to a refrigerator that, when activated, shows the temperature and humidity inside the refrigerator, and also warn the owner if there had been a recent power outage. When deactivated, the panel would appear to be a part of the surface.
Although this would probably not contain a polyurethane material, if the invisible screen were to be included in a soft-touch automotive dashboard or door panel, that could be different, Dreyer suggested. Aliphatic polyurethanes could be used in the surface materials because of their greater resistance to UV and heat ageing than traditional aromatic diisocyanates.
The company hopes the centre will help inspire customers when designing the next generation of products. ‘Many people who come are not materials experts,’ Dreyer said. ‘This helps them gain a more rounded understanding of what our materials can do.’