Stuttgart, Germany -- Citroen's new C3 seats are using ARPRO expanded polypropylene to give a lightweight seat structure offering a 2.2kg reduction in weight, claims JSP, developer of the EPP material. But it's not good news for polyurethanes: the development allows flexible foam content in the seat to be reduced, the company said.
According to a 21 Jan JSP announcement the seats also give increased levels of "perceived quality."
Use of EPP allowed engineers to "replace a heavy, costly steel structure with a strong, light and recyclable material," JSP commented. EPP properties such as deformation resilience and moulding accuracy also enabled Citroen to obtain improved alignment with features such as leather stitching, to enhance the customer's experience with the car.
The objective of JSP's work with Citroen was "to create a lighter seat that could achieve excellent crash test results," said Paul Compton, JSP's president and ceo in Europe.
"In prototype form, ARPRO reacts in the same way as mass-produced components. This allowed us to create applicable parts quickly and without tooling. ... For a very small investment and within a short time-frame, we were able to validate and prove the concept in a real crash test," Compton said, giving engineers "the confidence to back the project for mass production."
According to JSP, ARPRO is strong and resilient enough to replace the metal anti-submarining ramp, a device that helps keep rear-seat passengers in their seats in the event of a collision.
This contributues to a simpler and lighter vehicle structure, said JSP. Compared to the previous generation C3 rear seat, switching to EPP allowed a metal weight reduction of 1.79kg. The balance of the weight saving came through lower polyurethane content and a simpler fastening system, the company notes.