Detroit, Michigan - Johnson Controls Inc. highlighted its Ecobond headliner - in the final stages of development - during the Detroit motor show this week.
This lightweight solution, which contains 50 percent biomaterials by mass, "fully meets customer requirements for strength, performance and acoustics," the automotive interior supplier said.
"With our existing processes and resources, we have created and manufactured an ingenious, earth-friendly headliner from sustainable materials - an outstanding product that meets the performance and cost expectations of our customers," said Byron Foster, who leads the North American interiors business of Johnson Controls, in a company statement.
"Additionally, the Ecobond headliner is made from natural fibres instead of glass, making the final product a lightweight, bio-based product, which can help increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions, and is easier to recycle at the end of the vehicle's useful life," Foster added.
The new headliner uses soya-based adhesives, a soya-based urethane core foam, and natural fibres - reducing the need for non-renewable resources, acording to JCI. It is made using an existing technology that Johnson Controls established for its Polybond process.
Soya-based polyols are blended with petroleum polyols to create a foam core, said JCI.Natural materials, including hemp, flax and knaf, also replace the fibreglass traditionally used in headliner production, the interiors suppler said. Finally, a soya-based urethane is used to bond materials and create a semi-rigid product.
The Ecobond headliner satisfies customers' design requirements and is lighter than standard thermoplastic headliners, JCI added. According to the manufacturer, the approach will not add to the cost of production.