Frankfurt, Germany -- Polyurethane components play a key role in new automotive head restraints from Johnson Controls, the firm said.
Johnson Contorols said it was showcasing the restraints at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2013 in Frankfurt. The company says the new head restraints can be adjusted vertically and horizontally using technology related to its electronic seat adjustment. The company confirmed to that it is using polyurethane foam to ensure that the headrests are comfortable in use.
Cushioning is important in the restraints which can anticipate a crash and move forward at a rate of 50mm/s (2"/s) to help prevent whiplash, said Johnson Controls. This rate of movement is around five times faster than conventional self-adjusting head restraints, the firm added. It means that the head restraint can be connected to other pre-crash features in the vehicle. Manually adjustable side wings provide additional comfort and can also be fitted with a tilt feature.
Johnson Controls said it is also showing a prototype of its pour in place (PIP) rigid foam head restraint. This allows the head restraint, cover, and mechanism to be inserted into the foam tool and covered with foam until they set in a predefined form, said the firm. It added, unlike conventional foams, the material is of lower density but higher strength. This enables space-saving, slimmer designs. Johnson Controls declined to say which raw materials companies it was working with on the design, but said it is "working with the large stakeholders of the polyurethane industry."