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Nonwovens/​Converting

Flexible felt outperforms foams

Unique blend of recycled cotton and functional fibres reduces product weight and allows for accurate adaptation to complex shapes in vehicles.

16th November 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Winterthur, Switzerland

Transport/​Aerospace

Autoneum, headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, says its Flexi-Loft technology is significantly lighter, more flexible and more adaptable than standard felts for acoustic vehicle interiors and in addition, the fibre-based material is versatile and outperforms current foam products in terms of sustainability.

The acoustic performance of components for a vehicle interior such as inner dashes or carpets depends on noise-reducing quality as well as geometrical adaptability and the fill power of the material, the company explains. With Flexi-Loft, Autoneum is presenting a new felt-based technology that thanks to a unique blend of recycled cotton and functional fibres reduces product weight and allows for accurate adaptation even to complex shapes. The textile material therefore provides a versatile and more sustainable alternative to foam.

Standard thermoplastic felts excel through their acoustic absorption, robustness and environmentally friendliness. However, since felt-based materials are generally not as voluminous and mouldable as foam components, they require more weight to thoroughly fill the areas of varying thickness between the surface of the component and the vehicle’s ‘body-in-white’. 

Thanks to its blend of recycled cotton and polyester fibres, Flexi-Loft substantially reduces component weight while improving geometrical adaptability and acoustic performance, especially in areas of low thickness. As a lightweight, flexible and sustainable alternative to both standard felts and foam, Flexi-Loft distinguishes itself by its versatile application in combination with existing Autoneum technologies such as Hybrid-Acoustics and Prime-Light. In addition, the material helps to reduce odour and dust inside the vehicle.

Flexi-Loft consists of at least 50% recycled cotton fibres, and cut-offs generated during the manufacturing process are reclaimed, processed and then reused in the production of new felt blanks. Furthermore, the material is fully recyclable.

Autoneum is already using Flexi-Loft worldwide as an insulator for various carpets, inner dashes and other acoustic components based on its Prime-Light technology. The application of the material as an effective decoupler in inner dashes made of Hybrid-Acoustics will be launched on the European market in 2023. The versatility of Flexi-Loft will be presented in detail at the company’s biennial Automotive Acoustics Conference, which will be held virtually on November 16 and 17, 2021.

www.autoneum.com

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