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Thermoformed Soft Instrument Panel
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published March 03, 2003 by SAE International in United States
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The automotive industry is continually striving for opportunities to take additional cost and mass out of vehicle systems. Large parts such as an Instrument Panel retainer are good candidates because a small percent reduction in mass can translate into a significant material mass savings. Multiple requirements for a soft instrument panel including safety, stiffness, adhesion, etc. can make these savings difficult to achieve.
This paper will describe how a new material and process development for the fabrication of a soft instrument panel can produce 50% weight savings with a 20% cost reduction potential. In addition, this new technology exhibits improved performance over existing materials during safety testing.