Ford Seat Design Relies on Delrin® Toughness and Load Stiffness

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At Ford Motor Company, innovation and a commitment to safety are core values that helped drive the development of an award-winning seat system that provides greater comfort and safety, including improved rear-impact neck protection. A key component of this new design is a power head restraint drive nut molded with DuPont™ Delrin®, a material that features an ideal balance of toughness and load stiffness.

Application Description

Ford Motor Company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. The Ford/Lincoln in-house design team developed an innovative seat system for the 2017 Lincoln Continental that has been granted 12 patents.

An important feature of this new seat system is a power head restraint drive nut that enables fore/aft motion while maintaining required rearward head impact load stiffness.  

This seat system was a Grand Award Winner in the 2016 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards competition in the body interior category.  

Unmet Need

Automotive seating engineers are tasked with designing economically viable seat systems that meet increasingly stringent safety requirements and consumer demand for greater comfort, while also reducing overall weight.

Challenges

  • Component must be durable and strong enough to withstand fore/aft motion while maintaining load stiffness to achieve required rear impact performance.
  • Component must maintain good mechanical properties at the temperature extremes that can occur in automotive interior environments.

Solution

The Ford/Lincoln in-house design team used an integrated composite design approach to develop an innovative seat system that raises the bar for passenger comfort and safety. The seat system includes a power head restraint assembly that relies on a drive nut molded with DuPont™ Delrin® 100 to achieve the required impact load stiffness and enable mechanical fore/aft motion.

This award-winning, patented design:

  • Meets or exceeds all Federal safety requirements for head impact resistance.
  • Establishes a new level of passenger comfort and safety.
  • Reduces weight, helping to increase fuel efficiency.
  • Enables quick and easy assembly.
DuPont Material Chosen and Why
DuPont™ Delrin® 100 homopolymer was chosen for this application because it offers:
  • Excellent low-temperature impact performance
  • Best balance of toughness and stiffness of any polyoxymethylene (POM)
  • Consistent and predictable performance in the automotive interior environment
  • High mechanical strength and rigidity without the need for fillers/reinforcements or other modifications

PART OF THE 2016 SPE AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATION AWARDS PROGRAM

BODY INTERIOR CATEGORY