Johnson Controls is using natural fiber composites to reduce the weight of door panels, seat structures and instrument clusters for the new BMW 3 Series by 20%.
The non-visible door panel elements for the new BMW 3 Series sedan and sports wagon models are largely made of wood fiber that is molded in polypropylene. A process known as groove lamination is used to apply the fabric or leather trim on the door panel. This process involves the trim being joined in recesses, eliminating the need for an additional component and further reducing weight.
The mat first is compression molded, and then back injection molded with the plastic components.
“With our innovative products, we are helping BMW make the new 3 Series comfortable and sustainable. We offer high-quality, lighter weight components that reduce fuel consumption,” said Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls Automotive Experience.