The rear seat, folding head restraint of the 2015 Ford F-150 pick-up truck has won the Body Interior Category at the recent Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Innovation Awards.
The head restraint eliminates a welded steel structure and replaces it with a single-piece, living-hinge polypropylene (PP) core as its main structural component that is made of ExxonMobil PP7855E1 resin.
Thickness of the part is reduced by 33mm for improved comfort and better rear visibility, and mass is reduced by 624g per vehicle.
Exxonmobil Chemicals said manufacturing complexity is significantly reduced because five parts are consolidated into one and tooling costs are also lowered as a result.
The company supplies ExxonMobil PP7855E1 resin to molder Hawk Plastics Ltd. through its distributor, Channel Prime Alliance. Tier One, Windsor Machine Group supplies the finished head restraint system.
“This application highlights automotive industry innovation in using more plastic to make vehicles lighter, stronger and more fuel efficient. The use of plastic also reduces production costs. Our polypropylene (PP) resin helped make it possible,” said Robert Langdon, Senior Account Manager, ExxonMobil Chemical.