The acoustic performance of components for the vehicle interior such as inner dashes or carpets depends on the noise-reducing quality as well as the geometrical adaptability and fill power of their material. With Flexi-Loft, Autoneum offers 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.
In order to achieve high acoustic performance at minimum weight and maximum sustainability, Autoneum is continuously advancing its textile product portfolio. When it comes to components for the vehicle interior, for example, standard thermoplastic felts excel through their acoustic absorption, robustness and environmental friendliness. However, since felt-based materials are generally less 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. In contrast, Autoneum’s Flexi-Loft technology is significantly lighter, more flexible and more adaptable than standard felts. In addition, the fibre-based material is versatile and clearly outperforms current foam products in terms of sustainability.
Thanks to its innovative blend of recycled cotton and polyester fibres, Flexi-Loft substantially re- duces component weight while improving geometrical adaptability and acoustic performance, especially in areas of low thickness. Thanks to the specific properties of the fibres, Flexi-Loft enables a precise adaptation to a wide variety of vehicle bodies, thereby improving the noise-insulating qualities of the respective product. Even at low weight, Flexi-Loft covers a wide range of material thicknesses, thus proving to be an ideal decoupling material for interior components with complex shapes such as inner dashes and automotive carpets. 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. Moreover, the material helps to reduce odour and dust inside the vehicle.
Overall, Flexi-Loft offers a unique combination of design freedom and increased sustainability. The lightweight, fibre-based material is characterized by an excellent environmental performance throughout the entire product life cycle while offering the same benefits as less sustainable foam alternatives. 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 mate- rial 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 Automotive Acoustics Conference 2021, which will be held virtually on November 16 and 17, 2021.
About the Automotive Acoustics Conference:
Based on more than 50 years of experience, the Automotive Acoustics Conference is a globally leading convention for vehicle acoustics. The conference addresses the latest developments and trends in this field and serves, among other things, as a global forum for engineers and developers. The conference is under the scientific leadership of Autoneum and is held biennially. The next edition will take place digitally on November 16 and 17, 2021. In addition to lectures by leading indus- try experts, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Autoneum’s latest innovations, including Flexi-Loft, in virtual exhibition and networking areas.
Autoneum is globally leading in acoustic and thermal management for vehicles. The Company develops and produces multifunctional, lightweight components and systems for interior floor and engine bay as well as the underbody. Customers include almost all automobile manufacturers in Europe, North & South America, Asia and Africa. Autoneum operates 53 production facilities and employs around 12800 people in 24 countries.
The Company with its headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland, is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ticker symbol AUTN).