Lightweight door panels incorporate natural fiber

05/31/2012

The German subsidiary of Johnson Controls in Burscheid is supplying a series of innovative door panels, seat structures and instrument clusters for the new BMW 3 Series.

The non-visible door panel elements employ a combination of wood fibers and polypropylene (PP) that are 20% lighter than conventional components. The natural-fiber carrier is directly molded with the plastic matrix.

A state-of-the-art process known as groove lamination is used to apply the fabric or leather trim onto the door panel. This process involves the trim being joined in recesses, eliminating the need for an additional component and further reducing weight....
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