Adient’s UltraThin seat earned runner up in the Future of Lightweighting category at the 2022 Altair Enlighten Awards.
The Altair Enlighten Awards honor the greatest sustainability and lightweight advancements that show successful commitment in reducing the carbon footprint, mitigating water and energy consumption, as well as efforts in material reuse and recycling.
UltraThin is a new, unique seat construction of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) panels that offers a high level of comfort and support, creating significant space savings, component consolidation and overall mass reductions. This technology does not exist anywhere else in the auto industry.
“UltraThin is the culmination of thousands of hours of research and development and encompasses a great many innovations,” said Tom Gould, Chief Engineer. “UltraThin is a major paradigm shift from traditional foam and trim seat construction to cushion and back comfort panels made of recyclable thermoplastic elastomers. It potentially redefines meat-to-metal criteria in seat design, with thinner seat sections while allowing improved comfort and safety through engineered deflection and concave contours.”
UltraThin seating can be used in all rows of seating, and in all segments of vehicles. Automakers are working with Adient to codevelop this technology across their existing seat structures. The range of adaptations include front and rear rows for multiple segments and a wide variety of content levels, allowing its use from base models to fully contented luxury seating.
The supportive UltraThin panel conforms to the occupant’s posture, size and weight comfortably accommodating different size occupants. The thinner seat back will save roughly 40mm of knee room for second row occupants. The thin supportive cushion can reduce block height up to 45mm, freeing up room under the floor for battery packs. The technology will save 44mm of space per row, reducing the overall weight of the vehicle. Other features include:
- 30% overall seat trim outline volume reduction
- 14% overall mass reduction (compared to standard foam, trim and comforts systems)
- Premium best in class comfort in a thin package
- 10% reduction in overall seat part count (compared to standard foam, trim and comforts systems)