Altair and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), both based in Michigan, named Marelli a 2023 Enlighten Award winner in the Future of Lightweighting category for its lightweight urethane for interior products, the company announced.
The award ceremony was held on Aug. 1, as part of the CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS), an event focused on the future of the global automotive industry, the organization said.
Marelli received the award for its new lightweight polyurethane foam that can be applied to all foam-in-place (FIP) applications, particularly the main dashboard panel. According to the company, it reduces weight by 40% with new tooling (8% with current tooling), decreases foam thickness by 50% to support styling aesthetics and reduces raw material costs by 20%, as compared to the current foam in use. In line with the industry’s ongoing focus on sustainability and eco-friendly materials, the new foam also reduces the environmental impact of automotive production, Marelli said, through its reduced material usage per part, lower density, and 80% reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs.)
“We are honored to receive the 2023 Altair Enlighten Award for our polyurethane foam technology,” said Tsukasa Fujii, president of Marelli’s Interior Experience division. “This innovation provides substantial weight savings and reduces volatile organic compounds as compared to previous materials. This accomplishment is proof that our advanced engineering efforts can go a long way in helping automakers achieve tough lightweighting and sustainability targets.”
Created in 2013 to specifically acknowledge innovations in vehicle lightweighting, the Altair Enlighten Award honors the world’s greatest achievements in sustainability and lightweighting that successfully reduce carbon footprint, mitigate water and energy consumption, and leverage material reuse and recycling efforts, award officials said.