Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to utility navigation Skip to footer

Lightweight Woodbridge head restraint mechanism design

Published By: Andre Godinho, Interior Products Director, Woodbridge Foam Corporation, Rebecca Pennington, Senior Systems Engineering Manager, Woodbridge Foam Corporation, and Cynthia Emili, Marketing Manager, Woodbridge Foam Corporation

Woodbridge introduces a patent-pending head restraint mechanism designed by our engineers. Compared to current head restraints in the market today, we re-engineered the mech to reduce mass and number of components. The design can also provide dual actuation options, either cable-driven or button actuation. In addition, our mechanism accommodates a variety of high pivot flip fold forward or rearward head restraint applications.

Going a step further, we created a reversible hybrid button that can easily be switched to either the driver or passenger side, eliminating extra tooling costs. Our mechanism was engineered for different soft trim outlines (STO’s) in mind, changing only its outer shell design if the folding angle is the same as the other STO’s. Our engineering and design team can fully optimize the hardware, foam, and cover to meet any adjustable head restraint challenge through our fully integrated product development approach. More info:


  • Woodbridge proprietary mech design combined with our foam and trim technology
  • Lightweight - up to 20% compared to existing design
  • Reduced number of components
  • Flexible to accommodate various design configurations
  • Improved rear-view visibility
  • Folding flexibility – both forward and rearward
  • Engineered and validated to federal regulations and typical functional requirements
  • Automatic and manual release

Test Results

We identified the typical test requirements for a head restraint across multiple OEMs for the flip fold head restraint mechanism. Then, we applied this data to create component and seat level performance targets for the head restraint mechanism design. However, before prototyping and testing, we wanted to ensure our design fulfilled the essential federal requirements. Therefore, we ran computer-aided engineering simulations with our internal team and increased the design robustness before physical testing.

We then created prototypes and proceeded with the component level validation testing utilizing our in-house automotive seat comfort testing lab.  We ran a gambit of tests including, but not limited to, folding and button efforts, chuck and deflection, component level 202a requirements, abuse loads tests, and environmental life cycle.  This critical testing allowed us to enhance the design further to increase robustness before the complete seat level testing.

Component level 202a height retention test set up

After we successfully met our component level targets and improved the design further, we moved forward with the complete seat level testing. We selected a seat application we currently supply today in production and ran the tests to the prescribed OEM design verification plan and report plan (DVP&R). We passed the static 202a test requirements set forth by that OEM and the functional test requirements, such as a variety of practical and environmental test requirements.

Seat Level 202a backset retention and displacement test set up

As a result, we delivered a stacked enterprise solution that supports complex integrated systems. We can also provide specialty services, including assembly, conversion, lamination, fabrication, tooling, and injection molding. In addition, we are always looking to create new formulations, products, solutions, and applications. And with over 400 chemical scientists, PhDs, engineers, and designers worldwide, we can drive innovation requirements on a global scale.

Editorial piece originally published on LinkedIn

View All News
Corporate Responsibility Image

Woodbridge Cares

Our community involvement initiative, Woodbridge Cares, inspires teammates to contribute to their communities through volunteerism and philanthropy.

Corporate Responsibility
partnerships widget


We’ve established strategic partnerships that allow us to deliver fully-integrated systems and solutions anytime, anywhere.