Stratas™ Composite Seatback Panel

steel-to-stratas-seatback-panel

The first mass produced composite rear seatback panel for the automotive industry

Designed to replace stamped steel panels found in rear seat frames, the Stratas™ composite seatback panel offers significant weight savings,  reduces effort to lift or fold the seat and a completely flat seat back surface.

How it works

Flat panels

Formed panels

Trimmed panels

How Stratas seatback panel works

Benchmarked against one of the industry’s lightest stamped steel panel designs, the Stratas™ seatback panel still recognized almost 50% weight saved, made possible by the unique application of a composite structure with a polyurethane foam core.

Stratas flat panel

10mm, 1950gsm thermoformable flat panels with cutouts for component attachments.

Stratas formed panel

Where space constraints are present, the flat panels can be formed and compressed down to 3mm where the seat frames are present.

Stratas trimmed panel

Carpet and other A-surface finish materials can be integrated during production to potentially save one step during seating assembly.

How it works

How Stratas seatback panel works

Benchmarked against one of the industry’s lightest stamped steel panel designs, the Stratas™ seatback panel still recognized almost 50% weight saved, made possible by the unique application of a composite structure with a polyurethane foam core.

Flat panels

Stratas flat panel

10mm, 1950gsm thermoformable flat panels with cutouts for component attachments.

Formed panels

Stratas formed panel

Where space constraints are present, the flat panels can be formed and compressed down to 3mm where the seat frames are present.

Trimmed panels

Stratas trimmed panel

Carpet and other A-surface finish materials can be integrated during production to potentially save one step during seating assembly.

How it works

1. Benchmarked against the lightest

Our target benchmark was to save over 1kg (2.2lb) against an already weight optimized 0.5mm thick stamped steel panel from a bestselling hatchback, the lightest rigid design we identified. Against this target, the Stratas seatback panel saved 1.37kg (3 lbs), or 47%.

2. Sandwich structure design

A plastic ruler is very flexible when bent lengthwise. Once turned 90 degrees, the same ruler now becomes very stiff and difficult to bend. The Stratas™ seatback panel follows a similar design, wherein the polyurethane foam core functions as an I-beam with the reinforcement skins as top and bottom layers.

3. Lightweight core

The polyurethane foam core was formulated to provide very high shear strength. This is the most critical component and is what allows the Stratas™ seatback panel to be both lightweight and strong.

how Stratas seatback panel works

4. Reinforcement skins

Chopped fiberglass reinforcement layers sandwich the foam core to further strengthen the composite structure.

5. FMVSS and ECE validated

Every safety regulation stamped steel seatback panels would be subjected to have been conducted on the Stratas seatback panel. The more stringent of FMVSS or ECE testing were chosen where overlaps existed.

The tests conducted were FMVSS 207 / 210 (ECE 14), FMVSS 225, ECE 17 and 100kg knee load test with 102mm circular ball.

Flat panels

Stratas flat panel 60 40 rear

One size fits all

Flat panels are designed to be a universal part for all makes and models. While boards are cut to specifications for length, width and component attachments, the starting standard thickness is 10mm.

Rear seat operation

Reduced seat operating effort

Weight saved as result of the lighter Stratas™ seatback panel means it is easier to fold the rear seats up and down.

Push pins Stratas seatback panel

Retrofits to current designs

Through the use of push pins, Stratas™ seatback panels can be retrofitted into existing seat frame designs with little to no modification to its design.

Formed panels

Formable to 3mm

The Stratas™ seatback panel can be formed and compressed down to 3mm where the seat frame rails are present without weakening its structure to  provide greater design freedom.

Stratas formed panel

Lower tooling costs

Compared to traditional tools required to form and weld stamped steel panels, the Stratas™ seatback panel offers substantial savings. Traditional stamp and die tools can cost upwards of $400,000 USD, whereas the Stratas panel only requires an oven and low pressure forming tool with an average cost of $60,000 USD.

thermoform press

Flat finish

The extra thickness versus stamped steel panels means the seatback always provides aflat finish with no grooves and surface indentations.

flat finish Stratas seatback panel

Trimmed panels

Stratas seatback trimmed panel

Trunk trim integration

Our dry adhesive technologies allow us to thermoform the finishing surface material during the lamination stage of production. The adhesives are always evenly distributed to create a very strong bond and prevents issues with edges peeling.

Stratas trimmed panel edge wrapped

Various edge finish options

The edges can be thermoformed to provide a rolled, compressed or other thin forming finish. Fit and finish tolerances can be reduced as result.

Stratas™ seatback panel testing

I want to learn how a foam based product is as strong as steel at half the weight.