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Multi-material systems in vehicle seat structures: the CAMISMA project


Johnson Controls is reducing the use of metals in vehicle seat structures by replacing them with multi-material systems in its CAMISMA (carbon-amide-metal-based interior structure using a multi-material system approach) research project.

These seats are 40 percent lighter than conventionally manufactured seat structures and equally as safe.

CAMISMA seat structure

For this work, Johnson Controls received this year’s CLEPA (European Association of Automotive Suppliers) Innovation Award in the “Green” category. According to the jury, the project represents an “outstanding, future-oriented solution for sustainable carbon dioxide reduction.”

“Although carbon-fiber products generally offer outstanding characteristics, such as great strength and design flexibility, they are too expensive for use in the large-scale series production of vehicles,” said Andreas Eppinger, group vice president technology management, Johnson Controls Automotive Experience. “With CAMISMA, our goal was to create cost-efficient, sustainable access to carbon-fiber-based materials systems.”

CAMISMA Recliner outside

This was achieved by an innovative industrial manufacturing process for volume production with about 200,000 units per production line, allowing the highly concentrated use of carbon fiber, while at the same time meeting the safety requirements.

The results of an initial rear-impact crash test demonstrated that the CAMISMA seat prototype satisfied all of the strength requirements of current seats built with a metal structure in large-scale series production.

In addition to significant weight savings, CAMISMA offers a further advantage: The manufacturing steps required in assembly are substantially reduced through the number of attachment parts needed, which also saves cost.

These seats will be available in vehicles in 2019.

Source: Johnson Controls
Romain’s opinion:
As mentioned above, the main enabler for carbon-fiber usage in automotive industry is its manufacturing cost reduction. BMW has, for example, dedicated a complete factory to produce its carbon-fiber based i3. Do you think that tier 1 suppliers will invest in carbon-fiber manufacturing as much as OEMs? Do you think that specialized company will enter the market as carbon-fiber suppliers?

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