With increasing calls for eco-friendly vehicles, sustainable raw materials and vehicle recycling, Austria’s Lenzing presented new applications for its Tencel cellulosic fibre and powder for the automobile sector at Techtextil 2011.
With its moisture management properties, Tencel is said to be ideal for car seat covers in blends with all conventional fibres. A test with car seats confirmed that as little as 30% of Tencel in the blend results in a drier seat climate and considerable improvement in driver and passenger comfort. Tencel foam can also be used to replace polyurethane foam in car seats.
In powder form, Tencel offers ideal processing conditions as a reinforcement fibre in plastic parts. The fibre is odourless during processing as well as in the end product. One particular advantage is the impact strength improvement which Tencel imparts to plastics owing to its high fibre elongation.
Tencel has a fibre elongation of 10% while glass fibre, the most common fibre used in automotive plastics, has only 2%. Plastics with Tencel are stable and provide excellent crash performance. Other automotive applications for Tencel include carpets, headliners, tires and battery separators, as well as oil and fuel filters.