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By Mark Swanson on  3/13/2018

What JBC Learned at Foam Expo 2018

What JBC Learned at Foam Expo 2018

JBC Technologies recently attended Foam Expo 2018, North America’s leading exhibition and conference for the technical foam industry. From March 6 to 8, JBC showcased die cut foams for sealing and insulation. We also exchanged information with foam manufacturers and suppliers about trends and technologies. Discussions with engineers, sourcing managers, and procurement agents provided valuable insights about demand for die cut foam products.

Foam Expo 2018 truly offered a wealth of information. This three-day event met the needs of various end-user markets, but the automotive industry was a special focus given the tradeshow’s location in Novi, Michigan. As an automotive die cutter, JBC Technologies learned important lessons in two major areas: vehicle light weighting, and sound deadening. We’re happy to share what we learned and invite you to contact us to discuss how die cut foams can strengthen your automotive designs.    

Vehicle Light Weighting

Light weighting increases fuel economy, reduces emissions, and improves vehicle handling and performance. By the year 2020, passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States must achieve a fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon (mpg). The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) sets Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), develops vehicle emissions standards.

Balancing regulatory compliance with consumer demand can be challenging, however. Lighter vehicles burn less fuel and produce fewer emissions, but car buyers want features that add weight. For example, entertainment systems add electronic components, wires, and cables. Safety systems such as air bags also make vehicles heavier. For automotive designers, removing popular features or eliminating legally-required air bags isn’t an option. That’s where die cut foams can help with vehicle light weighting.

Sound Deadening

Vehicle designers are also using die cut foams to meet consumer demand for cars with less noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) and buzz, squeak, and rattle (BSR). As vehicles with internal combustion engines become quieter, NVH and BSR become more noticeable. Electric vehicles and cars with hybrid motors are quieter still. With autonomous cars, occupants may pay more attention to road noise because they’re not focused on driving.  

Today, the average sound level in a car is between 70 and 90 decibels (dB). In an office, that much noise would be uncomfortable. In a vehicle’s interior, 70 to 90 dB can make it hard for passengers and drivers to use their phones – a common activity. Not surprisingly, the average car contains hundreds of sound-deadening materials, including carpets and headliners. What some automotive designers may not realize, however, is that good sound barriers are typically poor sound absorbers.

Find Die Cut Foams

Do you have questions about die cut foams? Would you like to hear more about what happened at Foam Expo? Contact the Sales Team at JBC Technologies.


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