French seat manufacturer Faurecia has announced a new seat design that eliminates completely the use of polyurethane foam. The model, called Sustainable Comfort Seat, has two sheets of injection-molded thermoplastic polyurethane instead of classic foam. The new process not only saves weight, it's 17 percent (30 mm or 1 1/4 inches) thinner than standard seats, which gives backseat passengers a bit more legroom. The metallic structure is also replaced by injection-molded nylon and long-glass-fiber structural frame. Head restraints are also injection-molded and get rid of foam and steel as well. The seat model was introduced in the Light Attitude concept car, where the company also showcases a compression-molded panel that uses a natural material filler such as hemp, flax or wood. The current Smart model uses a similar system, albeit still covered with cloth.
[Source: Automotive News (subs. req'd)]

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