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Crash-active headrests are made from BASF plastics

29 May 2008

BMW has recently started using crash-active headrests whose kinematic skeleton is made primarily of BASF’s engineering plastics. The plastic framework is manufactured by ITW in a fully automated assembly plant in Röttingen, Germany and the headrest is subsequently assembled at the Grammer company in the Bavarian town of Amberg. BASF provided the materials, namely, Ultradur®B4300 G6 (PBT), Ultramid B3EG3 (PA 6), Ultramid A3K (PA 66) and Elastollan®(TPU), alongwith CAE-calculations and head-impact tests.

The part is designed to provide even greater protection to passengers against whiplash trauma. In the event of a rear impact at a speed of more than 12 km/h, an actuator in the headrest is automatically triggered. A pre-tensioned spring moves the front half of the headrest forward and upward almost instantane-ously. This reduces the distance between the back of the head and the head-rest, thus lessening the risk of neck injury due to an overextension of the cervical vertebra.

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