Scratch-Resistant and Lightweight Interior Surfaces
TEPEO® Protect and TEPEO 2® Protect making scratches a thing of the past / The first series application for the new materials is the Opel Adam / The 3D simulation Surfvis(TM) supports the development of interior materials
It was about two years before the scratch-resistant surface materials were ready to be launched on the market. The developers of Benecke-Kaliko have tested a large number of different raw materials and produced various compounds. They tested these raw material blends thoroughly and extensively until they attained the perfect quality. The secret of scratch resistance is the use of polymers that simply move away when they come into contact with sharp objects. The elastic material immediately gives way if touched by a pen or metal edge. Afterwards it returns to its normal shape.
The first series application for the new materials is the Opel Adam. Its instrument panel is equipped with the ultra scratch-resistant TEPEO 2® foil. At the "Automotive Interiors Expo 2013" trade show in Stuttgart, the car was promptly awarded with the design prize for the best interior in a factory-built vehicle. The Opel designers additionally benefited from Benecke-Kaliko's unique simulation technology. It allowed for realization of the best-possible dashboard design.
The international jury of renowned motoring journalists awarded the prize in recognition of the almost limitless personalization options for the interior styling of the Open Adam. The nearly 82,000 combinations feasible make it possible to fulfill almost every wish. Round instruments in the classic chronograph style, distinctly trendy lighting, chrome-finished controls, and the highly scratch-resistant TEPEO 2® Protect surface on the dashboard are all important design features. The fair impression in the cockpit is supported by Acella® surface material from Benecke-Kaliko for the two-tone door inserts and Beneron® compact foil for the heel mat. ContiTech also supplies strut mounts, multi-rib belts and diaphragms for fuel management to the Opel Adam.
The numerous personalization options also pose a major challenge for the design teams. Instead of the usual handful of interior variants, thousands were developed for the Opel Adam. In addition to different color combinations, customers can also choose between different surface grains. Benecke-Kaliko was able to assist Opel here with its unique simulation technology.
Photo-realistic display of the surfaces
3D-simulation helps save a lot of time and money in the development phase. It simulates the manufacture of components such as dashboards and door trims down to the smallest detail. Benecke-Kaliko was thus able to assist Opel with the dashboard in the design stage. It was in a position to provide rapid feedback on whether the requested design could be realized and where thin areas, creases or grain distortions might occur. Particularly in the case of technical grains of the kind used on the Opel Adam, end consumers would not be willing to accept relatively large and uneven distortions. The Benecke-Kaliko simulation allowed the dashboard to be optimized for the best result. The latest version of the Surfvis(TM) 3D simulation program can represent the grain itself, enabling a photo-realistic display of the surfaces on the component.
The design award for the ambitious Opel Adam concept, with innovative interior materials made by Benecke-Kaliko, is not the first prize conferred. Just launched in April of this year, the new model has already won five titles as part of the respected "Plus X Award" innovation competition as well as the important Red Dot Design Award.
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