The Next Generation SikaBaffle®
Mass reduction of the car body in order to obtain more fuel efficiency as well as having a quiet ride and protection of dust are important topics at the markets. The new generation of SikaBaffle® presents innovative solutions.
It is important for future automobiles that they reduce their mass. Baffles are based on expandable foams and are applied in selected hollow areas of the automotive body shell, while reinforces are used to locally strengthen a car body structure by reducing the overall weight of the vehicle. Now it was time to develop a new product to fulfill the needs of the market.
Quiet ride and protection of dust
Innovation, motivation, and collaboration between numerous nations - This is what was necessary to successfully develop and implement the next generation SikaBaffle® product, SikaBaffle®-450. Applied in the body shop at automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer), the product reacts under the heat of the e-coat oven to seal the vehicle. As well as ensuring the driver a quiet ride, it protects the vehicle from intruding moisture and dust from the road. The new generation material has double the increase in expansion upon baking.
Overall reduction in part mass
The increased level of expansion, combined with newly designed parts, results in an overall reduction in part mass. This is especially important as regulatory pressure to increase vehicle fuel efficiency has triggered a trend toward overall mass reduction in the automotive sector. SikaBaffle®-450 will be rolled out, for example, on a new Jaguar model, with full production in Europe beginning in 2015. The first prototype vehicles containing SikaBaffle®-450 were produced in December 2013.
Innovation is finding solutions
Innovation means solving a real problem. In this particular case, our current generation material was facing limitations in certain applications due to its inherent stiffness and expansion level. The baffle material needs to melt and expand when heated in order to seal the automotive cavity. The innovation process that led to the new generation SikaBaffle® called for some detective and design work from our Technology and Engineering departments respectively. The final product can also be designed into an endless variety of morphologies, via either injection molding or extrusion, to produce the plastic baffle parts that are sold to OEMs.