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Soy foam quiets Cherokees

by David Zatz on

Today, Chrysler opened the Toledo Assembly Complex to reporters, including a new body shop where a unique acoustic foam is injected into the Cherokee. Its density is lower than conventional acoustic material, cutting up to 1.5 pounds per vehicle. Weight reductions are important for fuel economy, handling, and acceleration. Bill Hall, Director of Sustainability and Business Continuity, said, “This new foam not only helps deliver noise reduction and improved fuel efficiency, but its renewable content minimizes the impact on the environment.”

Developed with and supplied by Dow Automotive Systems, BETAFOAM™ Renue replaces a petroleum-based ingredient with a soy-based material. Less foam is needed to achieve the same result due to its lower density, cutting costs. It is also easier to work than conventional acoustic foam, and has twice the shelf life.

It is used in ten locations in the Cherokee structure, including the pillars and rear wheel wells. This is the second Chrysler application of the product; it was originally used early this year at the Sterling Heights Assembly plant, home of the 2013 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger midsize sedans. Existing equipment was adapted to accommodate the injection process there, whereas the Toledo site is using brand new equipment.

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