Dow’s next generation thin-wall foam solution aims to make car interiors safer, sleeker and more sustainable

Designed for instrument panels and interior trim, polyurethane technology enhances automotive indoor air quality, while reducing vehicle weight

MIDLAND, Mich. – March 2, 2020 – Dow announces a next generation, low-VOC thin-wall foam for instrument panels and interior trim (IPIT) applications, as the topic of automotive indoor air quality quickly gains traction1 in the industry. The next generation solution can enable manufacturers to improve automotive air quality from the inside out, while offering design flexibility and light weighting advantages.

“As an industry leader, we have a responsibility to develop technologies that not only solve difficult problems for our customers, but also improve sustainability,” said Scott Snyder, regional commercial director for Dow Polyurethanes. “In speaking with our customers, we identified a need to re-envision cabin design, focusing on passenger comfort without compromising fuel efficiency. We also considered consumer demands and regulatory requirements regarding VOC emissions.”

Dow’s next generation IPIT technology brings together top product performance, sleek and sustainable design, and improved passenger wellbeing. Used for low-density standard wall applications or lightweight thin-wall applications, the product contains up to 10 percent renewable content. Other value-added benefits include:

  • Reducing foam weight by up to 50 percent,
  • Generating up to 5 millimeters in space savings, a critical factor for autonomous driving,
  • Meeting the industry’s lowest emissions levels for VOC and aldehyde emissions.


“Our teams tested new low-VOC thin-wall foam technology against current emissions regulations and guideline benchmarks to ensure product quality, efficiency and consistency,” said Adam Grzesiak, senior research scientist at Dow. “In blind tests,2 our product was found to be up to 60 percent lower in overall VOC emissions compared to competitive technology, and well under established targets for aldehyde, a group of substances of particular concern, for individual and combined parts per million.”

The technology can enable Dow’s customers to meet evolving automotive and sustainability trends, all with better processing and foam qualities. Foamers in particular can benefit from the product’s wider processing window with good flow and fast de-mold time, as well as, weight reduction across thin cross-section areas. The end result is a softer foam with uniform, good cell structure

The average American spends 17,600 minutes – more than 12 full days – behind the wheel of a car each year, collectively adding up to 84 billion hours per year, 3 while, VOC emissions inside automobiles can be up to three times higher than in other interior spaces, 4 and prolonged exposure to some of these compounds has been linked to eye, nose and throat irritation, allergic skin reactions, headaches, dizziness and fatigue.5 At the same time, modern automotive aesthetic trends call for durable, effective and lightweight materials, and thin-wall systems are key to reducing weight and improving fuel efficiency.

About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines one of the broadest technology sets in the industry with asset integration, focused innovation and global scale to achieve profitable growth and become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of performance materials, industrial intermediates and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for our customers in highgrowth segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 113 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 37,000 people. Dow delivered pro forma sales of approximately $50 billion in 2018. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

For further information, please contact:
Melissa Whitford

Leah Sailovic
G&S Business Communications

1 Source: Berkley Wellness
2 VOC testing per VDA-278. Aldehyde testing per a modified version of Toyota’s TSM0508G Method
3 Source: dmv.org
4 Source: UL LLC
5 Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency