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Issue 01/2018

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Highlights Automotive Foam

Automotive Why wool in

Automotive Why wool in automotive applications? By: Bettina Christensen Director Technical Yarns Südwolle Group Schwaig, Germany Who doesn’t remember the image of your grandmother sitting in front of the fireplace knitting socks or sweaters? At the same time the itchy skin irritation and the unpleasant scent are also what we remember. These are the olden days though… Technical improvements in the processing of wool have advanced the fibre quality. The wonderful properties given by nature can now be utilized as they are needed. Today, wool is being washed before it comes into use to overcome the unappealing smell. And, conversely, wool inherently neutralizes bad odors. The wool can be perceived to be itchy if the wrong wool type is being chosen. Today, we carefully select the type of wool that is appropriate for the final product to fit its purpose. Wool naturally keeps sheep warm in winter and cools them in summer. It is their air conditioning. Have you ever seen a sheep sweat? No chance: the moisture management qualities of the wool controls it all. Have you ever touched the skin of a sheep in rain? Guess what: it is dry. Wool is water and even dirt repellent. The wool fibre is even more technical: it is antistatic by nature and it basically has no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emission. It is highly durable. These qualities and technical benefits of wool make it a perfect fibre for the automotive marketplace. The greatest advantage about the wool is, it does not pollute our environment: Wool is a renewable, a natural raw material. It is a protein fibre made of keratin, the same substance human hair is made of. Additionally, the fibre is completely biodegradable – an essential advantage in the current discussion about micro-plastics pollution. Is wool already being used in transportation? Of course! With its natural properties wool is the perfect material for mobility and automotive applications. All public transport areas have understood the advantages of wool: In buses, trains, and in the aircraft wool seats are very common for very practical reasons. Wool products provide a big advantage to transportation companies in that they do not have to clean their seating constantly. Seats do not have to be replaced as often, because durable and abrasionresistant wool seats will keep their look. At the same time passengers enjoy more pleasant surroundings from the odor control wool provides as well as increased comfort while seated due to the thermoregulation benefits of wool. You will also find wool in some private cars. These are the lucky ones: No more burnt thighs and back in summer. No more freezing in the winter. Just right, as you want it. All the interior of the car could be wool. It is possible that the carpets in your home are made from wool. Why not the carpets in the car? How about the door panels? When wool products are present, they support the climate in the car. The wool aids in cleaning the air. It keeps the moisture in the car at an even level in both summer and winter. Industrial textiles in the hood and trunk of the car could also be made from wool. Perhaps even the body of the car could be made of wool with the support of other fibres. By applying wool to any textile within the car, a sustainable eco-system can be created. When the car is being disposed of every part that is made of wool can just be buried in the ground. It will degrade in no time without any residue. Make your car as comfortable and environmentally friendly as your living room. Feel at home. 12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/18] Vol. 13

International Congress 14th and 15th March 2018, Mannheim, Germany +1500 Attendees Sign up now! with friendly support of: +110 Exhibitors +50 Speakers +World Café: „Discuss with us the future of plastics!“ bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/18] Vol. 13 13

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