As the use of flock expands rapidly throughout the US auto industry, especially in the design of the new generation of electric vehicles, the American Flock Association (AFA) has chosen to exhibit at this year’s Automotive Interiors Expo North America.
Steve Rosenthal, managing director of AFA, along with AFA members who work closely with the automobile industry, are on hand in Novi to answer questions and discuss the many ways flocking can solve problems with building and designing a new automobile.
Flocking has become essential to the design of new cars for a number of functional and aesthetic reasons. Uses include surface treatments to improve the look and feel for IP bins, glove compartments, center consoles and headliners, as well as sound damping of various design and mechanical systems. It is also used to reduce windshield glare.
“Flocking reduces buzz, squeaks and rattles, and improves the appearance of many surfaces,” said Rosenthal at the show. “It also provides a luxurious feel on any substrate and can be applied to surfaces of nearly any size or configuration. It has become nearly impossible to find a new vehicle that isn’t designed with flocking in some capacity.
“In a conventional vehicle, if you have a little noise, you accept it,” he continued. “In an electric vehicle, if you have a little noise, you run to the dealer to find out what’s wrong. Flock absorbs sound, which helps increase the value. It also absorbs light – for instance, with the display (HMI), a small frame of flock projects out from the edges of the screen to reduce glare. We are a solution looking for a problem. If it doesn’t move, it can be flocked.”
AFA member Eric Honkamp said, “We are very interested in working with R&D divisions of OEMs and automotive component manufacturers on incorporating carbon fiber into the flocking process. The purpose would be to take advantage of the heat dissipation properties/qualities of the carbon fibers and possible electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI).”
The AFA says that Automotive Interiors Expo North America is a must-attend for interior design teams from car manufacturers charged with keeping up with the rapidly changing world of materials, finishes and technologies used in today’s vehicles. Rosenthal declared, “We’re excited about attending and helping engineers and interior designers learn more about the design and mechanical problems flocking can solve.”
Find out more about AFA by visiting Booth A618.