Cambridge, England-based Aqdot says there is a lot of interest from major automotive fabric suppliers over its AqFresh additive technology. This technology significantly reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are known to be detrimental to health, in automotive interior materials.
More than 60 different VOCs have been detected in car interiors including plastics, moldings, carpets, upholstery, adhesives, lubricants and leather and vinyl treatments. The common compounds found in car interiors include toluene, ethylbenzene, styrene, alkanes, xylenes and trimethyl benzenes.
AqFresh supra-molecular powder has been incorporated into nonwovens, coated textiles and plastics that are typically found in automotive interior parts and has proven to significantly reduce their VOC and odor emissions. The patented technology utilizes Cucurbiturils—barrel-shaped molecules with a hollow hydrophobic cavity and polar portals, enabling them to bind a wide spectrum of unwanted molecules tightly.
AqFresh has been proven effective in rigid plastic parts such as polypropylene for dashboards, into which it can be incorporated via compounding or polymer masterbatch. It has been added into the manufacturing process of PVC-coated textiles, and VDA-270 sensory panel tests clearly demonstrate a reduction of 1-1.5 points of odors.
The technology has also been applied to nonwoven materials through dry impregnation as well as by spraying and padding during the finishing process.
It captures a wide range of pollutants and odors, is not affected by normal changes in environmental conditions and is nontoxic.