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BASF and Toyota achieve lightweighting success on 2021 Sienna
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:10.Aug.2020

BASF and Toyota Motor North America Research & Development achieved lightweighting success with the new 2021 Toyota Sienna. The vehicle, scheduled to launch later this year, has won the Altair Enlighten Award for achievements in vehicle weight savings for reduced mass of the third row seat.


In the previous model, the third-row seat was comprised of 15 different steel components, making it very heavy. Toyota wanted the 2021 Sienna’s third seat to be lighter and cost competitive while exceeding all performance criteria. Toyota turned to BASF to help them achieve their lightweighting goal.


BASF’s proprietary Ultrasim tool was used to provide accurate CAE simulations during the multiple phases of development.

Traditionally, resin components for seating have had metal reinforcement, which can add more cost to the process. Toyota also wanted an injection molding part that was a shoot-and-ship part, meaning it was made in one piece, without complex and costly post-processing.


BASF used its unique 35% glass-reinforced and impact-modified polyamide PA6 grade Ultramid B3ZG7 CR, and its proprietary computer aided engineering (CAE) tool ULTRASIM which allowed for an accurate CAE simulation during the multiple phases of development efforts.


“We were able to meet our cost objective and saved 15% compared to the prior generation. The seat is 30% lighter compared to the previous model,” said Todd Muck, from the Toyota Technical Strategic Planning Office at the Toyota R&D Center in Saline, Michigan.


“The third seat design is what I would classify as an enabling technology. It is the first of its kind in the way it is designed without inserts as a fully injected seat back,” said Matt Parkinson, Manager Applications Development Engineering and Composite Technologies, BASF Performance Materials.



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