Thursday - October 9, 2014

Improved pedestrian protection and noise reduction under the hood

Greater safety and comfort with Bayer polyurethanes

Close cooperation with Volvo and Promens on everything from formulation to production

Leverkusen, October 2014 – People traveling on foot in traffic apparently live dangerously. According to the European Commission, about one-fifth of all traffic fatalities in Europe involve pedestrians(1). Apart from passenger protection, auto manufacturers therefore are also taking a closer look at pedestrian safety.

The Volvo Car Corporation is a leader in the field, using a clever combination of Bayer materials to manufacture the hoods of its four cylinder diesel engines. Two special polyurethane systems provide for a soft “landing” in the event of impact with the hood: the resulting engine hood is elastic, acting as a crumple zone to reduce the effects of impact. The automaker also takes other measures to ensure pedestrian protection.

Volvo Car was in search of an all-around material that offers greater safety for pedestrians, dampens engine noise and can be efficiently processed. The Bayer MaterialScience Oldenburg systems house accepted the challenge: in close cooperation with Czech parts manufacturer Promens Zlin and Volvo Car, it developed a material solution specifically for this application based on a combination of new grades of its Baytec® and Bayfit® polyurethane systems.

The three partners cooperated throughout the entire development process, from selecting the raw materials and formulating the products, all the way to optimizing the manufacturing process. In production, the spray elastomer Baytec® enters the mold first. It is responsible later on for the desired stability and smooth surface of the parts. The foam system Bayfit® is then added to the same mold. Its job is to effectively dampen engine noise. The sandwich structure of these two materials is elastic and represents a great advancement in pedestrian protection. With it, Volvo Car has set new standards in safety, quality and comfort.

The engine hoods are manufactured in two basic versions: while the engines in standard vehicles are equipped with a black hood, the hybrid cars have a silver-colored version. Production of the silver-colored parts begins with the application of an in-mold coating. In the same mold, the subsequent processing steps are then carried out as described above. Bayer MaterialScience will be showing samples of both variations at the Fakuma trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from October 14 to 18.

About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2013 sales of EUR 11.2 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2013, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,300 people around the globe. Bayer MaterialScience is a Bayer Group company.

This news release is available for download from the Bayer MaterialScience press server at

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