Archives for : Interiors

Material World: How Ford Run Fabrics Through Their Paces

At Ford, ensuring materials and upholstery are up to the mark is crucial for everything from the first impression all the way down the line to the perception of the vehicle after considerable use – and thus resale value and reputation. We knew about Ikea’s kitchen drawer tests, now Ford are shedding a little light on their processes for testing and selecting fabrics and materials.

In short..

  • Ford engineers scratch, snag and stretch all the different materials that go inside a vehicle to help ensure their durability and suitability to long-term customer use
  • Fabrics that are used inside Ford vehicles are stained with everyday substances like hot coffee, soda and dirt to evaluate how well they can be cleaned afterward, testing their overall stain resistance
  • A team of examiners smell various samples of materials used inside Ford vehicles and rank them to help the engineers achieve interiors with a perceptible but not disturbing odour

 

Throughout a vehicle’s lifetime, it’s inevitable that the materials inside a car show signs of wear and tear. Wear occurs in all contact areas from sitting on car seats, leaning on arm rests, gripping the steering wheel through to fiddling with the instruments.

So what does Ford do to ensure interiors will hold up?

To help guarantee the durability of these fabrics, leathers and plastics, Ford engineers subject every material used inside Ford vehicles to a series of meticulous and unrelenting tests where they are stretched, scratched, snagged, sniffed and even splashed with the likes of grease, dirt and hot coffee, to see how they will stand up against the test of time.

These tests are done to help ensure it takes a lot more than a spilled cup of coffee, the graze of a sharp edge or any accidental scrapes and scuffs to break down these materials. Some of the unusual ordeals Ford materials need to go through include:

  • The Five-Finger Scratch Test, which is used to scratch samples of different plastics to see how much abuse they can take
  • The Soil and ‘Cleanability’ Test, which splashes different substances on seat fabrics to evaluate how well they can be cleaned afterwards, testing their overall stain resistance
  • The Resistance to Dye Transfer Test, which rubs materials of different colors (i.e. those dreaded new blue jeans, long-term destroyer of white leather sofas around the world) against the leather used for car seats to see if any stains are left behind
  • The Mace Snagging Test, which spins seat fabrics on rotating rollers roughly 600 times while they’re repeatedly struck by a spikey iron ball to test how strong they are

In addition to the poking, prodding and scratching, a team of examiners smell various samples of materials used inside Ford vehicles and rank them to help the engineers achieve interiors that are free of disturbing odours.

The purpose of these tests is to create and maintain a level of quality in Ford vehicles that can be expected to last through the vast majority of scenarios of car usage for years to come.

Further watching..

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Wins at German Design Awards

  • Concept named overall winner in transportation category
  • Design award recognises ‘perfect combination of aesthetics and precision’
  • EXP 10 Speed 6 is a statement in modern British luxury and a potential future model line
  • Flying Spur and Continental GT Speed both receive special mentions

Bentley’s EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car has been awarded Gold in the Transportation category of the German Design Awards – one of the most highly respected design competitions in the world.

The German Design Council selects a panel of international design experts to judge the entries. They selected the EXP 10 Speed 6 for the Gold award as a result of its timeless, iconic Bentley design, clever use of new materials and aesthetic dynamism.

Panel judge, Johannes Barckmann, commented: “The designers of the EXP 10 Speed 6 achieved a fantastic reinterpretation of the British legend. This is particularly apparent when looking at the interior. The door panels are not covered with leather, but instead with high-quality wood.

“The exterior inspires with a progressive, elegant design vocabulary that transports the classic car into the future. EXP 10 Speed 6 is an extraordinarily beautiful automobile that perfectly combines aesthetics and precision – and is unmistakably a Bentley. It couldn’t be done better.”

The EXP 10 Speed 6 is a British interpretation of a high-performance two-seater sportscar. It showcases the future direction of luxury and performance using the finest materials and advanced hybrid technology – a powerful, exquisite and individual concept.

Sangyup Lee, Head of Exterior and Advanced Design at Bentley, added: “EXP 10 Speed 6 dominated the conversation at Geneva earlier this year, and is one of the most talked about concept cars of recent times. Our progressive and innovative design – while retaining a classic British look – is also thoroughly modern and dynamic.”

The Bentley Flying Spur and Continental GT Speed – both refreshed in 2015 with a complement of new interior features and exterior styling cues – also received special mentions from the German Design Awards judging panels.

Renault Kwid – Design Process in Images

The Kwid is Renault’s new product in the Indian and developing economy markets. Designed specifically for those markets in mind, but retaining all the visual characteristics of a small, modern Renault, the Kwid aims to be both practical and aspirational. It’s exterior appears to have been led from the principle design team in France whilst the interior is the product of the Renault Design Centre in Mumbai, India.

 

“At first glance, the KWID blends an emotional design with the need for
reassurance expressed by customers. Its SUV lines mirror its tough, robust
character and underpin its distinctive, modern look.“
Laurens van den Acker – Senior Vice President, Corporate Design

 

 

“The KWID is an entirely new car which offers a lot of surprises both inside
and out, including features from the next segment up.”
David Durand – Head of KWID Styling