November 2, 2004

Ford, GM debut new ‘Smart’ seat fabric

Las Vegas, Nevada – A new “smart” fabric technology that absorbs and stores excess body heat to create a cooling effect and releases it as it’s needed to provide additional warmth was unveiled at the SEMA aftermarket show this week.

Originally developed for NASA for use in space exploration and widely used in consumer products such as sportswear and bedding, Smart Fabric Technology is now being considered by automakers for use in vehicle seating as automotive interiors.

The new Smart Fabric Technology is being introduced at the 2004 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Exposition Nov 2-5 in Las Vegas. Ford (booth 21001) will show the fabric on the seats of a 2005 Mustang GTR and General Motors (booth 23442) will have it on the seats of a Pontiac GTO in the automakers’ respective booths.

Automotive supplier Shawmut Corporation and Outlast Technologies, Inc., which holds the patent rights on this unique application to fibres and fabrics, are collaborating to bring Smart Fabric Technology to automotive seating. In collaboration with Outlast, Shawmut developed proprietary application processes for automotive seating. Since 1994, multiple joint patents have been issued for proprietary application processes that coat fabrics and foams with PCM Thermocules, bringing an innovative comfort solution to the rigors of the automotive cabin environment.

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