Textiles play varied roles in the Automotive Industry. Interior textiles are required both to fulfil aesthetic and comfort roles but also need to meet performance criteria, such as sound reduction, durability and abrasion resistance. Whilst being as lightweight as possible and meeting the required health and safety standards such as static reduction and flame resistance. In these roles they are found in the seats, side panels, carpets, parcel shelf’s and roofing.
There are specific safety roles which textiles are given to fulfil in automotives such as seat belts and air bags. Given their roles as potential life savers they are subject to stringent testing methods.
Textiles products also form an intrinsic part of the engine, where they provide air and oil filtration and belts to drive components. They form reinforcement for hoses and for tyres.
Often the textile components used in automotive textiles are composites, ie, a textile component and a non-textile component. Most commonly this consists of a textile set in a resin, such as carbon fibre panels, coated, such as belts, or laminated such as interior panelling. Using a combination of materials allows for the characteristics of each to be exploited to create a product which is superior to the performance provided by a single material.