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The advent and increasing adoption of electric vehicles have brought a wave of change to automotive and the commercial heat treating industry. While demand is dropping for many automotive parts, such as traditional powertrain components, the need for automotive seating components remains steady.

Vehicle seat components are considered safety critical because they need to be tough enough to survive a crash—if they fail, a driver or passenger can be injured, possibly critically. Because of this, seat components are required to meet stringent thermal processing specifications.

In this article, we discuss the key thermal processes used for seating components, how common materials respond, and how to use a data-led approach to yield repeatable results.

Part 1

Thermal Processes for Automotive Seating Components

Part 2

Safety-Critical Seating Component Materials

Part 3

Datagineering for Automotive Seating Components

Part 4

The Datagineering Difference

Part 1

Key Thermal Processes for Automotive Seating Components

Case Hardening

Case hardening diffuses carbon or carbon and nitrogen into the surface of a metal from the atmosphere within a furnace at high temperatures. Adding carbon or carbon and nitrogen to the surface of steel hardens a metal object’s surface while allowing the metal deeper underneath to remain softer, creating a part that is hard and wear resistant on the surface while retaining a degree of flexibility with a softer, more ductile core. This softness and ductility are what create toughness in parts because it allows them to respond to stress without failing. Case hardening is a general term for this heat treating method. Depending on the materials and specifications for the part, we apply a variety of case hardening techniques including carburizing, carbonitriding, and ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC).

In this guide, we discuss:

  • Thermal processes used for seating components
  • Materials used for recliners, latches, frames and brackets
  • Harnessing heat treating data for high-precision parts
  • Finding a heat treating partner who can be the vital link in your supply chain

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