Transcal to manufacture Gordon Murray Design's iStream lightweight seat

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 27 Jul 2019

Gordon Murray Design has entered a technology licencing agreement with Transcal Limited to manufacture the iStream lightweight automotive seat. The new agreement will cover the current seat design, codenamed IS-001. This innovative unit boasts a significant 30 percent weight saving when compared to a conventional modern seat.

The IS-001 seat licensed by Transcal, a leading automotive supplier of innovative interiors since 1980, will be the world’s first implementation of the iStream lightweight seat. Gordon Murray Design is exploring further automotive and non-automotive designs and applications for the seat. 

Transcal, with the support of Gordon Murray Design, plans to release the seat for volume production in the first quarter of 2020. Fully-trimmed units will be available for OEM production and also to custom builders for bespoke applications.

Professor Gordon Murray CBE, Chairman of Gordon Murray Design, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Transcal, a business that shares our focus on a more efficient future for the automotive sector and pushing boundaries at every opportunity. The iStream lightweight automotive seat represents a seismic shift in this sector – its innovative construction helps to deliver both economic and environmental benefits.” 

iStream lightweight seat
The iStream lightweight seat is the product of a research-based project, part-funded through the Innovate UK framework – the Manufacturability of Advanced Passenger Seats (MAPS) – with the objective to develop lightweight automotive seat structures and production methods. 

The newly-developed seat can be modified to suit all types of vehicle. Its advanced composite panels and tubular frame construction dramatically reduces structural weight, while maintaining the high-volume, low-cost benefits of Gordon Murray Design’s original iStream technology. 

Key advantages of the iStream lightweight seat include:
- Lightweight composite structure (sub 12kg)

- 30% weight saving vs conventional modern seat
- Suitable for high- and low-volume applications
- Ultra-low tooling and development costs
- Simple, high-speed assembly
- Low part count
- Competitive piece cost
- Satisfies all applicable European automotive requirements (UN ECE), including luggage retention requirements
- Can achieve low seating position
- Anti-submarining design
- Full four-way adjustment 

What is iStream?
iStream is an acronym for iS = Stabilised; T = Tube; R = Reinforced; E = Exo-frame; A = Advanced; M = Manufacturing. 

Rather than the traditional method of combining hundreds of panels of stamped metal, iStream uses tubular metal with 10 – 15 structural composite panels. iStream Superlight® is the ultimate automotive lightweighting technology as it maximises the iStream approach by using cored honeycomb carbon fibre composite and an aluminium frame to save almost 50% in weight against a standard stamped metal chassis. 

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