Sustainability is key in Stahl's car interior solutions

03 January 2017
At Stahl we challenge ourselves every day to create a better future. For our partners, for the environment and for all generations to come. Sustainable innovation is our guiding principle, so we were thrilled we could join forces again with Rinspeed for their 2017 concept car: Oasis. Based on the premise that people spend a considerable amount of time in their cars, the theme of the Oasis concept car was ‘the 3rd living space of the future’. Interior design was pivotal in this regard and that’s where Stahl came in.

The ultimate eye-catcher is the small garden on the sideboard, which adds the element of nature to the car to make it a true third living space. With our next-gen car interior technologies, we contributed significantly to a sustainable car interior with reduced emissions, smell and consequently, clean and fresh air for the passenger.

Sustainable tanned leather 
Leather has great credentials in the premium and luxury automotive segments, yet there is an increasing demand for leather that is more sustainable. A few years ago, we already capitalized on this trend when we launched Stahl EasyWhite Tan™. This innovative tanning technology is free of metals and vastly improves sustainability credentials regarding water usage, energy and chemicals during the process. With Stahl EasyWhite Tan™, the amount of chemicals used is reduced by one third compared to conventional tanning processes. Also no additional salt is needed, salt in tanning wastewater is reduced by at least 80%. In addition, up to 40% less water is needed during tanning, while the wastewater is less polluted.

Leather production processes have always been a battle between quality and sustainability. Leather tanned with this tanning system, however is also high quality, soft and smooth, and offers unique advantages for white and vibrant colors in leather car interiors. The high elasticity makes the leather flexible, tear resistant and extremely versatile, enabling thinner and lighter leather than ever. Naturally, all leather used in the Rinspeed Oasis is tanned with Stahl EasyWhite Tan™

Future-proof and bio-based matt surfaces
In addition, the surface finishing system used for the futureproof concept car is bio-based PolyMatte®. A smooth finishing technology that is matt in itself and gives car interiors a warm feel and pleasant touch. This revolutionary solution is partially based on rapeseed oil instead of crude oil derived intermediates. It forms a matt and smooth surface structure during the film forming and drying stage, which means fillers are not needed at all. The polyurethane nature of bio-based PolyMatte® provides a luxurious feel to finished articles, like the steering wheel and car seats in the Rinspeed Oasis. Our bio-based PolyMatte® exceeds other matting agent technologies on the market in terms of flexibility, scratch and abrasion resistance as well. Moreover, the rapeseed is sourced locally, which means the transportation of the raw material is only a short distance, which directly benefits the environment. All in all, a bio-based finish that is perfect to create future-proof matt surfaces.

The interior of the Rinspeed Oasis concept car is all about innovative and sustainable solutions that inspire and surprise the user. For Stahl, it was a great challenge to join Rinspeed for the second time in two years on such an ambitious project. It gave us a perfect opportunity to do what Stahl does best: push the boundaries for achieving better end-products and helping to create a better future at the same time.
Do you have questions regarding this topic: please don't hesitate to contact us