Not Art. Low Emissions.
While the object shown here might bring some piece of modern sculpture to mind, it is actually a fastener for the seat covers in the new Mercedes B-Class.
Not only does the clip have an interesting shape, but there is more to it than meets the eye: the clip exceeds the current VDA 275 guideline from the German Association of the Automotive Industry for formaldehyde emissions from plastic components in vehicle interiors. Apparently, Daimler has decided that it would have stricter limit values for the polyoxymethylene (POM) components it uses in its vehicles.
According to Michael Hoerr of Ticona’s Automotive business unit, the material “is highly suitable for many types of applications that are subject to high degrees of wear or stress in the vehicle interior.” This includes headrests, lumbar supports, IP panels, center consoles, and trim.
While you might think of formaldehyde only in the context of your local funeral home or some of the works by Damien Hirst, it may be worth noting that according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is “a known human carcinogen.” That clip looks all the better, doesn’t it?
This is a 1979 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the first year the model appeared with its Schwarzeneggerian robustness, which happens to be incased in a block of amber-colored resin: Unlike the insects that are sometimes found encased in actual amber, objects that you can hold in your hand, this object measures 5.50 meters long, 2.55 meters wide and 3.10 meters high.
Alcoa Inc. has split in two, with there being Alcoa Corp. and Arconic Inc. The latter will focus on “multi-materials innovation, precision engineering and advanced manufacturing.”
There is a lot of discussion about how 3D printing/rapid prototyping/additive manufacturing is revolutionizing manufacturing, including automotive manufacturing.