Buick has shared some of the techniques it uses to find the best protective coatings for its Buick interior materials at General Motors Materials Test and Engineering.
Just as human skin benefits from protection from sunscreen or bug spray, materials in Buick interiors benefit from protective coating to shield them from sun exposure and perspiration and to keep them looking new.
To test material durability in heat and ultraviolet light, Buick’s lab engineers use artificial light—similar to that in tanning booths—for two to six weeks before analyzing results. It then exposes materials to natural sunlight in Arizona for as long as seven months in special glass boxes.
It also tests sweat resistance by applying perspiration solutions to material samples for several hours before letting them dry. Once dried, the engineers scrape the sample to determine if the material was softened or damaged, after which they expose it to artificial light to ensure it can withstand both sweat and sun.
“While it is easy to make leather resistant to chemicals or abrasion, it is very difficult to find the balance of durability while maintaining the desirable look and feel that a Buick customer expects,” said Doug Pickett, engineering group manager, Materials Test and Engineering. “The texture is an important factor, so it can’t be too hard, too slick or too sticky.”
Learn more about Buick’s efforts to build the best possible interiors at Warsaw Buick GMC!