News Releases 2005

Suitable for Contoured Automobile Seats
Narrow-type hook and loop fastener developed

Mar 7, 2005
Kuraray Fastening Co., Ltd.
(The Kuraray Group)

Narrow-type Mold-In-Fastener brand hook and loop fastener
Narrow-type Mold-In-Fastener
brand hook and loop fastener

Kuraray Fastening began manufacturing and marketing hook and loop fasteners for automobile seats in 1995. This product line is anchored by the basic, straight-line installationrail type fastener, and includes flexible magnet perforation type fasteners that can curve. Now Kuraray Fastening has developed an installationrail fastener that is 8mm-wide, in comparison to the 13mm width of previous fasteners, which is suitable for use on complex and deeply curved shapes. This new fastener, which will go on sale on March 15, is Kuraray Fastening's response to the increasing complexity of seat design, and will increase productivity when molded in one piece with urethane cushion.

Today, automobile seats are usually upholstered using the hog ring method, metal wire and metal rings to fasten both the urethane cushion and the upholstery material in place. Using the hog ring gun, which fixes the metal rings in place, is physically very demanding, and in Europe and the U.S. the burden on workers has caused a number of industrial accidents. For this reason, use of the this method has been expanding rapidly. In addition, the Automobile Recycling Law requires the recovery of shredder dust, which means that the urethane cushion and the upholstery must be separated and disposed of separately, and this is difficult if the hog ring method is used.

Kuraray Fastening's this method reduces the labor required in the upholstering of seats, and at the same time makes it simple to separate the seat's urethane cushion from its upholstery. 60% weight reduction in comparison with the hog ring method using metal wire can be achieved. This method also contributes to the reduction of metal usage in automobiles, the automation of assembly, and improved efficiency in manufacturing.

The new, narrow-type hook and loop fastener supports the trend toward increasing complexity in automobile seat design, and makes it simple to sort seat materials as required by the Automobile Recycling Law, which came into effect on January 1, 2005. It also contributes to reductions in weight and metal usage, and greatly increases the efficiency of the seat upholstering process.

In the U. S., approximately 70% of seat manufacturing today employs the mold-in method, compared with 30% in Europe and 20% in Japan. Kuraray Fastening is working to increase the presence of its products in automobile seats and accessory systems in this new era.

1. Specifications

1. Material
2. Characteristics
  • (1) Narrower than Kuraray Fastening's earlier products (from 13mm to 8mm), it is compatible with the narrower and deeper contours of today's automobile seats.
  • (2) It can be used on curves up to a radius of 400mm, giving greater freedom of seat design.
  • (3) Cost savings of 30% can be achieved, compared with Kuraray Fastening's earlier products.
3. Gripping strength
Gripping strength with specified loop : 1.2 (kg/width)
Gripping strength of earlier, 13mm-width material : 1.4 (kg/width)
4. Price
¥30 per meter (exclusive of tax)
5. Availability
March 15, 2005
6. Sales targets
First year: ¥50 million
After three years: ¥300 million

2. Kuraray Fastening Co., Ltd.

Headquarters Shin-Hankyu Bldg. 9F, 1-12-39, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8611, Japan
President Mitsuhiko Takaoka
Capitalization ¥100 million
Number of employees 120
Businesses Manufacturing, development, and sale of MAGIC TAPE fabric hook and loop fastening material, extrusion molded hook fastener, and other hook and loop fastener-related products.