2012

Synthetic Material Offers Touch-Feel of Genuine Leather

A synthetic leather material delivers a durable touch-feel. The design is based on the way that the human fingertip interacts with surfaces along four different axes of material properties. The fingertip determines whether a surface is soft or hard, smooth or coarse, wet or dry, and warm or cold. By discovering the relationship between the fingertip and the sensations produced by feeling high-quality, hide-based material, engineers set the appropriate physical properties.

The flame-retardant material is about 40% lighter than genuine leather, and has enough durability against light and chemicals for automotive interior applications. Nissan uses the material in its FUGA vehicle (sold as the Infiniti M in North America). Tests in six countries have shown that the “SOFILEZ” product reproduces the touch-feel of genuine leather as used in furniture and apparel applications.

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