IMPAXX – Safety Innovation of the Year

An international panel of auto racing experts has given the Safety Innovation of the Year Award to Dow Automotive for their IMPAXX energy absorbing foam. The announcement was made at the gala dinner for the annual Professional Motor Sport World Expo Awards recently.

IMPAXX is thermoplastic foam which is engineered to absorb energy upon impact by compressing, buckling and displaying controlled fractures during the process of absorbing energy. The decision of the experts was largely based on the successful application and performance qualities that IMPAXX has exhibited when used as a passive safety feature in NASCAR‘s new generation “Car of Tomorrow” (COT) race cars which have been designed to be safer, cheaper and more competitive.

Dow Automotive is a leading provider of technologically advanced solutions to meet consumer requirements in a wide and diverse field, including vehicle safety. IMPAXX is the result of more than eighteen months research and development, with the Dow Automotive technical team working alongside NASCAR’s experts. Using NASCAR as a high speed laboratory, Dow Automotive has been able to continually improve the attributes of a product to the benefit of all concerned. IMPAXX foam has proven to possess energy absorbing qualities which have significantly contributed to the safety of NASCAR drivers.

In addition to having a high degree of impact absorption capability, IMPAXX is flexible, durable, light-weight and performs consistently in temperature extremes. Currently NASCAR installs IMPAXX between the roll cage door bars and in the door panels of their COT race cars. They see IMPAXX as a highly effective safety feature that they plan to make extensive use of it in the future.

Energy management technologies are important factors for designers and engineers who want to ensure that impact energy is directed through and around the vehicle. Currently close to two million passenger cars on a world-wide scale are equipped with IMPAXX for its safety characteristics. An added feature of IMPAXX is that it reduces packing space by close to forty percent, thereby allowing greater freedom in the design process. This shows, once again, that many new innovative products which are tested on the racetrack ultimately move to the road.

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