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Dow prototype snips 'cut and sew' step

Dow Chemical Co. is touting a new system of producing seat covers it says could drastically cut the cost of making automotive seats by replacing "cut and sew" operations with an in-mold production. The fabric-free technology uses a polyurethane-based elastomer sprayed into the mold. The elastomer becomes the cover skin in the final product, molded over a traditional urethane foam seating pad. The surface can mimic the texture of fabric, vinyl or leather, without the costs of sewing the traditional cover, said Steven English, business development director for Midland, Mich.-based Dow's flexible polyurethanes business.

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