Identifying volatile organic compounds in automotive interiors

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Joe Franklin, director of analytical testing at Intertek, discusses how to navigate the automotive VOC test method roadmap

There are several pathways to assess volatile organic compounds (VOC) in automotive interiors. My presentation at Automotive Testing Expo in Novi, Michigan will cover all of those individual pathways and list the pros and cons of each one. It is hoped that afterward, suppliers conducting either standard or research tests will be aware of all the possibilities for analysis. With this knowledge, they can better understand how their material or part reacts under different conditions and how OEMs have selected the test methods.

The most challenging aspect is to stay current with regulatory bodies and make sure that the test methods can actuallydeliver meaningful data. Testing small parts in a large bag or chamber may not give a real estimate on the part’s overall contribution to VOC, therefore other types of methods can be explored which can help with materials and vendor selection.

One of the biggest challenges in this area of testing is harmonization between OEMs and the choice of large volume sampling (eg. 2,000 liters or greater bags, 1-2m2 cubic chambers – not quite sure whatthis means … ). The number of tests can make it very confusing about where to start – for a startup car manufacturer, a new parts supplier, or a new materials supplier.

Joe Franklin will be speaking in the Open Tech Forum at Automotive Testing Expoin Novi, Michigan (October 23-25, 2018, The Suburban Showplace Collection) on Day 2 at 1.30pm. 

Joe Franklin, director of analytical testing at Intertek

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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