In the never-ending quest by manufacturers to make vehicles quieter, the use of foam as an acoustical attenuation measure has increased exponentially, being used on the underside of engine covers, in interior trim material, and even injected into vehicle chassis cavities. For the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler is using a new type of foam from Dow Automotive systems known as BetaFoam, which is a soy-based product, compared with the more commonly used petroleum-based injectable foam.
BetaFoam has several advantages over its more conventional counterpart, in being less dense, meaning less product is used in the application, as well as being less viscous, making for a less messy application. The foam is used in 10 areas of the new Cherokee's body structure, including the A- and B-pillars, and the rear wheelwells. Use of the product also reduces overall vehicle weight by 1.5 pounds. An added benefit of the BetaFoam is that it has a longer shelf life of six months, roughly twice that of its conventional equivalent.
The new foam was first used in Chrysler products on the 2013 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger sedans. This is the first application of the product on a Jeep vehicle. Watch the video of the foam being applied below.