The steering wheel is an integral part of the restraint system as the driver airbag is located in the hub of the steering wheel and the performance of the airbag in a crash will depend on the steering wheel design.
The driver airbag and the steering wheel should also look like one integrated unit. The colors should be identical with no gap between the airbag and the wheel. The later is difficult as the airbag cover is usually floating as it incorporates the horn function.
Steering wheels have to meet a broad variety of requirements in term of both safety and styling. Interior styling has become more and more important as a selling argument of cars.
The base of a steering consist is the skeleton, made out of a strong metal such as magnesium, aluminum or steel. The skeleton is covered by a highly durable, soft, foam material, usually Polyurethane (PU). Injection molding is used to apply the PU on the skeleton.
To improve the look and feel of the steering wheel it can be covered by leather or wood. The leather cover is handcrafted and it can take up to one hour for one operator to sew and glue the leather on a foamed steering wheel.
Steering wheels offer a variety of control switches and different designs.
Some of our steering wheels have an integrated electrical motor that can vibrate the steering wheel thereby alerting the driver of a dangerous situation.
To improve comfort in cold climate, the steering wheel can have a heated rim.