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Polyamide in engine suspension

14 March 2008

ContiTech Vibration Control has brought the first polyamide torque reaction mount into series production. The high-strength part for vehicles with laterally mounted engines was developed in cooperation with BASF and is produced for the current Opel Vectra and Saab 9-3 models. It weighs 35% less than comparable torque dampers made of metal.

"With the torque reaction mount made of polyamide, we are contributing to weight reduction while also improving axle load distribution in the car. This has a positive impact on driving dynamics and safety," explains Dr. Hans-Jürgen Karkosch, head of advanced automotive development at ContiTech Vibration Control.

As connecting element between the engine/transmission unit and the vehicle body, torque reaction mounts are subjected to high loads. They must cushion impacts while at the same time insulating sound. Until now, such parts were made exclusively of aluminum or steel. ContiTech has brought an ultra-strong engine suspension component as plastic and elastomer composite to production readiness for the first time. BASF contributed its newly developed polyamide Ultramid A3WG10 CR to the project and performed material calculations using integrative simulation. The plastic component is manufactured in-house at ContiTech Vibration Control.

The company is currently working on launching series production of further plastic parts for engine suspension. "With raw materials growing scarcer and high energy costs, the lightweight construction of vehicles will continue to gain in importance. We are currently developing plastic mount components weighing only half of what comparable parts made of aluminum do," notes Karkosch.

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