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Insights from JEC EU: ContiTech Develops BASF’s GF-reinforced PA-based Rear Axle for Mercedes

Published on 2015-02-25. Author : SpecialChem

ContiTech uses its expertise in lightweight construction to conquer other areas of application where metal once dominated. For the first time, the bearings specialist from Hanover in Germany has developed a transmission crossbeam from fiberglass-reinforced polyamide BASF Ultramid for the rear axle, which is used in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The new variant is about 25 percent lighter compared to diecast aluminum versions.

The rear axle transmission crossbeam from ContiTech is used in Mercedes-Benz vehicle models with all-wheel drive – with the exception of the AMG range. The component boasts optimum strength, good NVH performance, and high crash-protection. As a central component of the rear axle, it supports forces and torques of the rear axle transmission.

With its extensive skill and experience in material technology, ContiTech is a partner in the automotive industry and develops innovations in conjunction with its customers. The rubber and plastic specialist is constantly setting benchmarks in the field of lightweight construction technology, while developing new product solutions on a global scale. Polyamide components make an important contribution in terms of reducing weight and making vehicles more environmentally friendly. Unlike aluminum, polyamide can be shaped at lower temperatures, thus requiring significantly less energy in the manufacturing process. There is also a wide range of possibilities in recycling.

Since 2006, ContiTech Vibration Control has been using BASF Ultramid for bearings in automotive construction and has received design awards for its work. Product solutions include heavy-duty engine mounts, with the annual production volume in 2013 exceeding three million. In 2009, the bearings specialist also launched a lightweight transmission crossbeam from the lightweight material to support the forces and torques of the engine transmission unit. The weight is 50 percent less compared to an aluminum component. ContiTech produces the component in an injection molding process. ContiTech has already delivered millions of torque reaction mounts made from polyamide.

About JEC

The JEC Company was created in December 1996 as a subsidiary of CPC, The Center for Promotion of Composites, and a non-profit association.

JEC had fully committed to the expansion of composites. JEC increased six fold in scope, network and number of employees delivering a growing service to the composites sector. In addition to its headquarters in Europe (Paris, France), JEC opened offices in America and Asia. Its working Principle is the consistent reinvestment of all income into the development of new products and services for the benefit of all players in the worldwide composites community.

Source: JEC

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