Of the plastic automobile components honored with an SPE Automotive Division Award 2009 (Europe), the Powertrain category included an innovative design for which BASF not only supplied the Ultramid (polyamide) resin, but also assisted through provision of complex development methods.
Powertrain: Multi-stage pedestrian protection under the hood
For the 3.0 l 6-cylinder diesel engine in BMW's 7-Series, Montaplast, together with BASF, developed a novel crash-active engine cover with an integrated air filter and took 2nd place in the Powertrain category: Thanks to computer-aided modal analysis, empirical geometry optimization and dynamic component analysis conducted at BASF and an innovative energy-absorbing system from Montaplast, it was possible to meet the demanding component requirements. The large plastic parts are produced from dimensionally stable and tough Ultramid B3WGM24 HP. At the same time, it has good sound-damping characteristics and offers such good surface quality that it can even be considered a design object in the form of an engine cover.
The energy-absorbing system for pedestrian protection consists of two parts : The two telescoping housing shells made of Ultramid are elastic and rigid enough to actuate several conical elements into special TPU ring geometries made of Elastollan (TPU, Elastogran) in the event of a head-on collision . In this case, the TPU is not only sealing material but also a built-in energy absorber. If the energy involved in the collision exceeds a certain level, the underlying fleece material used in the new air filter collapses, thus serving as an additional absorber. This creates a multi-stage energy absorber that, compared to so-called active engine covers, offers considerable cost advantages, integrates several functions, provides an attractive appearance and can be installed easily without tools by means of clips . Montaplast produces the novel engine cover with the built-in air filter via two-component injection molding (Ultramid and Elastollan) .
Powertrain: High-strength Ultramid CR engine mounts from ContiTech
The torque rod support for the Opel Insignia that ContiTech Vibration Control presented for the first time at the VDI Plastics in Automotive exhibition that was held in Mannheim in March 2008 are made from high-strength Ultramid A3WG10 CR and took 3rd place in the Powertrain category. These are the first torque dampers made of plastic that are capable of withstanding high mechanical loads: they are 35 % lighter than their metal predecessors and by using the ULTRASIM universal simulation package from BASF it was possible to predict their behavior reliably in advance.
Electronic components: Filter housing made of Ultradur
In the Electronic/Optical Components category, a new intake filter unit - with a housing made of Ultradur B4300 G6 - for VW, GM and Fiat took 2nd place. Using this PBT material from BASF, Swoboda KG was able to design and produce a component that provides a favorable combination of functionality, space utilization and manufacturability.
Body Interior: 3rd place for EPP rear seat in the VW Touareg
The split rear bench seat in the VW Touareg - made of Neopolen P 9235, an EPP (expanded polypropylene) from BASF - was among the prize-winning products in the Body Interior category. The entire structure of the bench seat is constructed from the lightweight, strong and simultaneously energy-absorbing foam. The novel bench seat system, which largely foregoes use of metal, weighs 12 kg less than its predecessor. Production also takes a new approach: All parts of the bench seat including wires and functional elements are produced in a monobloc mold on a so-called double-shuttle system. The seat is manufactured by BERGLER; the machine was developed by Erlenbach GmbH.