Joint press release of ContiTech Vibration Control and BASF: Lightweight Stabilizer in the new Gran Turismo Porsche Panamera
- From the virtual world to directly under the hood
Ludwigshafen/Hannover, September 28, 2009. Sustainable solutions for lightweight vehicles that also fulfill aesthetic requirements: this is what today’s automakers are looking for. ContiTech Vibration Control, internationally successful manufacturer of engine mounts for the automotive industry and BASF have joined forces to create such solutions. The result is an innovative stabilizer for the new Porsche Panamera. The high-performance integrated component is made of a high-strength polyamide from the Ultramid® CR family and a functionally optimized NR+ natural rubber mixture. It reliably withstands engine torques up to 650 Nm while providing very good sound absorption and secure mounting of the engine in the vehicle. Compared to a metal component with comparable functionality, the sports car manufacturer is able to achieve a weight savings of 35 percent.
Requirement: Permanence and esthetics
With a power of up to 500 HP, the Panamera is the Porsche among the four-doored Premium-Gran Turismo. Such high-performance vehicles present special challenges when it comes to engine mounts. For this innovative automobile, Porsche selected an equally novel material solution. Since the stabilizer is visible when the hood is open, ContiTech Vibration Control worked in close cooperation with Porsche’s design department to give it a visually appealing textured surface.
“The stabilizer has to bear high loads but must also work as a visible part and therefore has to fulfill aesthetic requirements. ContiTech Vibration Control thus built a special mold for the part to achieve an optically high-quality surface”, explains Stefan Wöhler, responsible for product development at ContiTech Vibration Control.
No prototypes: Developed on the computer from concept to series
From the very beginning, the component was designed almost entirely on the computer in BASF’s polyamide Ultramid with the aid of BASF’s universally applicable ULTRASIM™ simulation package. “As material specialists and development partner BASF thus supports its customers with a field-tested simulation technology that includes numerous newly developed elements”, comments Bernhard Aumer, ULTRASIM expert from BASF’s Engineering Plastics.
The challenge was to satisfy the criteria for a certain functionality and load-bearing capability within specified spatial constraints. After a few iterations, BASF had a component concept that ContiTech Vibration Control, the system supplier responsible for the entire integrated elastomeric mount, was able to convert directly into a construction near to series quality. No additional testing of prototypes was required and optimization cycles were reduced to a minimum, which translates into enormous time and cost savings in automobile development. Test bench trials at ContiTech Vibration Control and vehicle trials at Porsche confirmed the results.
Installed at two suspension points lengthwise, the stabilizer in the Porsche Panamera not only fulfills the function of securely mounting the engine, but also satisfies the demanding requirements for an appearance part with an aesthetically appealing surface in the engine compartment. With this in mind, the injection mold was optimized at ContiTech Vibration Control to achieve a fine, matte surface texture. The unique plastic component made of Ultramid® A3WG7 CR replaces a comparable component made of metal: By employing BASF’s ULTRASIM™ simulation package, it was possible to design the component as a production part directly on the computer and without a prototype phase.
About ContiTech AG
ContiTech AG, Hanover, is the world's no. 1 specialist for rubber and plastics technology in the non-tire rubber sector. The company develops and produces functional parts, components and systems for the automotive industry and other important industries. The company has a workforce of around 21,000 employees. In 2008 it realized sales of about €3 billion. ContiTech is a division of Continental AG. With sales exceeding €24 billion in 2008, the Continental Corporation is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. The corporation currently employs approximately 130,000 at nearly 190 locations in 35 countries.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €62 billion in 2008 and had approximately 97,000employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
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For ContiTech Vibration Control
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Fax: +49 (0)511 938-14025