Innovation ready for the market - plastic engine mounts from ContiTech

Introduction of the lightweight construction mounts for car power units / Manufacturing the mounts saves resources / Fuel consumption and emissions are reduced

Hannover, (PresseBox) - Limited resources, environmental pollution and rising energy prices; reducing fuel consumption and emissions is gaining importance in all fields of technology. To achieve more efficient vehicles with lower emissions, manufacturers are relying more and more on lightweight construction. ContiTech Vibration Control has been the first automotive supplier to develop highly resilient power unit mounts made of plastic which are up to 50% lighter, require less energy to produce and reduce fuel consumption.

Power unit mounts are the key connecting element between the engine, transmission and body. They include engine and transmission mounts and pendulum and torque reaction mounts. They are designed to secure the assembly in the engine compartment and mount it such that it does not come into contact with the body, and does not become detached even under extreme loads - for instance in an accident. The mounts also cushion impacts due to uneven road surfaces and absorb vibrations.

Such loadbearing structural components are primarily made from steel or aluminum. The heavy weight not only affects the vehicle mass and thus the fuel consumption, but also the axle load distribution. Particularly for vehicles with laterally mounted engines and frontwheel drive, the load on the front axle is large which can reduce safety and restrict driving dynamics. With their power unit mounts made of fiberglassreinforced polyamide and perfectly designed for such loads, ContiTech Vibration Control has developed a innovative product ready for the market. This development was the result of intensive calculations and extensive lab and vehicle tests. In addition to selecting a suitable material, it was important to use this material as sparingly as possible. Areas exposed to high loads are optimally designed and the material properties are best utilized by defining the general conditions of the production process. The results of multiple tests have shown that the mounts meet all the requirements and weigh not one gram more than necessary.

In current GM models such as the Opel Insignia this new standard of technology is being applied as in luxury class cars. A transmission mount from ContiTech is a standard component in the BMW 740i and 750i and is to be used in other BMW midrange and luxury vehicle types. In this way, Conti-Tech supports the automobile industry in producing lighter vehicles that stand out from the rest with their low CO2 emissions. The innovative mounts weigh up to 50% less.

Moreover, since plastic can be shaped at temperatures much lower than required for aluminum, the production process requires much less energy. Even logistics is minimized. Normally, mount manufacturers on the global market obtain metallic components from specialized production plants (e.g. foundries). This means that materials are transported over very long distances. However, the new power unit mounts from ContiTech are produced onsite in Hanover in a highly automated series production process. This reduces logistics and storage costs enormously.

ContiTech Antriebssysteme GmbH

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.

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