Altair announces Enlighten Awards winners for innovation in vehicle lightweighting

Altair and the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR) has announced the winners of the 4th annual Altair Enlighten Award, the automotive industry awards programme that acknowledges innovation in vehicle weight reduction.

The winner of the OEM focused Full-Vehicle category was GM for the 2016 Cadillac CT6, a vehicle 71kg lighter than the BFI construction. For the Module category, which focuses on the achievements from within the automotive supplier base, the winner was ContiTech for its unique polyamide rear cross beam for the 2016 Mercedes S-Class.

Cadillac’s entry was one of 21 finalists that competed for the awards, winning its category for its strategic approach to weight reduction. Simulation methodologies including topology and multi-disciplinary optimisation studies were used throughout the vehicle’s development to ensure an efficient use of material. In addition, an innovative use of mixed materials was employed across the CT6 to further minimise weight without compromising performance.

“This award is recognition of one of the most-advanced body systems we’ve ever produced,” said Lyndon Lie, CT6 chief engineer. “Even better than the award, this new formula of producing a prestige luxury sedan directly benefits CT6 buyers with a vehicle that is lighter, more efficient, and more fun to drive than any other vehicle of its size.”

ContiTech’s Polyamide Cross Member developed for the 2016 Mercedes S-Class achieved a 30% weight saving compared to the previous aluminium component. The award judging panel had not seen an application of polyimide materials in this manner before making it a standout entry and a worthy winner of the Module category.

“We are honoured to receive this special recognition from Altair,” said Kai Fruehauf, managing director for ContiTech Vibration Control.“The ContiTech team has done an outstanding job collaborating with its customers early in the development process to create high performance materials for the automotive industry.”

The runners up for this year’s award were BMW for its multi-material 2016 7 Series in the Full -Vehicle category, and Alcoa who took 2nd place for the Module category for its Micromill aluminium processing technology used on the Ford F150.

Author
Tom Austin-Morgan

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