World’s first polyamide strut mount for passenger car chassis

ContiTech Vibration Control has developed the first strut mount made from fibreglass-reinforced BASF Ultramid polyamide for use at both the front and rear axle in the chassis of passenger cars. The strut mount is said to offer weight reduction of around 25% and longer service life over traditional variants made from steel or aluminium.

The spring strut mount is the interface between the spring strut and body of the car. It enables precise and low-friction rotational movement of the spring strut in the front of the vehicle, thereby ensuring optimum contact of the tire to the road, making the vehicle easier to steer.

As a chassis component, it is subjected to extreme stress. Spray water, road salt, sand, gravel, and vibrations can cause the spring strut to wear. If it is no longer fully functional, the shock absorbers – among other things – are more highly stressed. Vibrations and noise from the axles are more pronounced, resulting in reduced ride comfort.

The two-section, three-path bearing from ContiTech comprises both fibreglass-reinforced polyamide and aluminium components. This design is claimed to withstand shock loading as high as 75kN, equivalent to driving a car along a badly potholed road. The strut mount also ensures that minimal counter-torque acts on the shock absorber. This component too is subjected to less stress which, in turn, enhances safety in the vehicle.

ContiTech developed the strut mount in collaboration with General Motors for the Cadillac CT6, which is set to be launched at the end of 2015. Stefan Wöhler, a developer at ContiTech Vibration Control, said: “Key to success was the early integration of our customer in the development process, which meant that we were involved in system design right from the outset and could contribute our specialist experience.”

Author
Tom Austin-Morgan

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