Transmission crossbeam made from fibreglass reinforced polyamide

?Fibreglass reinforced polyamide has been used in the construction of the transmission crossbeam – part of the rear axle – in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The component, created using BASF Ultramid, is said to offer optimum strength, good noise, vibration and harshness performance, as well as high crash protection. A central component of the rear axle, it is about 25% lighter than diecast aluminum versions.

"The new rear axle transmission crossbeam is a milestone in the use of polyamides in the chassis and has the potential to set a new trend in the automotive industry," said Kai Frühauf, head of the ContiTech Vibration Control business unit.

Polyamide components allow vehicle designers to reduce product weight and to make their products more environmentally friendly. Unlike aluminum, polyamide can be shaped at lower temperatures, so requires significantly less energy in the manufacturing process.

"Absolute precision is called for in the design and production of the transmission crossbeam for the rear axle – particularly in terms of strength and dimensional accuracy of the component," said Diethard Schneider, head of lightweight construction predevelopment at ContiTech Vibration Control. "Only when all the properties are exactly right can the component be assembled in the axle system without any problems. The fact that premium suppliers are among the forerunners shows the trust and confidence that engineers have today in the performance of our polyamide components for engines and chassis."

Author
Graham Pitcher

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